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Preprocessing Videos

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We use ffmpeg to preprocess our videos. Jump to Windows, macOS, or Linux.


  1. Download the latest build of ffmpeg from this website.
  2. Unzip the folder to a common directory, like C:\ffmpeg. Take note of this directory for later.
  3. Open Windows Search, and type Edit the system environment variables. Select the option that appears.
  4. Click the button that says Environment Variables. Environment Variables
  5. Under User variables, select the one that says Path and click Edit… Environment Variables
  6. Click New, and add the folder with \bin appended to the end of the original folder name you created. So if you unzipped it to C:\ffmpeg, add C:\ffmpeg\bin.
  7. Save and exit all dialog boxes, and reboot your computer.

Then head to preprocessing.


You’ll need a package manager, like Homebrew.

Now run:

brew install ffmpeg

Then head to preprocessing.


Linux users should be able to figure it out, the package is called ffmpeg in most major distributions. But if you really need a guide…

Then head to preprocessing.

Ubuntu or Debian

If you have the apt package manager, simply run:

sudo apt install ffmpeg -y

Arch Linux or Manjaro

If you have the pacman package manager, simply run:

sudo pacman -S ffmpeg

Fedora or CentOS

If you have RPM, simply run:

sudo dnf install ffmpeg


Open a command window. Let’s pretend your footage is named video.mkv. However, I want a compressed MP4 file. Here’s how to do that:

Navigate to the folder in your command window. In all operating systems, you can navigate down one folder by typing cd <folder> and navigate up one folder by typing cd ...

Now run:

ffmpeg -i video.mkv video.mp4

And send the corresponding video file over Google Drive.