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1 Demuxers

Demuxers are configured elements in FFmpeg that can read the multimedia streams from a particular type of file.

When you configure your FFmpeg build, all the supported demuxers are enabled by default. You can list all available ones using the configure option --list-demuxers.

You can disable all the demuxers using the configure option --disable-demuxers, and selectively enable a single demuxer with the option --enable-demuxer=DEMUXER, or disable it with the option --disable-demuxer=DEMUXER.

The option -demuxers of the ff* tools will display the list of enabled demuxers. Use -formats to view a combined list of enabled demuxers and muxers.

The description of some of the currently available demuxers follows.

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1.1 aa

Audible Format 2, 3, and 4 demuxer.

This demuxer is used to demux Audible Format 2, 3, and 4 (.aa) files.

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1.2 applehttp

Apple HTTP Live Streaming demuxer.

This demuxer presents all AVStreams from all variant streams. The id field is set to the bitrate variant index number. By setting the discard flags on AVStreams (by pressing ’a’ or ’v’ in ffplay), the caller can decide which variant streams to actually receive. The total bitrate of the variant that the stream belongs to is available in a metadata key named "variant_bitrate".

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1.3 apng

Animated Portable Network Graphics demuxer.

This demuxer is used to demux APNG files. All headers, but the PNG signature, up to (but not including) the first fcTL chunk are transmitted as extradata. Frames are then split as being all the chunks between two fcTL ones, or between the last fcTL and IEND chunks.

-ignore_loop bool

Ignore the loop variable in the file if set.

-max_fps int

Maximum framerate in frames per second (0 for no limit).

-default_fps int

Default framerate in frames per second when none is specified in the file (0 meaning as fast as possible).

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1.4 asf

Advanced Systems Format demuxer.

This demuxer is used to demux ASF files and MMS network streams.

-no_resync_search bool

Do not try to resynchronize by looking for a certain optional start code.

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1.5 concat

Virtual concatenation script demuxer.

This demuxer reads a list of files and other directives from a text file and demuxes them one after the other, as if all their packets had been muxed together.

The timestamps in the files are adjusted so that the first file starts at 0 and each next file starts where the previous one finishes. Note that it is done globally and may cause gaps if all streams do not have exactly the same length.

All files must have the same streams (same codecs, same time base, etc.).

The duration of each file is used to adjust the timestamps of the next file: if the duration is incorrect (because it was computed using the bit-rate or because the file is truncated, for example), it can cause artifacts. The duration directive can be used to override the duration stored in each file.

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1.5.1 Syntax

The script is a text file in extended-ASCII, with one directive per line. Empty lines, leading spaces and lines starting with ’#’ are ignored. The following directive is recognized:

file path

Path to a file to read; special characters and spaces must be escaped with backslash or single quotes.

All subsequent file-related directives apply to that file.

ffconcat version 1.0

Identify the script type and version. It also sets the ‘safe’ option to 1 if it was -1.

To make FFmpeg recognize the format automatically, this directive must appear exactly as is (no extra space or byte-order-mark) on the very first line of the script.

duration dur

Duration of the file. This information can be specified from the file; specifying it here may be more efficient or help if the information from the file is not available or accurate.

If the duration is set for all files, then it is possible to seek in the whole concatenated video.

inpoint timestamp

In point of the file. When the demuxer opens the file it instantly seeks to the specified timestamp. Seeking is done so that all streams can be presented successfully at In point.

This directive works best with intra frame codecs, because for non-intra frame ones you will usually get extra packets before the actual In point and the decoded content will most likely contain frames before In point too.

For each file, packets before the file In point will have timestamps less than the calculated start timestamp of the file (negative in case of the first file), and the duration of the files (if not specified by the duration directive) will be reduced based on their specified In point.

Because of potential packets before the specified In point, packet timestamps may overlap between two concatenated files.

outpoint timestamp

Out point of the file. When the demuxer reaches the specified decoding timestamp in any of the streams, it handles it as an end of file condition and skips the current and all the remaining packets from all streams.

Out point is exclusive, which means that the demuxer will not output packets with a decoding timestamp greater or equal to Out point.

This directive works best with intra frame codecs and formats where all streams are tightly interleaved. For non-intra frame codecs you will usually get additional packets with presentation timestamp after Out point therefore the decoded content will most likely contain frames after Out point too. If your streams are not tightly interleaved you may not get all the packets from all streams before Out point and you may only will be able to decode the earliest stream until Out point.

The duration of the files (if not specified by the duration directive) will be reduced based on their specified Out point.

file_packet_metadata key=value

Metadata of the packets of the file. The specified metadata will be set for each file packet. You can specify this directive multiple times to add multiple metadata entries.


Introduce a stream in the virtual file. All subsequent stream-related directives apply to the last introduced stream. Some streams properties must be set in order to allow identifying the matching streams in the subfiles. If no streams are defined in the script, the streams from the first file are copied.

exact_stream_id id

Set the id of the stream. If this directive is given, the string with the corresponding id in the subfiles will be used. This is especially useful for MPEG-PS (VOB) files, where the order of the streams is not reliable.

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1.5.2 Options

This demuxer accepts the following option:


If set to 1, reject unsafe file paths. A file path is considered safe if it does not contain a protocol specification and is relative and all components only contain characters from the portable character set (letters, digits, period, underscore and hyphen) and have no period at the beginning of a component.

If set to 0, any file name is accepted.

The default is 1.

-1 is equivalent to 1 if the format was automatically probed and 0 otherwise.


If set to 1, try to perform automatic conversions on packet data to make the streams concatenable. The default is 1.

Currently, the only conversion is adding the h264_mp4toannexb bitstream filter to H.264 streams in MP4 format. This is necessary in particular if there are resolution changes.


If set to 1, every packet will contain the lavf.concat.start_time and the lavf.concat.duration packet metadata values which are the start_time and the duration of the respective file segments in the concatenated output expressed in microseconds. The duration metadata is only set if it is known based on the concat file. The default is 0.

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1.5.3 Examples

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1.6 dash

Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP demuxer.

This demuxer presents all AVStreams found in the manifest. By setting the discard flags on AVStreams the caller can decide which streams to actually receive. Each stream mirrors the id and bandwidth properties from the <Representation> as metadata keys named "id" and "variant_bitrate" respectively.

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1.7 flv, live_flv

Adobe Flash Video Format demuxer.

This demuxer is used to demux FLV files and RTMP network streams. In case of live network streams, if you force format, you may use live_flv option instead of flv to survive timestamp discontinuities.

ffmpeg -f flv -i myfile.flv ...
ffmpeg -f live_flv -i rtmp://<any.server>/anything/key ....
-flv_metadata bool

Allocate the streams according to the onMetaData array content.

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1.8 gif

Animated GIF demuxer.

It accepts the following options:


Set the minimum valid delay between frames in hundredths of seconds. Range is 0 to 6000. Default value is 2.


Set the maximum valid delay between frames in hundredth of seconds. Range is 0 to 65535. Default value is 65535 (nearly eleven minutes), the maximum value allowed by the specification.


Set the default delay between frames in hundredths of seconds. Range is 0 to 6000. Default value is 10.


GIF files can contain information to loop a certain number of times (or infinitely). If ‘ignore_loop’ is set to 1, then the loop setting from the input will be ignored and looping will not occur. If set to 0, then looping will occur and will cycle the number of times according to the GIF. Default value is 1.

For example, with the overlay filter, place an infinitely looping GIF over another video:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -ignore_loop 0 -i input.gif -filter_complex overlay=shortest=1 out.mkv

Note that in the above example the shortest option for overlay filter is used to end the output video at the length of the shortest input file, which in this case is ‘input.mp4’ as the GIF in this example loops infinitely.

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1.9 hls

HLS demuxer

It accepts the following options:


segment index to start live streams at (negative values are from the end).


’,’ separated list of file extensions that hls is allowed to access.


Maximum number of times a insufficient list is attempted to be reloaded. Default value is 1000.


Use persistent HTTP connections. Applicable only for HTTP streams. Enabled by default.


Use multiple HTTP connections for downloading HTTP segments. Enabled by default for HTTP/1.1 servers.

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1.10 image2

Image file demuxer.

This demuxer reads from a list of image files specified by a pattern. The syntax and meaning of the pattern is specified by the option pattern_type.

The pattern may contain a suffix which is used to automatically determine the format of the images contained in the files.

The size, the pixel format, and the format of each image must be the same for all the files in the sequence.

This demuxer accepts the following options:


Set the frame rate for the video stream. It defaults to 25.


If set to 1, loop over the input. Default value is 0.


Select the pattern type used to interpret the provided filename.

pattern_type accepts one of the following values.


Disable pattern matching, therefore the video will only contain the specified image. You should use this option if you do not want to create sequences from multiple images and your filenames may contain special pattern characters.


Select a sequence pattern type, used to specify a sequence of files indexed by sequential numbers.

A sequence pattern may contain the string "%d" or "%0Nd", which specifies the position of the characters representing a sequential number in each filename matched by the pattern. If the form "%d0Nd" is used, the string representing the number in each filename is 0-padded and N is the total number of 0-padded digits representing the number. The literal character ’%’ can be specified in the pattern with the string "%%".

If the sequence pattern contains "%d" or "%0Nd", the first filename of the file list specified by the pattern must contain a number inclusively contained between start_number and start_number+start_number_range-1, and all the following numbers must be sequential.

For example the pattern "img-%03d.bmp" will match a sequence of filenames of the form ‘img-001.bmp’, ‘img-002.bmp’, ..., ‘img-010.bmp’, etc.; the pattern "i%%m%%g-%d.jpg" will match a sequence of filenames of the form ‘i%m%g-1.jpg’, ‘i%m%g-2.jpg’, ..., ‘i%m%g-10.jpg’, etc.

Note that the pattern must not necessarily contain "%d" or "%0Nd", for example to convert a single image file ‘img.jpeg’ you can employ the command:

ffmpeg -i img.jpeg img.png

Select a glob wildcard pattern type.

The pattern is interpreted like a glob() pattern. This is only selectable if libavformat was compiled with globbing support.

glob_sequence (deprecated, will be removed)

Select a mixed glob wildcard/sequence pattern.

If your version of libavformat was compiled with globbing support, and the provided pattern contains at least one glob meta character among %*?[]{} that is preceded by an unescaped "%", the pattern is interpreted like a glob() pattern, otherwise it is interpreted like a sequence pattern.

All glob special characters %*?[]{} must be prefixed with "%". To escape a literal "%" you shall use "%%".

For example the pattern foo-%*.jpeg will match all the filenames prefixed by "foo-" and terminating with ".jpeg", and foo-%?%?%?.jpeg will match all the filenames prefixed with "foo-", followed by a sequence of three characters, and terminating with ".jpeg".

This pattern type is deprecated in favor of glob and sequence.

Default value is glob_sequence.


Set the pixel format of the images to read. If not specified the pixel format is guessed from the first image file in the sequence.


Set the index of the file matched by the image file pattern to start to read from. Default value is 0.


Set the index interval range to check when looking for the first image file in the sequence, starting from start_number. Default value is 5.


If set to 1, will set frame timestamp to modification time of image file. Note that monotonity of timestamps is not provided: images go in the same order as without this option. Default value is 0. If set to 2, will set frame timestamp to the modification time of the image file in nanosecond precision.


Set the video size of the images to read. If not specified the video size is guessed from the first image file in the sequence.

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1.10.1 Examples

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1.11 libgme

The Game Music Emu library is a collection of video game music file emulators.

See http://code.google.com/p/game-music-emu/ for more information.

Some files have multiple tracks. The demuxer will pick the first track by default. The ‘track_index’ option can be used to select a different track. Track indexes start at 0. The demuxer exports the number of tracks as tracks meta data entry.

For very large files, the ‘max_size’ option may have to be adjusted.

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1.12 libopenmpt

libopenmpt based module demuxer

See https://lib.openmpt.org/libopenmpt/ for more information.

Some files have multiple subsongs (tracks) this can be set with the ‘subsong’ option.

It accepts the following options:


Set the subsong index. This can be either ’all’, ’auto’, or the index of the subsong. Subsong indexes start at 0. The default is ’auto’.

The default value is to let libopenmpt choose.


Set the channel layout. Valid values are 1, 2, and 4 channel layouts. The default value is STEREO.


Set the sample rate for libopenmpt to output. Range is from 1000 to INT_MAX. The value default is 48000.

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1.13 mov/mp4/3gp/QuickTime

QuickTime / MP4 demuxer.

This demuxer accepts the following options:


Enable loading of external tracks, disabled by default. Enabling this can theoretically leak information in some use cases.


Allows loading of external tracks via absolute paths, disabled by default. Enabling this poses a security risk. It should only be enabled if the source is known to be non malicious.

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1.14 mpegts

MPEG-2 transport stream demuxer.

This demuxer accepts the following options:


Set size limit for looking up a new synchronization. Default value is 65536.


Override teletext packet PTS and DTS values with the timestamps calculated from the PCR of the first program which the teletext stream is part of and is not discarded. Default value is 1, set this option to 0 if you want your teletext packet PTS and DTS values untouched.


Output option carrying the raw packet size in bytes. Show the detected raw packet size, cannot be set by the user.


Scan and combine all PMTs. The value is an integer with value from -1 to 1 (-1 means automatic setting, 1 means enabled, 0 means disabled). Default value is -1.

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1.15 mpjpeg

MJPEG encapsulated in multi-part MIME demuxer.

This demuxer allows reading of MJPEG, where each frame is represented as a part of multipart/x-mixed-replace stream.


Default implementation applies a relaxed standard to multi-part MIME boundary detection, to prevent regression with numerous existing endpoints not generating a proper MIME MJPEG stream. Turning this option on by setting it to 1 will result in a stricter check of the boundary value.

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1.16 rawvideo

Raw video demuxer.

This demuxer allows one to read raw video data. Since there is no header specifying the assumed video parameters, the user must specify them in order to be able to decode the data correctly.

This demuxer accepts the following options:


Set input video frame rate. Default value is 25.


Set the input video pixel format. Default value is yuv420p.


Set the input video size. This value must be specified explicitly.

For example to read a rawvideo file ‘input.raw’ with ffplay, assuming a pixel format of rgb24, a video size of 320x240, and a frame rate of 10 images per second, use the command:

ffplay -f rawvideo -pixel_format rgb24 -video_size 320x240 -framerate 10 input.raw

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1.17 sbg

SBaGen script demuxer.

This demuxer reads the script language used by SBaGen http://uazu.net/sbagen/ to generate binaural beats sessions. A SBG script looks like that:

a: 300-2.5/3 440+4.5/0
b: 300-2.5/0 440+4.5/3
off: -
NOW      == a
+0:07:00 == b
+0:14:00 == a
+0:21:00 == b
+0:30:00    off

A SBG script can mix absolute and relative timestamps. If the script uses either only absolute timestamps (including the script start time) or only relative ones, then its layout is fixed, and the conversion is straightforward. On the other hand, if the script mixes both kind of timestamps, then the NOW reference for relative timestamps will be taken from the current time of day at the time the script is read, and the script layout will be frozen according to that reference. That means that if the script is directly played, the actual times will match the absolute timestamps up to the sound controller’s clock accuracy, but if the user somehow pauses the playback or seeks, all times will be shifted accordingly.

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1.18 tedcaptions

JSON captions used for TED Talks.

TED does not provide links to the captions, but they can be guessed from the page. The file ‘tools/bookmarklets.html’ from the FFmpeg source tree contains a bookmarklet to expose them.

This demuxer accepts the following option:


Set the start time of the TED talk, in milliseconds. The default is 15000 (15s). It is used to sync the captions with the downloadable videos, because they include a 15s intro.

Example: convert the captions to a format most players understand:

ffmpeg -i http://www.ted.com/talks/subtitles/id/1/lang/en talk1-en.srt

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