mencoder: mplayer’s less famous cousin

I am still debating whether or not to mention mplayer as part of this site; technically it’s nowhere near a console application.

On the other hand, we’ve seen some applications that rely on graphical access — particularly framebuffer support — to work, and others that will simply work without Xorg.

The rules have been bent often enough that mplayer will probably make it into the annals of history. 🙄

At the moment though, I should mention mencoder, which I don’t hear much about these days. I can’t account for that, other than its probable raging unpopularity among the graphically reliant.


Not much to show there — or at least, not much more than imagemagick or lilypond or some other conversion tools.

mencoder primarily converts between video formats, if I understand the man pages at all. That can be the challenge, too: Between this and mplayer, the sheer volume of information to learn can be exceptionally daunting.

For my own part, mencoder’s awesomeness is rooted in its ability to edit video streams, to include rotating movies that were filmed with the camera at an angle. The need for that has come up as recently as Christmastime.

But mencoder also will crop, color-correct, stretch … just about anything mplayer can do, but without the video display. Which, as you might imagine, makes it a little less demanding on a lighter system.

I don’t have any mencoder tips or tricks to close this with. I am sure you can find plenty of those elsewhere on the web.

I will say that there are more than one GUI frontends for mencoder, if the challenge of typing out all the conversion and formatting flags is more than you can bear.

Then again, if that much typing isn’t of interest, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post, would you? 🙂