Reencode any video to ensure compatibility with Windows Media Player

Dion Moult


Other very useful tip I picked up when doing video manipulation the other day that deserves its own post is reencoding any video so that it will work on a vanilla Windows Media Player (without any other codecs added). Windows Media Player is usually distributed with a very limited set of codecs, and unfortunately if you produce a video for the general public to view, you need to make sure WMP is happy to play it.

The tool for such a job is obviously ffmpeg, but the suggested commands on the compatibility page of their site seem to compress the videos to a horrendous state at the same time, so after asking on their IRC channel on freenode this is the command that turned up:

$ ffmpeg -i input -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -vcodec msmpeg4v2 -qscale 3 output.avi

Wonderful. Now I can render to whatever I please and worry about compatibility later.


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