It’s funny how you can have a very useful tool available to you and right under your nose for years. At some point, you’re trying to accomplish something, then remember one comment making the light bulb in your head light up. Today I took a recording of a WOD and needed to edit it to put on social media.
I really don’t post many videos because it’s always been such a giant hassle to try to figure out some of the GUI programs I’ve tried in the past. Typically, I just want to do simple things like cut out the beginning or resize the video. I’m sure there’s an easy enough way to do it with those tools, but I don’t do it often enough to search for the how-to or remember it. If I could easily do it without making it a process, maybe I would mess with more videos, so it’s a catch 22 in a way, I guess.
Today I was in a process where I needed to make the video smaller to upload it. I don’t need to share a 4k, 60fps video of a few cleans. I was doing the normal googling to figure out the best way to do it, then the lightbulb went on above my head. Recently, I had seen some remarks about just how useful FFmpeg is, and it’s installed on my system as a dependency for other media programs. I guess I’d always assumed it was just a library, but it’s a command line program along with libraries and other tools.
It’s such a great feeling when you find a tool that does just what you want. It just brings me joy when that happens in this time of bloated, half working but “pretty” software. These days, it’s a feature to take features away or hid powerful stuff.
I know one thing for sure. In the near future, maybe even tomorrow, I am going to start playing with it. I’ll have to do some researching just what it can do and how much it can do for those odd little thing that I’ve been wanting to do but just never knew how. Hopefully, I can come up with enough ideas to keep it interesting and get enough practice that the ideas and concepts actually stick in my brain. My memory isn’t what it once was when it comes to learning new things.
One of the things that I enjoy more than just about anything is playing with new toys and learning how to use them. I love that moment when I figure out what I am screwing up. It’s fun to break things, then figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
I can’t emphasize enough just how thankful I am for so many great pieces of open-source software that there are out there. Nearly every piece of software that I use these days is open source. To me, it’s jut because it’s better. I like to use the best tool for me, and it doesn’t matter too much whether it’s free or commercial. Of course, for commercial software, price can be a deciding factor.