Lost amongst the video format maze.

On inspection I find that my collection of video files is a mixture of .flv and .mp4 formats. The latter play OK on my A110 network media player but the latter do not. There is no sound from either but I think that is another problem as VLC works well on all of them.

My question assuming I cannot get the media player to play .flv files is should I convert to mp4 and will the HD files suffer as a result? If it is OK to convert, which program to use. My system is openSUSE 11.4 with KDE desktop.


The answer to your situation probably lies here Flash Video - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. All conversions degrade quality but, as flv has been superseded, it is unlikely that the encoding is inherently as good as f4v. If you want to play them on a player which will not support the format, you will need to convert them to one that it does - in which case mencoder will do the job for you.

For a quick guide through the maze, see http://diveintohtml5.org/video.html

Might these be downloaded with get_iplayer?

It’s not clear to me what your problem is

To close this thread: my problem has been solved. My problem was the result of updating from openSUSE by doing fresh install. My old files were all OK on different partition but I omitted to do the multimedia installation checks and had omitted ffmpeg among others. Hence subsequent downloads gave me my odd collection of formats as post update downloads had not been auto translated.

You have to check which formats does your media player accept.

  1. what video codecs (h264, xvid etc)
  2. what audio codecs (mp3, aac, ac3 etc)
  3. what containers (mkv, ogm, avi, mp4, flv, mpg etc)

It seems like your player supports mp4, but not flv. Also it doesn’t support audio codec used in your files.

You will need AviDemux and/or Handbrake, both available in packman repo, to convert.

You don’t need to convert streams your player does accept (video streams of mp4 files in your case for example).
Simply copy them into new/different container. Quality won’t suffer. But it seems like you need to reencode the audio.

Every re-encoding causes drop in quality, so avoid it when you can.

If your player is Popcorn Hour A110 then it should support (among others)

  • mpeg, mkv, mp4 container, probably avi too
  • mpeg2&4, xvid/xivx, h264 video codec
  • ogg, flac, dts, ac3 (and probably mp3) audio codec.