I almost never get stuck with things like this and kinda figure things out myself... but I'm at a complete loss here.

I've used Handbrake, X-Media Recode, and lots of other encoders and they're great.. but they just don't have clearly defined options for maximum and minimum bitrate control in VBR. That, or I just can't find the options. Is there a GUI I could use for this? Or is it only possible through command-line in x264 core? I've only been able to work with constant bitrate so far and I REALLY need to use variable bitrate.

I found these extra options and I think they might be for variable bitrate.. but experimenting and encoding with that still produces a result with constant bitrate:

VBV buffer size, VBV maximum bitrate, VBV initial buffer and Bitrate variance.

Any help would be appreciated.

  • What you are looking for is a way to achieve the "Bitrate range" I suppose?
    – Irfan
    Commented Dec 5, 2011 at 9:28

2 Answers 2


From http://ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg.html , you can do this in CLI.. not sure about GUI.

‘-maxrate bitrate’

Set max video bitrate (in bit/s). Requires -bufsize to be set.

‘-minrate bitrate’

Set min video bitrate (in bit/s). Most useful in setting up a CBR encode

Eg: "ffmpeg -i myfile.avi -b:v 4000k -minrate 4000k -maxrate 4000k -bufsize 1835k out.m2v"


Power-Inside provided a clear answer but there's a bit more too it.

You have to specify the maximum bitrate for "video" specifically, to achieve that you have to use this:

ffmpeg -i myfile.avi -b:v 4000k -minrate:v 4000k -maxrate:v 4000k -bufsize 1835k out.m2v

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