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So you want to encode your video to Theora, do you? Well, it's actually quite easy and there are a number of tools you can use, including some that will integrate into your existing video production workflow.

Make Ogg in Your Firefox Browser

The simplest solution to covert any video file to ogg theora is to use the extension. Once you install this extension simply visit the Make Ogg page, select your file and press "save ogg".

Integrating into desktop production Work flow

If you're using any software that's QuickTime-based like iMovie or QuickTime Pro, or if you're using tools that support QuickTime Components like Final Cut or Premiere, you're going to want to get the Xiph QuickTime Components. This is a plug-in for QuickTime programs that add export to Theora functionality. Once installed, you simply open your video in your QT-based tool, locate your "export" feature, select Ogg as the container format, and, if you need to, customize the Theora video and Vorbis audio settings, and export. It's really that simple.

XXX (Still looking into this) If you're using DirectShow capable software on Windows, you're going to want to get the Xiph DirectShow Filters. Once installed, you should be able to encode to Theora using your save or export features.

Another tool, available for the Mac, Windows, and Linux is called HandBrake. HandBrake can do all kinds of cool things that aren't relevant here, but all you really need to know is that you can open your media, again in the highest quality format you have, set the Output to "OGM file", set the Video codec to Theora and the Audio codec to Vorbis, make any other setting changes you'd like, and press the big green "Start" button. More detailed instructions can probably be found in the HandBrake Guide.

On Linux, there are quite a few options. I believe that all of Kino, Jahshaka, and Cinelerra can export to Theora.

Finally, if you're on Mac and you want something dead simple, one I like is called the Simple Theora Encoder. This Mac tool really is the simplest option available. Once installed, you just take your media, in the highest quality format you have, open it up in the Simple Theora Encoder and press "Encode..."

Oh, and I can't forget ffmpeg2theora which is the command line tool that many of these other solutions are built from. If you're comfortable at a terminal, it really is a great solution.

Other possible tools:


  • asadotzler: paul: I think that eventually we'll want three docs. One titled something like "Theora for Video Professionals" where we describe how to integrate Theora into existing professional workflows and apps (for the Premiere and Final Cut folks). Another titled something like "Theora for the YouTube Types" where we describe the basics of converting existing content to Theora and alternatives to YouTube and Vimeo. This second doc might also be titled "Best Practices for Open Web Video". Finally, a super simple "Quick and Dirty Theora Encoding" where we just describe converting/exporting/saving as in popular consumer apps (iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, HandBrake, etc." In the "pro" doc, we should get into the details of all of the encoding options available for Theora and Ogg. In the second two docs, (which may be combined, not sure) we just describe the optimal settings for simple Web video.
  • where should this/these docs live? MDC? (paul, asa, sheppy)
  • is streaming video documentation important? probably secondary priority. (asa)
  • We should recommend open source tools by default, some of them are listed here (, it would be great to have a multi-platform simple GUI for non-advanced users (maybe an extension and standalone XUL app?) (nukeador)
this already exists cross platform auto-updating encoder extension for firefox 3.5 (added to the top) MichaelDale 18:30, 9 July 2009 (UTC)