FFmpeg - some useful tricks

FFmpeg logo This is just some cheat sheet about the FFmpeg command line. To know about the history there is link.

This tool is very good if you are in any kind of job with video or live streaming. You can convert from any format to any other format. Even some mp4 to mp3, or different format codec.

Cut from second 10 up to next 10 seconds. So from 10 to 20 seconds of video would be new 10 seconds video.

ffmpeg -ss 00:00:10.0 -i somevideo.mp4 -c copy -t 00:00:10.0 outsomevideo.mp4

You have a video in ISO Media, MP4 v2 [ISO 14496-14] and twitter does not want to play. So you need ISO Media, MP4 Base Media v1 [IS0 14496-12:2003]

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -c copy -map 0 -brand mp41 output.mp4

To copy the video from video.mp4 and audio from music.mp4:

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -i music.mp4 -c copy -map 0:0 -map 1:1 -shortest output.mp4

"Burn" subtitles to video. First convert .srt to .ass

ffmpeg -i somesub.srt somesub.ass

Then add them:

ffmpeg -i ourfavmovienosub.mp4 -vf ass=somesub.ass ourfavmovieswithsub.mp4

If you want to mute or silence some part of video(let say from 0:30 to 1:30:

ffmpeg -i ourfavmovies.mp4 -vcodec copy -af "volume=enable='between(t,30,90)':volume=0" outourfavmovies.mp4

Extracting pictures from video, each second:

ffmpeg -i  favmovies.mp4 -vf fps=1 pic%04d.jpg -hide_banner

I hope this helps you with video editing.

Oldest trick in the programming

Python logo

Before half-century, each bit inside of the computer was important. One of the most frequently used function was "swap".

Swap do the simple thing and you can say well I know. But in that time each operation and memory usage was important. So to have an efficient swap between 2 variables and not using third variables.

So trick goes like this:

A = A + B
B = A - B
A = A - B

Instead of:

A = B

Python code (tnx to Jovan Sh):

>>> a = 5
>>> b = 3
>>> (a, b) = (b, a)
>>> print a,b
3 5

With this approach at that time, programmers save a lot of memory usage.

Also, you can find all these tricks in the book Hacker's Delight

Web page online test tools

Google page speed

In one moment of web page life - there is some bottleneck. It could be not using compression, a slow DNS response, a big size of jpg or larger picture format (example Jpeg optimization tools, wrong SSL/TLS settings, or missing and similar.

Pagespeed Insights

Very handy tool working really well.

PageSpeed Insights

Pingdom Website Speed Test

This tool is different than the previous one. It shows many things and recommends + it has different locations to run the test.

Pingdom Website Speed Test


It has different tools for checking speed, how content is loaded as also giving tips to improve speed.



Swiss knife for SSL/TLS and gives recommendations on how and what to improve SSL/TLS settings.


CAA DNS records - prevent hijacking TLS/SSL certificate

SSL type of CERT

Imagine that certification authority without your permission publish certificate for your site and for example the same one gets used by cybercriminals. Your online shop gets BGP hijacked and you lose millions.

So how to prevent this type of attack?

One way is to use CAA DNS records. What does that mean? It means that you put exactly what CA you want only to use. So others CA become a fraud. And if happen - you get a message on this.

It is a security mechanism to prevent stealing SSL/TLS certificates and imitates your (let say) online shop and stealing millions from your clients and from you.

Example of the records: Example DNS CAA Records

dig CAA vladimircicovic.com

; <<>> DiG 12.11.3-1TAONSA_linuxOS<<>> CAA vladimircicovic.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 10986
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 3, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 65494
;vladimircicovic.com.       IN  CAA

vladimircicovic.com.    10800   IN  CAA 0 iodef "mailto:[email protected]"
vladimircicovic.com.    10800   IN  CAA 0 issue "letsencrypt.org"
vladimircicovic.com.    10800   IN  CAA 0 issuewild "letsencrypt.org"

;; Query time: 307 msec
;; WHEN: Sat May 09 20:06:28 CEST 2020
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 174

So important to set iodef, issue, issuewild to CAA works properly.

You can ignore the given record but keep in mind this How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M could happen to you.

Yea this is a scary blog post about how people lose money if they don't read this post :D

How to speed up your site with JPEG 2000

JPEG 2000 logo

Most of my posts on the blog have pictures. At some point, pictures have an 800kb size. Some less other more than that. In short: I have a bunch of pictures 4.5MB. So loading my sites was heavy for some users in China, Japan, Australia. Using Google Analytics and sites for web testing - I notice this issue. So the first moment was how to resolve?

I start digging on the net and find that most of my png could be converted to the JPEG 2000 format.

After running command like:

gm convert -define 'jp2:rate=0.008' 20200509173353-twittercard.png 20200509173353-twittercard.jpg

gm command is part of GraphicsMagick package.

Second thing - resizing pictures. Most of my pictures have more then 800x600, so I resize to 640x480. And win drastically speed.

convert 20200509173353-twittercard.jpg -resize 600x400\> 20200509173353-twittercard.jpg

From 4.5MB I went to less than 1MB. Also, I make a faster site to run. Small success but I love it.