Playing and editing audio-visual from the command line


Lead Image © Okea,

Lead Image © Okea,

Article from Issue 206/2018

Whether you are an expert or a beginner, you can learn to edit audio and video clips at the command line with Melt.

When free software users think of Melt, they usually think first of GCC MELT [1], the popular extension system to the GCC compiler. However, Melt, the command-line multimedia player [2], is just as interesting in its own right, because it supports every file format you can imagine, and probably a few that you haven't. Admittedly, Melt's non-standard syntax takes a bit of learning, but as a command, it can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it.

Melt is part of the Media Lovin' Toolkit (MLT) [3], a cross-platform multimedia framework designed for television. Two characteristics make Melt stand out: First, it has few dependencies, and, second, it works with existing multimedia libraries and applications. These characteristics are possible because of Melt's modular design and its high-level bindings for major programming languages like C++, Java, Lua, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Tcl. Additionally, Melt is thoroughly modern, making use of multicore processors and GPU processors.

Functionally, Melt is a full-featured editor that can customize both audio and video clips in detail, either for one-time playback or for permanent changes. Strictly speaking, Melt was originally a test tool for the MLT framework. However, its versatility means that, in a few small circles, Melt has become that most free software of applications: A command-line tool for purposes that are usually expected only in a desktop environment. These days, Melt is often found by itself in the repositories of major distributions.


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Video Editor Roundup

    In a comparison test, we checked out nine free video editing programs: Cinelerra, Flowblade, Kdenlive, Kino, Lightworks, LiVES, OpenShot, Pitivi, and Shotcut.

  • Downloading Web Video

    With the right tools, you can store YouTube movies on your hard disk and view them when Internet access is unsatisfactory or unavailable.

  • Tutorials – FFmpeg Devices

    FFmpeg is good not only for converting and fusing videos together, it can also generate streams on the fly, which you can then use for compositing and effects.

  • Gobbling Up

    Most video editors supply you with a generic catalog of transitions, usually in the shape of tired wipes and fades. But what if you wanted something a little more special? FFmpeg to the rescue.

  • Web Videos

    We’ll show you how to convert your videos to FLV format and play them from your website with FlowPlayer.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95