I have seen here a lot of questions regarding FFmpeg, but I didn't know it was a command line application until yesterday.

If we have GUI software like Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro? Apart from the expense, what are the benefits of such programs?

  • This question does not have a definitive answer and is only going to attract opinionated answers, hence it's not a good fit for Stack Exchange. Voting to close. There are plenty of reasons to use CLI software.
    – slhck
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 8:51
  • One of the reasons is enough to get the point, just like the answer below. @slhck
    – MEGA
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 20:01
  • Five words: batch processing via power shell.
    – user3643
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 20:45
  • 1
    Related: How to set up and use ffmpeg?
    – user3643
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 20:49
  • Like I said, there are plenty of reasons. It's free, open source, scriptable, extensible, fast, cross-platform, actively developed on a daily basis, user support, etc.
    – slhck
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


You have 10,000 videos that need to have a logo overlayed, subtitles burned in from srt files, and a standard copyright notice attached to the end. Then you need to make three different versions of each, at different sizes and codec settings. It's a quarter to five on Friday night.

Option 1, you spend all weekend doing it in a GUI app, and you have no life.

Option 2, you do it with ffmpeg, which can do all these things, you spend fifteen minutes setting up a CLI batch encoding script, and as the big hand points to 12 you leave it running and head for the pub.

  • Now that is something that can't be done in GUI app. Thank you @stib for this answer. I can see a benefit of learning FFmpeg, for example I could batch resize 4k footage before doing editing. As 4k slows down my machine.
    – MEGA
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 19:59
  • @mega Oh yeah. Anything you can do in PowerShell, previously cmd.
    – user3643
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 20:47
  • Oh definitely - Powershell or zsh, depending on your OS. Don't waste your time with cmd, and although bash is good zsh is betterer.
    – stib
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 3:30
  • Thank you guys, not sure what is PowerShell, bash and zsh? I am using CMD on Windows 7
    – MEGA
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 6:37
  • Powershell is a modern object-oriented shell scripting language. You can certainly use cmd if you're used to it, but powershell is so much easier to use, and hooks into the .NET framework to give you a whole bunch more of useful tools. Bash and Zsh are shells for posix systems, like Linux, BSD and OSX.
    – stib
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 7:04

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