A simple video converter (to mp4 and webm) using ffmpeg and regex file matching (also recursively).
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Videoowl is a video converter that can take almost any video file and transcode it to mp4 or webm. The supported output frame resolutions are 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p (all 1.77:1) or 'same' which simply takes the resolution of the input file.

Input files are selected by providing a directory and a regex pattern. Optionally videoowl also traverses (option -r) all sub-directores and picks files based on the regex pattern. By default it picks most video formats.

Video output bitrate can be optionally specified with the -b option like: -b 3000k. Three sensible presets also exist: high, normal, low which work well under normal circumstances.

Output files are currently written into the directory from which videoowl is called.


  • videoowl
    • converts all video files in the current directory to mp4 at same as input resolution
  • videoowl -s 720p -f webm -b high
    • converts all videos in the current directory to 720p webm (at higher than normal quality)
  • videoowl -r -p ".avi|.mov" videos/
    • converts recursively videos in the videos/ directory that contain ".avi" or ".mov" in the file name (also defaults to mp4)


From the downloads section get the OSX installer and run it. VideoOwl will be installed as one file here: /usr/local/bin/videoowl. This is part of the search path which means videoowl can be executed from anywhere in the Terminal.

To uninstall simply delete /usr/local/bin/videoowl.


usage: videoowl [-h] [-p FILE_PATTERN] [-f {mp4,webm}]
                [-s {480p,360p,720p,same,240p,1080p}] [-b BITRATE] [-r] [-c]
                [-d] [-v]

Convert videos to common formats.

positional arguments:
  input_directory       input directory of video files to be converted

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
                        input file filter, regex-style (e.g: ".mov|.avi")
  -f {mp4,webm}, --format {mp4,webm}
                        video output format
  -s {480p,360p,720p,same,240p,1080p}, --size {480p,360p,720p,same,240p,1080p}
                        video frame size
  -b BITRATE, --bitrate BITRATE
                        video bitrate adjustment
  -r, --recursive       recursively traverse the subtree
  -c, --commit          do not ask for confirmation before starting the
                        conversion process
  -d, --debug           print out ffmpeg commands instead of executing
  -v, --version         show program's version number and exit  


Videoowl is released under the GPL v3 and the bundled ffmpeg is LGPL v2.1.