Help:Converting video/WebEx

This page will explain how to get onto Commons videos produced in an edge-case which is sometimes mission-critical for Wikimedia, that is by converting recording of WebEx videoconferences, often used by the Wikimedia Foundation.[1]

  • Get a WebEx arf video (their unusable proprietary format). Short version follows (a longer one for WMV).
    1. Record the WebEx with the built-in option.
    2. Download it.
    3. Use Network Recording Player (Windows or Mac OSX only) to convert it to MP4 (this is what we use here but WMV can work too).
    4. Now you can use it with most tools, we'll present three options from (potentially) simplest to (potentially) hardest.
  • Just want to get something to upload whatever it is? Register and upload it to archive.org! No worries about metadata, formats or sizes. Just choose a title which makes sense and add a handful words in the other fields, then use their web uploader (cross-platform) and finally choose "movie > community video" as mediatype/collection. Wait some minutes for the conversion to happen. Results are better with actual movies and other big videos it seems (example).
  • Convert it to ogv and optionally crop it with ffmpeg2theora (main help: Help:Converting video#ffmpeg2theora; WebEx editor is said to be horrible[2]).
    1. Simplest command possible if you don't need editing: ffmpeg2theora $inputfile -o $outputfile
    2. Example command with cropping (see result): ffmpeg2theora $inputfile -s 30 -e 990 --videoquality 8 --audioquality 6 --croptop 50 --cropbottom 164 --cropright 142 --cropleft 124 -o $outputfile
      • -s and -e specify the time in second where to start and end;
      • --videoquality 8 --audioquality 6 are the suggested quality settings (might need to be lower if the video is long and you hit the upload size limit);
      • --crop* are the amounts of pixels to cut.
  • Do whatever you want with MEncoder. This command-line tool is very powerful and can also be very simple as long as you do what he likes and you know what options to use (some are not documented). We do the editing with avi output and then the conversion with ffmpeg2theora because avi is what mencoder likes most and often assumes, so you can avoid digging most options and just use the defaults almost everywhere; of course this might be suboptimal.
    1. Edit the video as you want.
      1. Cropping is as simple as, for example: mencoder $input.mp4 -vf crop=738:496:45:88 -oac pcm -ovc lavc -o $output.avi
        • crop[=w:h:x:y] where: <w>,<h> are cropped (wanted) width and height, defaults to original width and height; <x>,<y> are the coordinates of the top left corner of the cropped area.
        • MEncoder also offers tools to interactively adjust the measures, but you can also use whatever tool yu're used to (for instance make a screenshot with VLC and measure on GIMP).
        • We're using the -oac pcm -ovc lavc audio and video codecs which mencoder prefers.
      2. Increasing volume is very simple, just add e.g. -af volume=+16db .[3]
    2. Finally just convert to ogg with the same ffmpeg2theora command as above.
    3. You could also convert to ogg in one pass; if you know how write it here...
Last modified on 22 August 2012, at 17:04