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HOWTO: Convert MPEG and AVI to 3gp using FFmpeg


FFmpeg is an excellent FOSS application on video conversion. It supports most of the file formats.

ffmpeg [[infile options][-i infile]]… {[outfile options] outfile}…

Convert from MPG to 3GP
ffmpeg -i inputfile.mpg -s qcif -vcodec h263 -acodec aac -ac 1 -ar 8000 -r 25 -ab 32 -y outputfile.3gp

Convert from AVI to 3GP
ffmpeg -i inputfile.avi -s qcif -vcodec h263 -acodec aac -ac 1 -ar 8000 -r 25 -ab 32 -y outputfile.3gp


Convert from 3GP to AVI
ffmpeg -i clip.3gp -f avi -vcodec xvid -acodec mp3 -ar 22050 file.avi

you will need to install the codecs previously. All the xvid, mp3, avi, 3gp codecs can be updated very easily in the Debian based distros. All other disros also having the codecs in their own repositories.

There are other media conversion utilities also there as mencoder, transcode and there are a lot of GUI tools for this like drip, k9copy et cetera.

Note: There are many complaints that the 3gp files have no audio. “-acodec aac” is the significant option here. This only gives excellent audio to the 3gp file in mobile phones.

I’ve also found that WinFF is an FFmpeg front-end available for Windows.

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