What options do I have to convert media files (mostly .avi files) to the formats supported for Chromecast?

Specifically, this Chromecast FAQ recommends:

Encode in H.264 Codec MP4. Keep the Video Bitrate lower than 4000 

I'm ok with any software on Linux / Windows, but preferably:

  • takes command line / has batch processing feature, so that the process can be automated
  • not requires much CPU power (ideally can run on a Raspberry Pi)
  • I'd note that encoding is generally heavy, even on a PC. The tradeoff for not needing power is taking time - I've had encodes take between 2x realtime (on a c2d) to maybe 1/6th realtime using quicksync. Your best option is really to encode elsewhere and use the raspi as a server. From my own experiences the raspi can't really handle a full 100mbps connection either. – Journeyman Geek Jul 14 '14 at 0:42
  • Jeff, in case you need to make a tradeoff, do you care more about CPU power or about quality? – Nicolas Raoul Jul 16 '14 at 4:19
  • @nicolas i am ok with some quality loss, if it's fast enough on raspberry pi – XoXo Jul 16 '14 at 22:06
  • @JourneymanGeek thanks for the suggestion. i'm doing the encoding outside the raspberry pi. see my comment on the accepted answer. – XoXo Jul 20 '14 at 14:16

You can use FFmpeg:

  • Free and open-source
  • Cross platform and can be complied for RaspberryPi
  • Is CLI so you can batch.
  • 1
    i end up doing the encoding on a separate machine. for command i use the "CRF Example" in this guide: ffmpeg -i input -c:v libx264 -preset slow -crf 22 -c:a copy output.mkv – XoXo Jul 20 '14 at 14:13
  • 1
    an alternative command is listed in this superuser answer – XoXo Jul 20 '14 at 14:17

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