I’m currently working on re-encoding all the videos on WeberTube, Weber School District’s media-sharing site. As mobile devices become more and more common in our schools, it is becoming increasingly necessary to accommodate them. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, so it’s exciting to get to work on it now. One problem with Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad is that they don’t support Flash video (FLV), which is what WeberTube currently uses. So we’re converting them to H.264/AAC MP4s, which will allow them to be played on pretty much any device.

At first I tried to recompile mencoder to do this. Mencoder is the Linux program that WeberTube uses now to convert any video that gets uploaded to FLV format. It needed some reconfiguration to allow H.264/AAC videos, namely the x264 and FAAC libraries. However, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get the audio to work. So after wrestling with compile errors, I switched to ffmpeg, compiling it with the H.264/AAC support. Everything so far is working great, except for a few audio/video sync problems, but I’m confident I can get those resolved. Even after we deploy the WeberTube updates, it’ll be a process of tweaking and re-tweaking the settings until we feel good about the balance of video quality to filesize.

Now we just need to back-convert all the 5500+ videos on WeberTube.