I need WMV video files

I have a ArchOS IMT 5 and Creative ZEN video players that plays wmv files. I have a mixture of avi and mpg files, as well as some youtube videos saved as flv. I need all the files saved as a wmv for my players.

ZEN only plays wmv files. ArchOS plays most formats except mpeg format. Its a linux device that requires purchase of plugin to play mpeg files. What format allows high quality with low disk space needed? Other than playing on ZEN, what other benifit is there to wmv?

Command line examples are ok.
GUI would be nice.


My wife’s winXP PC boot partition is pathetic when it comes to codecs, and one of the few video formats it can play is wmv. Typically she boots to openSUSE to play videos (where I have the codecs setup) but on occasion she has asked that I convert a video for her so that her winXP partition on her PC will play it. < sigh >

Here are some command lines I have used:

1200 video bit rate , reduce resolution, and output wmv1 :

mencoder -vf scale=320:-10 inputvideo.m2t -o output.avi -of avi -ofps 15 -ovc lavc -oac lavc -lavcopts vcodec=wmv1:vbitrate=1200:acodec=wmav1:abitrate=128

230 video bit rate , reduce resolution, and output wmv1

mencoder -vf scale=320:-10 inputvideo.m2t -o output.avi -of avi -ofps 15 -ovc lavc -oac lavc -lavcopts vcodec=wmv1:vbitrate=230:acodec=wmav1:abitrate=64

1200 video bit rate , reduce resolution and output wmav2

mencoder -vf scale=320:-10 inputvideo.m2t -o output.avi -of avi -ofps 15 -ovc lavc -oac lavc -lavcopts vcodec=wmv2:vbitrate=1200:acodec=wmav2:abitrate=128

230 video bit rate , reduce resolution, and output wmav2

mencoder -vf scale=320:-10 inputvideo.m2t -o output.avi -of avi -ofps 15 -ovc lavc -oac lavc -lavcopts vcodec=wmv2:vbitrate=230:acodec=wmav2:abitrate=128

Hey thanks.
Now a bunch of dumb questions.

  1. Whats the difference between v1 and v2? a) Do I need v2 or is it just nice extra?
  2. How many of the variables used change based on the input video or do they all change the way the output video is done?
  3. How do I read the resolution reduction variable? ( I assume its the scale variable)

Related: I used a application called Avidemux to merge 2 video files. When I merged 2 wmv files, the audio track of second started after the first ended which was 15 seconds prior to end of first video. So the audio track was off on the second video by 15 seconds. And I was unable to fast forward thru the video.

When I performed the same task to 2 flv files, audio tracks worked great and I can fast forward, but the begining starts off with a green tint and the audio is distored, then it clears up.

I hate Video editing on linux. I know its not linux’s fault, but one has to know so much more of what your trying to do when all you want to do is add 2 files and click merge. I just cant afford MS and all the software required, other wise I would build a Virtual Machine to do this on XP. And I have had no luck with setting up MythTV.

I am getting help from people like you on this subject, but I am not learning why it works, I just copy an paste the scripts and know that when I need to do task X, use script Y.

Thanks for all your help,

I don’t know. These are proprietary MS-Windows codecs and you will need to use google and surf on this yourself. I only produced these because my wife (a BIG WinXP fan if there ever was one) asked me to provide her videos in those formats, … I have no idea as to differences.

ffmpeg variables? Read

man ffmpeg

because I am not going to repeat that. Sorry. Really! Sorry. Lets be realistic. I can not give you an ffmpeg course. You need to read up on this yourself. Is it complicated? Yes, you are absolutely right it is complicated. There is no free ride here. OK ?

The “320” corresponds to the width.

avidemux is a great application, and it has a control that allows you to delay or advance the video to audio sync.

What app are you using to create the flv? avidemux?

You can also use ffmpeg (and other apps).

thats likely because you do not know how to do it. In truth, IF the file specifications are identical (ie resolution the same, codecs the same, audio/video bit rates the same), then nothing could be easier than Linux when it comes to joining files. I’m not at a linux PC right now, but if I recall, the concatenate (cat) command makes this incredibly easy.

However, having typed that, if it is any consolation to you, and also in the knowledge that misery loves company, I feel the same about MS-Windows video editing as you probably feel about Linux. :slight_smile:

Thats a good point, and neither can I afford it the many MS-Windows apps.

Still, MS-Windows does have some very good free (as in free beer) video tools.

For example, I do use VirtualDub running under wine to stabilize my videos. When I went to try VirtualDub under wine, I immediately noted (at that time) that the WineHQ entries stated it did not work under wine. Being a lazy skeptical sort of person, I ignored that and tried myself, and fortunately immediately got it working (I had a limited/partial guide written by someone else to help me) and after succeeding I wrote my own guide. HowTo install VirtualDub under wine with deshaker plugin - openSUSE Forums

I recently produced a home video entirely with Linux (and also VirtualDub with deshaker plugin running under wine). Linux is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To learn more you need to read the documentation which is not easy.

Me? I mostly refuse to read the documentation, but over a course of 12 years in using Linux the arguments in such commands as ffmpeg are very gradually starting to sink in my rather thick skull. But I still don’t really understand it, and I often take the commands of others, and try to understand them, and then maybe tune them for my own use.

Hence I do find what I can do in Linux with my limited understanding incredibly powerful and much more capable than anything I could do in MS-Windows.

  • step 1 - reduced videos from original 1920x1080 @ 25MB/sec video bit rate to 1080x720 @ 8MB/sec video bit rate (so that MS-Windows virtual dub could handle it). I did this with a massive one line bash command, processing the over 100 short video clips I took on each day of my holiday

  • step-2 - stabilized all videos with VirtualDub/deshaker plugin running under wine. Again, I did this with a massive one line bash command, processing the over 100 short video clips I took on each day of my holiday

  • step-3 - manually checked all stabilized videos and hand optimized those where my generic VirtualDub/deshaker settings were not good enough, again using VirtualDub/deshaker plugin running under wine.

  • step-4 - edited/created video with kdenlive (a great video editor).

Please dont take me the wrong way. I am not bashing Linux, my entire home network is ran on OpenSuSE and SLES. Windows needs are supplied by VMWare or XEN. And for the most part I leave Windows turned off. I just have no interest in knowing video editing. I am spending my time learning how to propagate a Windows AD to a Linux LDAP server and other such network administrative tasks.

When it comes to stuff like this, I like to just install the application and let the magic of the box do its job.

Thanks for all the feed back and time,

… of course I’m the opposite. Video editing is becoming a big hobby of mine.

Still, if you search google with something like “join two video files linux cat” you will get many hits:

cat *.avi > combined_file.avi

And thats what makes Linux Great. You know something, I know something, and we share experiances.

I have been searching Google/linux for assistance. After getting much mixed singles and no clear answers (in my opinion), I posted the question here.


BTW: The flv files are created by youtube.pl which downloads YouTube Videos.

There are many ways to do this joining of videos.

If using KDE, another easy graphic way to do this is to use KDEnlive. Simply start KDEnlive. Have the project-tree tab showing in kdenlive. From dolphin dag the two video files into the project tree tab in kdenlive. Then from the project tree drag the two videos (first one and then the other) in the one of the time line tracks. Drag them such that one follows the other. Then press the red “render” button, select the output format, type the output file name, and sit back, put one’s feet up and have a coffee.

Its that simple :slight_smile:

My appologies. I never received a responce email saying you replied. Thanks for the help on this. I will try KDEnlive next. Sorry for the late responce.


I have tried the mencoder commands a few times with no success. How do I check the current settings of my video’s that does work?

The final file works with kaffine on the machine I built the files with, but when testing via MediaTomb UPnP against my ArchOS player.

When I try testing against the final files, I get File incompatible or damaged.


How did kdenlive work out?

Its a pretty simple gui, and if you can not sort other methods, then why not stick with something simple?

Havent tried KDEnlive yet. I will try that now and get back too you.


I am unable to get KDEnlive to work correctly. After selecting the video, I choose render and select media device to choose wmv 400k 2 pass.

But when I try to render, it creates a 98k file after 100%.

Not very impressed so far. And the documents on the web site are fairly generic. Having to search forums for which a howto should be made.


BTW: The format that works is as follows…

codec Window Media Video 9
f size 320x218
f rate 29.97
aspect ratio 1.0

codec Windows Media Audio 2
channels 2
Freq 44100

This is what I need to match.


Given I have no problem doing this, … and I’ve been doing this for some time, … and given I do not know much of the details , but rather “it just works for me”, … I can not help but think that this is a matter of inexperience on your part. Apologies for my complete and my total inability to explain.

As for kdenlive, did you try other formats in the rendering? I hope your troubleshooting did not stop there?

Maybe your PC is just not setup for wmv and maybe that is what kdenlive is “telling” you.

I know its not my PC,I am running a dual core AMD with 2GB ram. It looks as if all the proper codec’s are installed. This is where I need to meet someone on IM and in real time learn a few more commands to trouble shoot whats missing. Forums are good, but a conversation that would take a few days could be done via IM in less than 1hr. And your are very correct about this being a issue of my inexperience.

I have not tried other formats, as I need to use WMV.

Again, thanks for your interest in my problem. This may requires someone local that can sit via IM or in person and teach me something new.

John :slight_smile:

I walked into work pondering your problem, and why it is so difficult for you, where I suspect you know more about I when it comes to multimedia files and such, and I decided maybe you have not figured out some basic Linux practicality.

Please do not take offence, and if I am out to lunch, then I am out to lunch. It won’t be the first time.

I think from reading above, with the exact ffmpeg commands I gave, you know how to take practically any file, and create a WMV. Right?

But the problem is you want to join two files and have the output format in wmv.

So why did you let a minor kdenlive hiccup stop you. I practically banged my head on the wall asking myself that over and over and over and over and over. In the end, I gave up trying to figure out why that stopped you.

All I can say, is if it had been me, I would have saved from kdenlive in another format, ANY FORMAT , and then used the ffmpeg to convert to WMV.

And thats where I think your Linux view is lacking. Linux is about choice. Its about having multiple ways to do something. If one way does not work, I try another. So if KDENLIVE does not do it all in one step, then do it in two steps !

Anyway, I wish you good luck, but I’m coming to the gradual unfortunate realization that I can’t help you. You and me? We are on two different wavelengths here. I concede I know less than you on this, but I don’t let small things stop me.

Good luck, and all the best wishes in success. I’ll let someone else pickup the ball here, because I failed in trying to explain.

I have no clue about multimedia. I am a Windows System Admin.

The wmv files are not working. And I am not sure as too why. They work on my computer, but not on my media player.

I have wmv files I want too join, I also have mpeg’s and avi’s that I want to convert to wmv. Which I have not been successful.

This is one of many programs and numerous attempts to this. I just wish it would work. I am going to need to get someone who can look over this with me and see what results I am seeing. Maybe I am not explaining this properly.

And with my lack of media knowledge, what is the degredation of making a conversion from formatA to formatB, only to convert to formatC. Why cant formatA be converted to formatC? Frankly, I dont care. I want to insert file.avi or mpg, and after some time have file.wmv.

Thanks again for your time. People like you who are willing to take time to assist is what make this great.


OK, first thing you need to do, is stop trying to join files together.

Instead, ensure you know how to create the EXACT wmv format you want. I gave you a bunch of ffmpeg commands, … do ANY of those work ? Were you able to take ANY of those and create the EXACT ffmpeg format you wanted ? Sort that first! And answer back here.

Once you have done that, then the wmv world is your oyster. You can use other applications to do anything you want with the files (join, edit, merge, what ever) and then once complete, convert to wmv. wmv has a miserable quality, so as long as you keep your bit rate up in your Linux work, there will be no noticeable quality drop.

Also, two VERY IMPORTANT things about openSUSE and multimedia, and I assumed you knew this from the start, but maybe you don’t, and that is the two VERY IMPORTANT things are :

    1. Keep your repositories restricted to the OFFICIAL repositories plus one other. The official are OSS, Non-OSS and Update. ONLY those 3. The other is Packman. So just those 4 repositories. No others. NONE. In particular NOT videolan. Only OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman. Type:
zypper lr -d

and hopefully it ONLY has those 4 repositories. If it has more, then you need to fix that!

    1. as noted, do NOT install videlan apps with packman apps. videolan throw codecs in places where packman apps can not find them, and visa versa. packman repository is bigger, better and more compatible with other repos. So IF you installed ANY videolan apps (except for libdvdcss) then immediately replace EVERY ONE with Packman apps.

My very humble apologies for my bluntness, but IMHO you ignore the above at your own peril and risk major multimedia problems on openSUSE if you ignore that.