General Question

Thammuz's avatar

Looking for a way to add letterboxes to a video in either Ubuntu or WinXP?

Asked by Thammuz (8589 points ) February 17th, 2010

I’m really fond of watching videos on my ipod, every morning i have to stay about twenty minutes on a subway train to get to my university and a video from thatguywiththeglasses is generally my pick to pass the time, the problem is that, even though i can convert them alright, most of them (expecially the new ones) are widescreen and i can’t seem to find a program that, instead of cropping or fitting the image simply adds letterboxes. The same goes for most movies, which are practically always widescreen.

I found a tutorial on how to do so with ffmpeg but after a hour and a half of trying to get the bastard to run i finally decided it wasn’t worth the effort and quit.

All i need is a program that allows me to add a letterbox to a video in order to fit another aspect ratio, so i can watch my 16:9 videos on my 4:3 ipod screen, and doesn’t need you to be a video editing genius to run it. I’m fairly good with computers but video editing/encoding has never been my strong suit.

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2 Answers

mzehnich's avatar

VirtualDub, a free light video editing and batch encoding program can do this.

Grab VirtualDub and then look in Video -> Filters (Ctrl+F). Click “Add” and look for “resize”. With this you can resize the video if you wish, and you’ll note at the bottom there are “framing options” wherein you can add your letterbox. You can either use raw pixels or if it’s easier, an aspect ratio.

What’s best, is you can do this to multiple videos in a batch process. Go to file -> job control (f4) and a window will open wherein you can add as many videos to the job queue as you wish. Click edit and define your process directories (batch in/batch out), add your videos, and hit Start and it’ll encode (make sure to remember to select a codec so it’s not uncompressed!) and convert the videos one by one and you can just minimize the program while it’s running.

Thammuz's avatar

Thank you very much, according to the description that’s precisely what i need.

I’ll try it out as soon as i have the time.

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