ffe

logo for ffe - FFmpeg front-end for windows. it's converting some raw video from my camera - the logo is a simple large text of the three letters, coloured from top to bottom, green, yellow, red, in a smooth gradient.

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 and reencoding video to x265 (HEVC), 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.

ffe2 is here!

a star Screencaps a star

ffe, an ffmpeg front-end..

"What is a front-end?", you might ask. Simply put, ffmpeg is the "back-end", a command-line program that converts multimedia files. ffe sits in front of ffmpeg, so to speak, and enables you to access this command-line tool's many, many functions from a convenient graphics user interface, aka "GUI".

ffe goes further, providing oodles of useful features, the sort of things you might need when working with ffmpeg, such as..

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.

Installation..

Installation is simple. Here is the entire process. Also available in plain text, here.

  1. Go here: (note: this site has nothing to do with me)

    http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

    Download the latest release (you will most likely want the static build, either 32 or 64 bit).

  2. Unzip that file to somewhere, probably inside your program files, e.g..

    C:\Program Files\video tools\ffmpeg

    If you don't have an unzipping utility that can handle the 7z (7-Zip) format, see here:

    http://www.7-zip.org/

    7-Zip is free. WinRAR (not free) can also handle the format.

    You should now have some files in that folder, including..

    ffmpeg.exe

  3. Drop ffe.exe into the same folder, next to ffmpeg.exe for instant operation. You can keep them in separate places, too - ffe will ask you where your ffmpeg binary is before you start work.

  4. Launch ffe.exe

How it works..

ffe's operation is also simple. Drop media files onto ffe's input. Set your parameters and click "do it". ffe constructs a set of command-line arguments for ffmpeg and launches ffmpeg with those arguments.

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

logo for ffe

Everything below this point (aside from the downloads) relates to the original ffe. The information is mostly all still true, only now there is a lot more of it.

There are a LOT of changes in the ffe2, and I will update this page as quickly as possible, moving it above this notice. In the meantime..

You can download and play with ffe2. Click the logo (above) or HUGE notice for a quick route to the downloads. You will notice ffe is comprehensively self-documented - there are tooltips for everything. Hover your mouse anywhere in ffe for useful info.

Get details of all the new features, as well as lots of tricks, tips and hints, from the latest ffe itstory.

Or check out some screencaps of the latest version in action, here.

Want some funky transparent images for your drop window? Access my stash of ffe goodies here.

Original ffe info follows..

ffe - FFmpeg front-end for windows. it's just made an MP3 of a 'classic' track!
ffe - FFmpeg front-end for windows, the application menu has been activated

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.

And by files, I also mean URLs. http and ftp and both fine. You can grab the first 100 frames of a movie online (or any number of frames from any part, though near the start makes sense), check it out, and then if it's what you want, download it!

ffmpeg can handle lots of other internet protocols, too. Want to grab a chunk from a RTMP stream? Or grab an nice cool Icecast or pluck some Apple HTTP Live Stream? No problem! More details here.

URLs also work for output files; you could grab part of a movie stream and save it directly to a remote FTP server (ftp username and password in the usual format is supported). Quite why one would want to do this is uncertain, but there you have it; flexibility!

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, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc.. 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.

FAQ..

Q: I've changed a bunch of settings. I want to save this to my default "ffe" preset. How do I do this without first loading the default preset and obliterating the settings I just made?

A: Type "ffe" (no quotes) into the presets drop-down and hit (Shift+) "Save".

Q: When I choose MPEG4 for the video codec I get an .mp4 file, but when I use libx264 or libx265 I only get .mkv.

A: .mkv is probably set as your default output type and MATOF is enabled. Change (inside ffe.ini)..

default_extension=mkv

to..

default_extension=mp4

Upgrading..

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.

ffe download..

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.

click to see zip archive contents

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#2015.11.03@13.09:26 874b514c1e664208b89f3b0974c954b2 *ffe.zip #sha1#ffe.zip#2015.11.03@13.09:26 aba669369bab18e7ab0b29720d2e9e7dac23508e *ffe.zip
download

ffe x64

click to see zip archive contents

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#2015.11.03@13.09:32 1c5e5fd7ceef99c730cbbf556826bee9 *ffe_x64.zip #sha1#ffe_x64.zip#2015.11.03@13.09:32 9d1225d2ec86cd7688b4f1592f63bb0e880cfb9d *ffe_x64.zip

download ffe source pack..

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.

download

ffe source pack

click to see zip archive contents

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 source pack.zip#2015.11.03@13.09:29 e557b1632b0021efefd9374c21d4a3f7 *ffe source pack.zip #sha1#ffe source pack.zip#2015.11.03@13.09:29 a9e00cd311ab5f1097bddfbeae43350b554cb6e4 *ffe source pack.zip

Have fun!

;o)

ps. if you have any problems, questions and what-not, leave a comment, below..

known bugs, foibles and limitations..

The location of Mediainfo.exe (if you use the excellent Mediainfo for media reporting) will not be remembered. Please set it manually inside ffe.ini. You can use @tokens.

If you launch ffe with an empty ffe.ini file, it will crash.

When set to use Mediainfo for reporting,


Welcome to the comments facility!


previous comments (seven pages)   show all comments

SB - 17.10.10 8:51 pm

Very interesting GUI. My need is to convert an MPG to a SWF.

ffe fails with the following message:
Stream #0.0 -> #0.0
Stream #0.1 -> #0.1
Could not write header for output file #0 (incorrect codec parameters ?)

I do not see an output codec for SWF in ffe.

Can you help?

As a not very good workaround, I found that if I first converted the MPG to FLV, I could then use ffe to convert the FLV to SWF without specifying any other information.

However, the video quality takes a big hit from the two sequential compressions.

Can you advise how to get better results for the SWF output?

Thanks a bunch.


Paul - 25.10.10 12:53 am

Foo eh bro. I don't have the three files you talked about in your quick start.

ffplay.exe
pthreadGC2.dll
ffmpeg.exe

i've got like more than 20 files in the root of my ffmpeg. Anyway, I dropped in the ffe.exe file like you said and hoped like hell it would work, but I got the popup saying "Please locate the ffmpeg binary". Shall I just ignore this and hope for the best? :-)

You need to download those files from elsewhere, or build your own versions; they don't come with FFE. See Step 1 of the Quickstart guide. ;o) Cor



digiday - 24.12.10 11:00 pm

To "corz"

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

I downloaded ffe from the link on your page... http://corz.org/windows/software/ffe

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
pthreadGC2.dll
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...

"Please don't hammer corz.org!
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. smiley for :) 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:

C:\path\to\ffe.exe load(FLV to AVI) E:\path\to\video.flv
C:\path\to\ffe.exe load(FLV to AVI) E:\path\to\video.flv

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

Thanks for the free download.


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