Tiny Tools of the Trade - Part I.
Written by Tamás Deme on Tue Apr 26 2022.
Fairly soon after I started my collection of tiny tools I had the idea to write about them, and share the awesomeness that might be flying under the radar. According to the folder metadata, I started actively collecting in February of 2013. I called the folder "um" for "ultra-mini" which sort of stuck over the years, so this is the story of
D:\um\ - somewhat grouped by frequency of usage and function. This time in Part I, let's take a look at various media-wrangling tools.
Grab any video with yt-dlp #
A fork of the no-longer maintained youtube-dl, yt-dlp is a simple command line tool that lets you grab essentially any video from any site. Amongst many other things, it supports grabbing entire youtube channels or playlists, grabbing subtitles or outputting just audio files if that's what you need.
Using yt-dlp is as simple as it gets. After making sure you installed it by following the steps appropriate for your operating system, type
yt-dlp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ into the terminal and let it do its thing.
Grab any image with RipMe #
Same idea as before, just in a small java UI instead of a command line, and with images instead of videos. Want to grab that cool album of wallpapers from Flickr, or those dank memes from imgur? RipMe is your friend. Just plop a URL into the UI, press the button and let the magic happen.
Trim, crop, edit and more with ffmpeg #
Underlying a significant amount of products that deal with media nowadays, you'll find ffmpeg. To twist a quote from The Martian a little, ffmpeg is magic and should be worshipped. While simple conversion using it is relatively simple, I wouldn't call the rest of it that... maybe quite the opposite. With that said, the capabilities are surprisingly advanced - if you're patient enough writing complex filter "code" you can edit entire videos with transitions and more - just from the terminal.
Two extra capabilities are also worth mentioning: 1) because ffmpeg is a terminal based tool, it's easy to do scripting to mass process large batches of media; and 2) many actions, like trimming or replacing audio tracks can be done without re-encoding the entire media file, which makes these tasks significantly faster to do compared to re-rendering in a "proper" video editor.
To make sure I don't scare anyone away, here's a simple example making an audio file out of a video:
ffmpeg -i never.mkv never.mp3 - simple, right? For more advanced examples keep an eye out on this blog. I've been collecting my own ffmpeg scripts and templates, and I'm planning to share them in a few follow-up posts here soon™.
shore party out
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