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Generates HTML pages to play ascii movies .. yeah .. I got really bored. The original goal of this project was to convert Too Many Cooks to an ASCII video for a buddy's birthday present, yes I know this can be done in VLC, but that's already been done.

This should work under Linux or OSX, I have no idea if it will run under CYGWIN or not.

I basically take a movie which ffmpeg can read, convert it to a series of JPG files and an MP3. The JPG files are then converted to ASCII text files using jp2a. While this is going on some frame rate data is read and the frames are counted. I then use an HTML template and create a project. After it is all done the script stands up an HTTP server on port 8989 for review.

On the HTML side I'm prefetching all of the frames using jQuery.ajax and serving them based on the FPS. I also watch the timeupdate event from MediaElement.js and re-synchrononize the current frame to the MP3 time to prevent it from becoming offset, which tended to happen with videos over 5 minutes long with my original version. As the MP3 plays each text frame is grabbed and updated into a PRE tag.

Movie plays well in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. I haven't tested it in IE, because I don't have a virutal machine with Windows on it handy.



jp2a v1.0.6

The awesome Christian Stigen Larsen created this cool program to convert JPG files to ASCII, without it I probably would never have been able to make this mess.

ffmpeg v2.5

If you've done any video processing you've probably used ffmpeg. I use it here to strip a series of JPG files and an MP3 from the original movie.

node.js v8.2.x

I recently rewrote this for v8.2.x with promise chains and other fancy crap.




sudo apt-get jp2a ffmpeg nodejs git youtube-dl


sudo yum install jp2a ffmpeg nodejs git youtube-dl


Install Homebrew -

brew install jp2a ffmpeg nodejs git youtube-dl


Clone my repo somewhwere.

git clone
cd movie2ascii

Install node modules and movie2ascii binary.

npm install -g



       movie2ascii --movie name_of_movie.ext


      (optional) Shows this page.

  Configuration Options:

      (optional) Automatically stands up server and opens browser when done.

    --movie whatever_movie.ext
      (optional/required) Name of your movie file, use this instead of --movieURL.
      Either --movie or --movieURL is required.
      To see what your install of ffmpeg supports use: --formats

      (optional/required) URL of video, use this instead of --movie.
      Either --movie or --movieURL is required.

    --path /path/to/output/to/
      (optional) Name of path to build to, creates path based on movie file name by default.

    --watermark "Some Text"
      (optional) Watermarks the bottom of the image.

    --watermarkTime ##
      (optional) Amount of time watermark should be displayed.

    --font name_of_font
      (optional) Watermarks the bottom of the image.

      (optional) Gzips the output.

  ASCII Options:

      (optional) Use to add a border to the ASCII.

      (optional) Flip X Axis.

      (optional) Flip Y Axis.

      (optional) Number of characters in width, scales height automagically, default: 180.

  Capability Options:
  These do no video processing, even if you include other options. They may help to determine issues.

      (optional) Lists available fonts.

      (optional) Lists available video formats.

      (optional) Lists available video codecs.

    --fontsample Standard
      (optional) Shows a sample of the requested font from fontlist.


This doesn't work yet, perhaps I will make it work one day.


Generates HTML pages to play ascii movies .. yeah .. I got really bored.




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