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Convert movies on to H.264

When upgrading my* public IIS web server to Apache running on Ubuntu or Slackware (not decided yet) I also take the opportunity to convert all Mikael Richter's movies to H.264. I am planning to use ffmpeg to convert the files. Using H.264 makes it possible to view the files in Flash or on the iPhone.

  1. Copying the files from the server to my hard disk.

  2. Converting the files with ffmpeg. I know there are simpler ways like using a GUI ffmpeg frontend. But I need to learn the basics.

  3. Some ffmpeg H.264 resources I stumbled on:
    FFmpeg x264 encoding guide
    x264 QuickTime Codec 1.1

  4. Now I have used Quicktime, ffmpeg, and VLC to convert the files. I have also used SUPER and FFMpegX which are graphical frontends. 
    Quicktime complains about "Can't make file xxx into type alias". Restart the computer solved the problem!
    ffmpeg gives fairly bad sound. Need to figure out a command line that works. (I do that later)
    VLC crasched my computer!

  5. Thanks to Quicktime on my Mac (Snow Leopard) I am now ready with the conversion. I hade to rename them from .M4V to .MP4 to work with Flash. It might be a MIME type missing on the web server (hosted at Active24).

  6. Uploading the files to the web server and writing a javascript that will activate the videos when clicking on the DIV tag. 

  7. I am using JW Player for video playback. 

  8. I have briefly tested the new video web page with the major browsers. IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera on Mac, Ubuntu and Windows. Seems to work OK.

  9. This is the prototype site:

  10. Install Linux on the server took a while. I decided to install LAMP (Linux - Apache - MySql - PHP). I also installed Wordpress and Flash Streaming Media Development Server.

  11. Now the final site is running on

Reflections so far: Converting the video files, creating thumbnails, and presenting the content on a webpage is a burdensome manual task. Maybe the next time I try an Video CMS out. I have found a couple of Open Source Video CMS's that I will look into. Or.... is this something I can do with Google App Engine or Amazon EC2?

* I share the server it with my Mats Barkell ( and Mikael Richter (