ffe

ffe is a simple, powerful Windows® front-end for FFmpeg, designed for rapid testing of its many multimedia conversion parameters, enabling you to save lots of slightly different versions of a file very, very quickly; in other words, "find the best settings". You basically throw in video files, set the output format, and click "Do It!", at which point FFmpeg leaps into action.

FFmpeg, by Fabrice Bellard, et al., is a quite incredible command-line-only multimedia converter, capable of converting a truly vast number of input and output media formats, and depending on which binary you use, supports either a HUGE number of control parameters, or a REALLY HUGE number of control parameters.

I find it most handy for converting YouTube FLV files, and the raw video from my camera. As well as converting DVD VOBs, of course.

You can basically convert anything to anything, whilst doing crazy stuff like mixing MP3 audio tracks with H264 video, and adding ID3 tags to AVI files. Big fun. Of course, it allows you do do things the correct way, too. No limits.

While converting, the console output from FFmpeg can be viewed live inside ffe, and when complete, the entire process log is available for viewing/searching.

ffe uniquely uses MATOF™ technology to automatically update the output file name (and extension) to match your encoding parameters; you can tweak-and-go, working at a rapid pace, without obliterating any of your previous tests. And then know exactly what parameters were used to encode each and every one of them, all without making notes.

ffe is FREE (though possibly not bug-free!), and can be download as a ready-built Windows program, or a full source pack, with AutoIt code, icons, includes, all that stuff, below. And that's all you need, right?

That and an FFmpeg binary, of course. It's also free, open-source software, and there are quite a few different versions kicking around. If you have some developer tools onboard, I recommend you checkout the source and build it yourself. Or else Google and take your pick..

This is generally reliable - all versions should work fine, though available options/flags/codes sometimes change between version; simply add/remove strings from your prefs; very easy to do in a decent text editor.

The latest version of ffe was built against ffmpeg.rev12665, which at the time of writing, is the most recent build there (and has been for months, so can be considered stable). Some options have changed from earlier versions of FFmpeg, notably the codec strings; xvid is now libxvid, for example, and mp3 is now libmp3lame, amongst other similarly obscure changes. These definitions have been updated in the new version of ffe.

There are still many items other that could be added to the codec drop-downs; you can do that in your prefs file, I added only a few that I recognize and/or use. See the formats.nfo document that comes with ffe (or run ffmpeg.exe -formats > formats.nfo to create your own) for cryptic details of the many other possible audio and video output formats.

NOTE: FFmpeg now has the option to not overwrite existing files. In fact, they made it the default! In light of this, I've added a preference to ffe's application menu, and set the default to overwrite files, as before. With MATOF™, this safety feature is rarely required.

If you disable overwrite (from ffe's application menu), and FFmpeg finds an existing file of the same name, it will prompt you, in the console, to respond with y/n to overwrite it - worry not, ffe can handle your y/n response, and pass it back to FFmpeg no problem - but if you have the console output disabled for some reason, you will miss this, and it will seem as if FFmpeg has hung. In this case, ffe will activate itself, and post a notice in its title bar, but if you have disabled overwriting, it is recommended that you run ffe with the console output enabled, which you surely do, anyway. I mean, how cool is it!

Command-line usage..

ffe can accept instructions on its command line. You can send it files, and they will be loaded into the input upon launch. You can also load presets at launch time..load(Preset Name). Or both. Finally, you can instruct ffe to jump right to it, start the conversion immediately.. go(Preset Name) Path to File. Examples..

To load a file at launch..
C:\path\to\ffe.exe E:\path\to\video.flv

To load a preset at launch (in this example, a preset named FLV to AVI)..
C:\path\to\ffe.exe load(FLV to AVI)

To load that same preset at launch, but override its input files with a different file..
C:\path\to\ffe.exe load(FLV to AVI) E:\path\to\video.flv

Load a file (with a long path, including spaces, enclosed in "quotes"), and begin conversion immediately, using the quite fictional Convert to MPG preset..
C:\path\to\ffe.exe go(Convert to MPG) "E:\very\long path\to some\video.flv"

Load a file, and begin conversion immediately, using your ffe default parameters..
C:\path\to\ffe.exe go(ffe) E:\path\to\video.flv

If you supply an input file path on the command-line, your output file input [sic] will be automatically filled with its converted counterpart, and if MATOF™ is enabled, the preset's parameters inserted into its name, ready-to-go.

Portable Install..

Like most of my software, if ffe finds an ini file next to itself, it switches to portable mode. In other words, if you want a portable installation, simply copy an ffe.ini file next to ffe.exe. You're done. Your ffe.ini is probably here..

C:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Application Data\corz\ffe

On Vista, here..

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\corz\ffe

If you are new to ffe, and want to start with a fresh portable install, do your first run using the special portable switch..

C:\path\to\ffe.exe portable

Which will create a fresh ini file right next to ffe, for instant portable operation. Tada! Remember to drop your FFmpeg binary (ffmpeg.exe) in there, too. Using portable preference files, you can also run multiple copies of ffe on a single system, each with a different set of options, which sounds handy for someone.

Replace your old ffe.exe with the new one. That's it.

ffe will update your ini file automatically, adding any new settings, whilst keeping your existing preferences and presets intact. However …

If you are upgrading from an ffe version < 0.9 :   Because ffe will always honour your existing settings when upgrading your preferences file, you won't get the FFmpeg-updated codec strings in your codec drop-downs (as these are user preferences). Solution: rename/move ffe.ini. ffe will create a fresh ini file for you, containing updated everything - then copy back any presets out of old-ffe.ini.

Itstory..

ffe's itstory is too lengthy to include here. If you want to know what's been changed, fixed, updated, broken, and so on, check out the itstory

Quick Start..

If you can't be bothered reading this page right now, there's a short, quick-start type guide, here. I'll include it in the next release.

Like FFmpeg, ffe is free to download, and free to use, though all donations are warmly accepted. If you discover a bug, please let me know about it.

Note: You will need a unicode capable Windows® system to run ffe, that is; Windows 2000, 2K3, XP, Vista, 7,8 and later Windows operating systems. ffe will not run on Windows 9x and ME.

LIVE MD5+SHA1 Multi-Hashes..
﻿# made with checksum.. point-and-click hashing for windows. (64-bit edition) # from corz.org.. http://corz.org/windows/software/checksum/ # #md5#ffe.zip#2013.11.02@22.05:47 719fe4d09169c9a9cce7867d0882f39f *ffe.zip #sha1#ffe.zip#2013.11.02@22.05:47 cfbcc4b9cfb0f6aac6940f5ce8151362c12c8852 *ffe.zip

ffe x64
LIVE MD5+SHA1 Multi-Hashes..
﻿# made with checksum.. point-and-click hashing for windows. (64-bit edition) # from corz.org.. http://corz.org/windows/software/checksum/ # #md5#ffe_x64.zip#2013.11.02@22.05:44 aed9ec7f3a74d6883b5d1f5e897ab31b *ffe_x64.zip #sha1#ffe_x64.zip#2013.11.02@22.05:44 84d6a7cd8e4eadbbd4a32a6f6bd903b55c83f775 *ffe_x64.zip

The source pack contains everything you need (at least from me) to build ffe for yourself; AutoIt code, icons, includes, documentation, etc. Note, you will need to use AutoItWrapper to add the icons for the buttons.

ffe source pack
LIVE MD5+SHA1 Multi-Hashes..
﻿# made with checksum.. point-and-click hashing for windows. # from corz.org.. http://corz.org/windows/software/checksum/ # 683399742f9d2478b913c7d5c7b724fa *ffe source pack.zip ed0398c8da8ad40cb28c4b164f5129dec8a148f6 *ffe source pack.zip
Have fun!

;o)

digiday - 24.12.10 11:00 pm

To "corz"

I'm using Windows 7 ULT on a 32 bit machine.

I got a zipped file "ffe.zip"... inside of that there is folder named ffe... inside of that there is "ffe.exe" and a folder named "info" inside of which are 3 files "formats.nfo, help.nfo, license.nfo".

When I right-click the "ffe.exe" file and select "Run as administrator" I get the system UAC panel that says,"Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher to make changes on this computer?", to which I select "Yes".

Then it brings up a window to select a file that says, "please locate the ffmpeg binary file", but there is NO ffmpeg binary file to be located.

As explained in Step 1 of the Quickstart guide, you need to download this separately. It does not come with FFE.

So I say cancel...

Well, I can't help you from this point; with no ffmpeg binary, ffe will not work. Have fun! ;o) Cor

then it brings up a window with the little green, yellow and orange "ffe" logo in the top left corner and the title, "ffe.. ffmeg front-end" and in that window I see how I can use "input parameter override" and "output parameter override" and how I can select the path to the file that I want to convert from WMV to MPEG, and how I can select where the converted file will be located when it is done converting.

In this "ffe.. ffmpeg front-end" interface window, in the "command-line" field, there are default commands, -i"" -y"" ... but in this interface there is no "Do It!" button as described in the first paragraph on your home page, nor is there any way to activate the process of converting this file... no "save" or "convert" or any "go" button of any kind.

So I figure, maybe it needs this mysterious "ffmpeg binary file" that it wanted me to locate.

So I looked at you "Quick Start" webpage that, at the beginning, disclaims that this website that "corz" is recommending to download a different file from has anything to do with him.

So I copy the URL from the line, "Go here: http://ffdshow.faireal.net/mirror/ffmpeg/" and the big line at the top of the page says, "Index of /mirror/ffmpeg"... so I select the most recent link for download that says "ffmpeg.rev12665.7z 02-Apr-2008 04:36 2.5M"

On that "Index of /mirror/ffmpeg" webpage, "corz" says, "You should now have three files in that folder..

ffplay.exe
ffmpeg.exe

3. Drop ffe.exe into the same folder, next to these three files, so now you have four.

4. Launch ffe.exe"

But when I downloaded the file from the link ""ffmpeg.rev12665.7z 02-Apr-2008 04:36 2.5M" I get a file with a blank white icon titled "ffmpeg.rev12665.7z" that is NOT a zipped folder as described by "corz"... this file will do nothing and Windows does not recognize it.

So I think maybe this is the mysterious "ffmpeg binary file" that the original "ffe" was asking for before it got to the interface without the famed "Do It!" button that "corz" talks about... but when I navigate to this "ffmpeg.rev12665.7z" file from the 2nd download, "ffe" does not see the "ffmpeg.rev12665.7z" file.

This is the silly odyssey that I have been taken through for the last two hours while trying to use "ffe" that was recommended to me on email from an industry programmer... he is not available for comment at this time.

This was all after trying the also recommended "VLC" to convert WMV to MPEG files... with "VLC" I wasted 8 hours trying various methods of conversion only to end up with 7 useless files that play something that looks like terrible digital modern art by the grandson of Jackson Pollock... but at least "VLC" produced some kind of useless video file, which is more than I can say for the silly "ffe" acid trip that I just went through.

What's the deal here?

digiday

digiday - 25.12.10 4:25 am

I've been wading through more of your instructions that are incognito, masquerading as programmers' secret code... apparently the installation or function of ffe depends upon a file called "ffe.ini" that is supposed to be in the "AppData" folder inside "Roaming", inside of a folder called, of all irritating names, "corz"... but if the application hasn't yet been able to install, why then would there already be a folder named "corz" and a file within it called "ffe.ini" waiting on my hard drive to be used to install ffe or make it functional?

It's like the chicken or the egg... catch 22... can't have one before the other kind of thing, right?

And then according to your rambling secret code "instructions" you say, "Tada! Remember to drop your FFmpeg binary (ffmpeg.exe) in there, too"... like I should already know that from when?... so where is this "ffmpeg.exe" supposed to be coming from... it's 17 simple steps, and then "Tada" your software doesn't work! "Tada!"

Corz, you are apparently living in a programmers code world where you believe that we all already have a mysterious set of files that you are referring to that simply doesn't exist yet on our computers.

Or we are supposed to know something that isn't published on your webpage... where is the installer that makes all of this work?

Wait, I'd like to donate first... in my next life.

digiday

digiday - 25.12.10 7:46 am

Update...

Within five minutes of downloading “WinFF”, it’s installed, working and converting video... within 15 minutes it turned a 310 MB, 3:51 minute WMV format video file in to the highest possible quality MP4 file, 66 MBs in size that plays flawlessly in the iTunes app... this is the way your software should work.

I’m just sorry I didn’t try WinFF before wasting a day with “VLC” and “ffe" (which would never even install).

by-by ffe

digiday

digiday - 25.12.10 7:49 am

Also, you're message that says...

You must wait three seconds before trying again.
If you believe this is in error, please mail cor about it!
<bugs at corz dot org>"

comes up after just one click every time I click "publish" on this comments interface... this works as well as ffe.

johnny - 11.01.11 12:52 am

Hello,

HELP!!

I installed the ffe.exe but I don't show a do it button any where!!
Do you know why this is???

Resize the window; making it bigger. ;o) Cor

Chris - 05.02.11 2:49 pm

Hi Guys,

Have been trying to download FFE from a public workstation at the library, but McAfee identifies it as being malware, and "cleans" it. Is it possible to make the file available as an encrypted 7z file with a simple password (123) so that McAfee can't identify its signature?
------------
Best regards,
Chris

Alternatively, install an AV that works. ;o) Cor

dE - 16.02.11 4:56 am

What is this? Another rubbish pieace crap made for Bill Gates by his fanboys?

Matt - 20.06.11 4:38 am

For starters thanks a bunch for this. It's nice having a gui way to run ffmpeg on Windows.

Next, I'm taking your advice on batch processing files. However when I queue up commands in Batch Runner and run them, it seems that I must close ffe before it starts the next command. I'm just using a command like your example, and I have two of them in my queue like this:

So the first one runs, then it just stops until I close ffe and the second one runs. Is there any way to trigger ffe to close on completion from the command line, or some other way to approach the problem? Thanks!

It would be simple enough to hack in a switch to get ffe to shutdown at the end of the convertion process. Source is available, feel free. I'll add it to my 2do list for the next version. ;o) Cor

Bob Morrison - 26.06.11 12:35 am

paulr - 03.07.11 7:33 am

Nice little program.

Have given it a try (MOV to XVID) and it works but i can not get the bit rate i want. Manually set it to 8000 kbits/s and all i get is around 2600 and the output is really pixelated. No where near the quality i want or need.

What's going on here?

Also, is it possible to get a double pass to improve quality?

Has potential but not as it is working for me

cheers

These are ffmpeg issues, not ffe issues. Check the ffmpeg manual. I'm pretty sure the two-pass instructions are there. ;o) Cor

Gilbert Bani - 15.11.12 10:42 pm

Great Idea I just can't use it.

What I'm looking for is a drop folder where audio files are dropped.

The program picks up any files and converts to new setting automatically. Which I'm sure you will do next.

Thanks

Oh yes! That's right at the top of my 2do list! ;o) Cor

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