There is a similar question on windows video converters, but my question is just different enough I believe to warrant being asked.

I am looking for a video converter (freeware or shareware) that can handle many "from" and "to" formats for Windows that can be invoked from the command line. The idea is to script with this program to convert many videos at once.

I would like a different list of answers because I have found that Total Video Converter for instance can convert all my videos fine with the gui download, but with the command line download I only get about 70% success rate. I have not tried HandBrake yet, but this program also has separate gui and command line downloads which has me worried.

So what does have a high success rate and support for many formats among the command line tools/versions?

2 Answers 2


You can use libav. I've used in Linux Ubuntu and it works great.

  • wide range of formats
  • LGPL and GPL licenses
  • multi-platform

From here you can download Windows builds (libav-10-winXX.7z is the latest). Here is the help page for avconv.

Here is an usage example from the help page:

avconv.exe -i h264.mp4 -c:v copy -bsf:v h264_mp4toannexb -an out.h264

Here is how I used it to record TV tuner input:

avconv -f alsa -i pulse -f video4linux2 -channel 1 -s 768x576 -i /dev/video0 -deinterlace -c:v mpeg2video -c:a ac3 -b:v 4000k -b:a 192k -aspect 16:9 out.mpg

I will give others a chance to get the best answer, but I will give my findings.

HandBrake was 100% successful for me. My test set included the following formats: mpg, mov, flv, api, wmv, 3gp. I am converting to wmv. Obviously I do not have to convert from wmv to wmv. I was able to convert 17 total movies of size 4.4GB combined in 45 minutes. I have a relatively fast machine I believe compared to others, but more meaningfully the same process took over 90 minutes using Total Video Converter.

So in conclusion, I think HandBrake is also a candidate when considering only command-line solutions.

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