AAC to M4A: OSX ffmpeg builds
dinkypumpkin at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 15:26:39 EDT 2011
Some follow-on from recent threads on AAC audio -
Below are a few tidbits for Mac users who would like to use Nick Ludlam's get_iplayer version with AAC->M4A remuxing (https://github.com/nickludlam/get_iplayer), and find that their current version of ffmpeg will not produce M4A files that can be played by iTunes/iPod. The problem may lie as much or more with iTunes as ffmpeg, since other software players (e.g., Mac VLC, Ubuntu Rhythmbox, etc.) don't seem to have any problem playing the AAC or M4A files. At any rate...
If you need a recent version of ffmpeg, but don't want to build your own, I came across a site with ffmpeg static binaries for OSX (64-bit Intel only) here:
The builds stopped in Jan, but the most recent version appears to work OK on 10.6. Direct link:
I came across a pre-built 32-bit Intel version of sufficiently recent vintage here:
It worked for me on 10.6, but I don't have a 10.5 system (or old enough hardware) to test fully. Direct link:
If anyone knows of others, please post.
If you are not already invested in one of package management systems below, my personal view is that you should first try using a static binary, like the ones listed above. That said...
Homebrew (https://github.com/mxcl/homebrew): As has been mentioned in earlier threads, the Homebrew release version of ffmpeg (0.6.1) does not work, but a HEAD build does. Note that as of now, if you do a HEAD build, the version stamp reported by 'ffmpeg -version' will read "UNKNOWN", but a pull request has been submitted to sort that out.
Fink (http://www.finkproject.org): ffmpeg 0.6.1 (from unstable) does not work. It didn't try the version from stable since it was tagged as ffmpeg 0.4 and was over 3 years old.
MacPorts (http://www.macports.org/): ffmpeg 0.6.1 (default variant) does not work. I didn't try ffmpeg-devel since it appeared be derived from an older SVN revision.
To reiterate, "does not work" means I can't import the output M4A files into Mac iTunes. Judging from files' sizes, there is something extra in the non-working files compared to output from other ffmpeg versions, but I've no idea what it is. And of course, the above represents one person's results in one environment (OSX 10.6.6, iTunes 10.2.1). If anyone has different results, please chime in.
One other note: On a clean machine, the Homebrew build is much quicker because Fink and MacPorts will replicate a bunch of dependencies that already exist in OSX, whereas Homebrew will use what's already available on the system.
Get iPlayer Automator
If you happen to be using Get iPlayer Automator (http://tom-tech.com/iplayer_automator), you can link in new versions of get_iplayer and/or ffmpeg to be used by the GUI. Since the binaries and their names are baked into the application, you should link in new versions as follows:
# cd /Applications/Get\ iPlayer\ Automator.app/Contents/Resources/
# mv get_iplayer.pl get_iplayer.pl.orig
# ln -s /path/to/get_iplayer get_iplayer.pl -> note the .pl extension
# mv ffmpeg_universal ffmpeg_universal.orig
# ln -s /path/to/ffmpeg ffmpeg_universal -> note the _universal suffix
The get_iplayer options file can be found in $HOME/Library/Application Support/Get iPlayer Automator
As the name implies, the included ffmpeg binary is a universal binary, but if you have an Intel machine you can link in an Intel-only binary. The above info applies to version 1.1.2, but may change if a newer version is released.
More information about the get_iplayer