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I am looking for a 'free' command line tool that can extract frames from videos.

I looked into ffmpeg, vlc, libav, avidemux. All of them have GPL 2, requiring the user to include source code of the library in his application, which is not possible for me. I also looked into opencv and imagemagick. Both do have this feature, but both use ffmpeg under the hood. Without ffmpeg, opencv loses almost all its video manipulating capacity and won't be able to extract frames from most popular video types.

Is there any command line utility that will allow me to extract frame from video and also let me include it in my application without any hassle, like Boost License or MIT License?

Platform requirements - Mac and Windows.

  • One of the problems that you will have is that things like the MPEG algorithms are patented and that patent is enforced. You might find ffmpeg.org/legal.html useful. – Steve Barnes May 17 '15 at 7:49
  • Yes, I read them. But why should mpeg algorithms be required to extract frames from all kinds of videos? – SexyBeast May 17 '15 at 8:03
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    Since you don't specify which kinds of video and state you are after most of the popular types I assumed that you were looking to support most of the popular types - many of which use MPEG derived encoding. – Steve Barnes May 17 '15 at 8:06
  • Oh yes, true that. Many of the videos will be MP4, that is by far the most common types of video I find. Sigh. So it is not possible then. :( – SexyBeast May 17 '15 at 8:12
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    You could ship vanilla, unmodified, ffmpeg, with due attribution in your documents, or a link to download it if it is missing and use it in the back-end processing but if it is a commercial product you are still likely to run into the same issues. – Steve Barnes May 17 '15 at 8:24

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