[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] ffmpeg: raise level for message printed in case of auto-select pixel format

Stefano Sabatini stefasab at gmail.com
Fri Aug 2 17:38:59 CEST 2013

On date Thursday 2013-08-01 03:30:40 +0200, Michael Niedermayer encoded:
> On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 02:46:22PM +0200, Stefano Sabatini wrote:
> > You just need an IA who asks questions to the users about what they
> > want, and who is able to interpret their answers (as alternative, a
> > knowledgeable human operator).
> At the risk of repeating myself but the question is about the default
> in the absence of additional information.
> Or stated differently the user told you to encode to h264 and that
> pretty much implies that he wants h264 that works for an UNSPECIFIED
> target or ANY target.
> like compiling C without extra switches generates a program that
> works on ANY reasonable variant of the host platform
> whats so hard on that so that we drift of in a discussion about
> a-bombs and spaceships (not mass produced items intended to be used by
> the general public currently)

> We do want ffmpeg to be useable by the general public for genral tasks
> the average joe might want to do.
> like "hey i want to convert my ogg to mp3, target device huh i want to
> share with friends no idea what they or their friends will use it on
> ...."

Just to make my point and at the risk of stating the obvious, then I
promise I won't post more on this thread.

Converting media files is not something the average joe/jane is
willing to do, especially if s/he has to use a commandline (and
probably do a git checkout, compile, and install). That is most
computer users don't need the level of sofistication required by
ffmpeg. If they know the difference between different container
formats or codecs they're probably advanced geeks already or computer
professionals, and they know also what's the difference between yuv420
and yuv444, in this case reading a message about pixel-format
compatibility issues will help.

Improving usability and getting sane defaults is a valuable endeavour
(but very hard to achieve in practice because of conflicting
instances), but I don't think this alone can avoid the need to have
specific domain-related knowledge and some level of expertise when
using ffmpeg.
FFmpeg = Funny & Foolish Mean Proud ExchanGer

More information about the ffmpeg-devel mailing list