Most of the tasks (video probing, converting, thumbnail generation) can be done using the high-level Converter object.

Creating the Converter object

First we need to import the module and create the object:

>>> from converter import Converter
>>> c = Converter()

By default, the converter uses ffmpeg and ffprobe binaries in your path. If it should use them from another location, you can specify the paths to them in the Converter constructor.

Getting existing multimedia file properties

Probing the media file will return a MediaInfo object, containing various information about the file format, media streams, codecs and properties:

>>> info = c.probe('test1.ogg')
>>> info.format.format
>>> info.format.duration
>>> len(info.streams)
>>> info.video.codec
>>> info.video.video_width
>>> info.video.video_height
>>> info.audio.codec
>>> info.audio.audio_channels

A full list of properties can be found in MediaFormatInfo and MediaStreamInfo documentation.

Converting a video into another format

To convert a media file into some other format (or to use some other codecs), you need to create a dictionary (map) of options specifying what to convert to.

The options dictionary looks like this:

    'format': 'mkv',
    'audio': {
        'codec': 'mp3',
        'samplerate': 11025,
        'channels': 2
    'video': {
        'codec': 'h264',
        'width': 720,
        'height': 400,
        'fps': 15
    'subtitle': {
        'codec': 'copy'
    'map': 0

The full list of options can be found in Converter documentation.

To prepare the conversion process:

>>> conv = c.convert('test1.ogg', '/tmp/output.ogg', options)

This won’t start the conversion, it will just prepare everything and return a generator. To run the conversion process, iterate the generator until it’s finished. On each iteration, the generator will yield a timecode, specifying how far into the media file is the conversion process at the moment (ie. at which second in the movie is the process).

To just drive the conversion without using the timecode information:

>>> for timecode in conv:
...    pass

Getting audio from a video file

To just get the audio content from a video file, you can use the conversion as above, specifying in the options that the video should be dropped:

    'format': 'mp3',
    'audio': {
        'codec': 'mp3',
        'bitrate': '22050',
        'channels': 1

Since the video is not specified in the output, the video stream will be dropped. Likewise, you can drop the audio stream from the output.

If you just want to copy audio or video stream as is, without conversion, you can do that by specifying the ‘copy’ codec.

Creating a thumbnail

To create a thumbnail form a video file (from 10 seconds in the movie):

>>> c.thumbnail('test1.ogg', 10, '/tmp/shot.png')

You can specify the screenshot dimensions:

>>> c.thumbnail('test1.ogg', 10, '/tmp/shot.png', '320x200')