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How To Convert .VOB to .mp4 and Reduce Video Size with ffmpeg

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In the realm of video processing and conversion, FFmpeg stands as a powerful, versatile tool. It can handle a wide range of video and audio formats, making it an invaluable tool for anyone working with multimedia files. In this article, we will delve into how to convert .VOB files to .mp4 and reduce video size using FFmpeg.

Quick Answer

To convert .VOB files to .mp4 and reduce video size with ffmpeg, you can use the following command:

ffmpeg -i input.vob -vf format=yuv420p -crf 28 output.mp4

This command will convert the .VOB file to .mp4 format while reducing the file size. Adjust the -crf value to control the output quality. Remember to experiment with different settings to find the right balance between file size and video quality.

What is FFmpeg?

FFmpeg is a free, open-source software project consisting of a vast software suite of libraries and programs for handling video, audio, and other multimedia files and streams. It is a command-line tool that is available across operating systems.

What are .VOB and .mp4 files?

.VOB (Video Object) files are a container format in DVD-Video media, which can contain digital video, audio, subtitles, DVD menus, and navigation contents. On the other hand, .mp4 is a digital multimedia container format most commonly used to store video and audio, but it can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images.

Conversion Process

Installing FFmpeg

Before we start the conversion process, ensure that FFmpeg is installed on your system. If it’s not, you can download it from the official FFmpeg website.

Basic Conversion

The simplest command to convert a .VOB file to .mp4 is:

ffmpeg -i input.vob output.mp4

In this command, -i is used to specify the input file, which in this case is input.vob. The output file is specified without a flag, which is output.mp4 in this case.

This command will convert the .VOB file to .mp4 using default settings. However, this might not reduce the file size as you might expect.

Reducing Video Size

To reduce the file size, you need to re-encode the video and audio. Re-encoding can result in some loss of quality, so you may want to experiment with different settings to find the right balance between file size and video quality.

Here’s the updated command:

ffmpeg -i input.vob -vf format=yuv420p output.mp4

In this command, -vf is used to specify video filters. format=yuv420p is the filter that ensures the video is encoded in the widely supported YUV420 pixel format.

Quality Control

If you want to control the output quality, you can use the -crf option, which stands for “Constant Rate Factor”. It’s a quality-controlled variable bitrate mode, and it ranges from 0 to 51 for H.264 (the default codec for .mp4 files in FFmpeg). Lower values mean better quality but larger file sizes, and 23 is the default.

Here’s how you can use it:

ffmpeg -i input.vob -vf format=yuv420p -crf 28 output.mp4

In this command, -crf 28 is used to specify the quality of the output file. This should give you a smaller file size with good quality.

Conclusion

FFmpeg is a powerful tool for video conversion and processing. With the right commands and options, you can easily convert .VOB files to .mp4 and reduce their size. Remember to experiment with different settings to find the right balance between file size and video quality.

How long does it take to convert a .VOB file to .mp4 using FFmpeg?

The conversion time depends on various factors such as the size of the input file, the processing power of your system, and the settings you choose for the conversion. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Can I convert multiple .VOB files to .mp4 at once?

Yes, you can convert multiple .VOB files to .mp4 at once using FFmpeg. Simply specify all the input files separated by spaces in the command, and FFmpeg will process them sequentially.

Can I convert .VOB files to other video formats besides .mp4?

Yes, FFmpeg supports a wide range of video formats, so you can convert .VOB files to formats such as .avi, .mkv, .mov, and more. Just change the file extension in the output file name to the desired format.

Can I convert .VOB files to audio-only formats using FFmpeg?

Yes, you can extract the audio from .VOB files and convert them to audio-only formats such as .mp3 or .aac using FFmpeg. You can use the -vn option to disable video processing and only extract the audio.

Can I convert .mp4 files to .VOB using FFmpeg?

Yes, you can convert .mp4 files to .VOB using FFmpeg. However, keep in mind that .VOB files are typically used in DVD-Video media and have specific requirements such as MPEG-2 video and AC-3 audio. You may need to adjust the settings and parameters accordingly to ensure compatibility with DVD players.

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