FFMPEG is a popular tool to encode, transcode and convert multimedia files. It supports an extensive number of formats including AVI, MPEG, MP4, WEBM and more. FFMPEG is open source and free software licensed under the GNU General Public License.

To learn more about what FFMPEG is read the lesson 1 of this FFMPEG free course.

FFMPEG is available for Mac OSX, Windows, Linux and many other platforms.

There are different options to install FFMPEG on your Mac, all perfectly valid. You must choose based on your current setup, your knowledge/experience or your specific needs.

This chapter covers installing FFMPEG on Mac OSX, in two approaches:

  1. Using downloaded binaries
  2. Using brew for Mac

Install FFMPEG on Mac from binaries

The first option is to download and install already compiled binaries from the official FFMPEG sources. This option is good if you do not have any package manager installed (or if you don't know if you have it), but it requires more steps than using brew or snap.

The FFMPEG website does not host the compiled binaries, only the source files, but it links to "pseudo-official" sites that have compiled the source code into a Mac binary

Uninstall FFMPEG

If you installed FFMPEG from binaries as explained above, uninstalling it is as simple as deleting the ffmpeg file, wherever it is:

rm ffmpeg

Finding ffmpeg on your Mac

If ffmpeg is installed but you can't remember where, the following command will look at the directories in your PATH to find it:

which ffmpeg

If you don't have ffmpeg in your PATH, or you think you may have more than one copy of it:

find / -name ffmpeg 2>/dev/null

This command will take several minutes to search across all your directories, so be patient.

Install FFMPEG on Mac with brew

The second option to install FFMPEG is to use Homebrew. Homebrew, or just brew, is a package manager for macOS that makes things easier when installing software from the command-line.

Keep FFMPEG updated with brew

If at any time you want to update your FFMPEG installation, you just need this command:

brew update && brew upgrade ffmpeg

This command will update your brew database and then it will upgrade ffmpeg.

Uninstall FFMPEG with brew

To uninstall a Homebrew FFMPEG installation, you simply need this command:

brew uninstall ffmpeg


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