ogg theora videos to avi

Filed under
Howtos

I've been writing a Ruby computer programming textbook (the going is slow). Along with the book will be a series of instructional videos on CD showing video computer screen clips with audio narration.

I've been using gtk-recordmydesktop to record my computer screen and narration. This is working fairly well, both in terms of video and audio quality.

However, since gtk-recordmydesktop records in ogg theora form, I need to convert these videos into something that most MS-Windows users can play (without downloading and installing vlc media player). Also, I can't use Linux video editing software on ogg theora videos--they won't work with this format (I've tried cinelerra, lives, and others).

I've done very little with video on computers, and I find the number of codecs/compression formats/container formats bewildering.

But I have done some research on how to do the ogg theora to avi conversion. I finally found a solution that seems to work, using mencoder.

Assuming the input file is out.ogg, and the desired output file is out.avi, the syntax looks like this:
mencoder out.ogg -o out.avi -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc

I need to do more testing, but, so far, this seems to work ok.

And, before somebody flames me, I do realize that we should encourage the use of open formats like ogg theora.