Joe Schmoe
Posts: 4277
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:11 pm

ffmpeg vs. avconv (battle of egos?)

Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:48 am

(Not directly related to the Pi, but I discovered this little brouhaha while working on the Pi. And note that there have been quite a few references to avconv here & there…)

Anyway, I installed ffmpeg onto my B+ Raspbian system (Side note of "some" interest: I think ffmpeg used to be installed by default in Raspbian; now you need to do it yourself). When I run it, I get a big glaring message to the effect that this program is "deprecated" and should not be used. This, of course, seems odd, since "ffmpeg" is a grand old program that lots of people use and it is hard to believe that it is now "deprecated".

Well, a bit of Googling reveals that there is an ego war behind it. Some people forked the code and decided to insert that message just to scare people. I found the following fragment of text:
The "deprecated" message was designed to mislead users on purpose. The fake, so-called ffmpeg from the fork has been deprecated for avconv. Development of real ffmpeg from FFmpeg is very active. See:

Who can tell me the difference and relation between ffmpeg, libav, and avconv?
The FFmpeg/Libav situation
Anyway, it seems to me that it would be better if the Pi went with the "real" ffmpeg instead of this fork. Apparently, the Debian people went with the fork, for reasons that are not at all clear.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 3326
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:45 pm

Re: ffmpeg vs. avconv (battle of egos?)

Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:00 pm

AIUI it was more than just "some people forked the code". My understanding is there was a split in the ffmpeg development team, one side kept the ffmpeg name the other went to the libav name. The people who debian had been working with were on the libav side of the split and so debian got libav.

There have been some big arguments arround this in debian lately as it seems the ffpmeg side of the split is doing better upstream. Unfortunately the security team doesn't want more than one fork of ffpmeg in a stable release and it's too late now to change everything over for jessie. So it's almost certain that jessie will continue with libav and jessie+1 may or may not switch to ffmpeg. It's also not beyond the realms of possibility that there will be some sort of reconcillation between the two projects.

Return to “General discussion”