LibertyMime FLV Plugin

a LibertyMime plugin that converts videos of various formats to flashvideo

Created by: xing, Last modification: 14 May 2009 (08:50 UTC) by Lester Caine

The flv plugin is a video handler for Liberty. It will convert videos of various formats including .avi, .mpg, .mov and more to flashvideo and allows you to conveniently view the converted video from within your browser. A site that uses a similar process is youtube.


The flv plugin for Liberty is quite sophisticated. You need to install software on your server (you might even have to compile some binaries yourself), optionally install some PHP extension and install or activate a few files in bitweaver.

The conversion process can be lengthy and therefore it is possible to run the conversion using a cron job. The cron PHP file is already present and all that needs to be done is add the appropriate cron job to your cron file, and set the cron option in Liberty. This plugin also requires a recent version of ffmpeg. In fact, you need to compile the SVN version of ffmpeg as other versions don't support conversion to .flv files (luckily, gentoo users only need to emerge --sync and compile the regular version of ffmpeg).

The plugin also supports the use of ffmpeg-php. This extension is not required but will enable bitweaver to extract video information such as video duration and other useless but handy information to improve processing and therefor final result.

Example of serverside converted videos

ffmpeg (required)

You can find some more help in liberty/plugins/cron.flv.php

If you want to make use of the flv plugin, you need to install the SVN version of ffmpeg. Only the latest version of ffmpeg supports the .flv format. Your distribution might already include a version that supports .flv.


You will need the SVN version of ffmpeg and you will have to compile this yourself:

Some distros as examples:
ffmpeg and available USE flags
X, a52, aac, altivec, amr, debug, doc, dts, encode, ieee1394, imlib, mmx, network, ogg, oss, sdl, test, theora, threads, truetype, v4l, vorbis, x264, xvid, zlib
adjust USE flags as you wish. install using something like:

USE="a52 aac altivec amr dts encode mmx ogg oss theora vorbis x264 xvid"emerge -av ffmpeg

This will give you support for most audio and video codecs supported by the use flags. If the version of ffmpeg in portage is not recent enough for you, you can try installing ffmpeg from the berkano overlay.


Fedora Core 6
at the time of writing this, the version in livna was faulty - i used the one in freshrpms:

# rpm -ihv
# yum install ffmpeg

Generic instructions getting ffmpeg from svn for Linux

$ svn checkout svn:// ffmpeg
$ cd ffmpeg
$ ./configure --help | grep enable
$ ./configure --enable-libmp3lame --enable-gpl
$ make
# make install

Depending on the system, you might be able to support more formats.
./configure --enable-mp3lame --enable-gpl --enable-a52 --enable-libogg --enable-vorbis --enable-xvid

Windows using binary builds
Links to various pages relating to using ffmpeg on Windows but it lacks information on use with php.
Unofficial Win32 Builds provides a complete package that can be used with windows. It's not been fully tested as yet, but does seem to be functioning the same as the Linux builds.
It seems that everybody is having problems with a windows binary for php, but a current set of notes can be found here. This references a rather large download for the php_ffmpeg files, but the relevant files are available here and at some point, a package similar to the PEAR compilation is available on the bitweaver archive
Apart from the php_ffmpeg.dll, for convenience the rest of the files are best copied to \WINDOWS\System32\ directory. See the Windows installation notes page for more details of location files in Windows.

Setting up cron jobs

Processing video files can take a while and this process is therefore designed as a cron job. Set up a cron job similar to the following. This will check for open conversion jobs every minute:

* * * * * apache /path/to/php -q /path/to/cron.flv.php [number of videos to process] >> /path/to/log/file.log

  • make sure apache is your apache user - you can check the 'User' setting in your apache.conf file (usually located at /etc/apache2/httpd.conf)
  • number of videos to process is optional, default is 3

( Need to add notes on handling cron jobs on windows )

ffmpeg-php (optional)

ffmpeg-php is a php extension that makes it possible to easily access video information from within php. Please view the official site on how to add ffmpeg-php to your php setup:

All it allows us to do is check the aspect ratio and video length. This allows us to extract more appropriate video images and make more accurate conversions.

If you compile it as an extension, it should be recognised by this script. If you decide to compile it into your php, please modify the plugin where it says:

Modification required if ffmpeg has been compiled as part of PHP

if( extension_loaded'ffmpeg' )) {


Once the software is in place you need to make sure the flv plugin is active in the Liberty plugin admin screen. Please make sure you visit the plugin settings screen by clicking on the edit icon.

Plugin settings

In the Liberty plugin admin screen there are a few flv-specific options you can set. Please make sure that the suggested path to ffmpeg is correct. Without this no videos will be converted. The video and audio settings are basically: the higher the better the quality but also the larger the download.

Video conversion results

Here are some basic tests i made using a 60 second high quality divx film. I only include 2 bitrates and I've removed a few sizes to reduce table size.
Video conversion results
Video bitrate (bits/s)Audio bitrate (bits/s)Audio samplerate (Hz)Video size (pixel x pixel)File size (bytes)Encoding time (s)
200 32 22050 320x180 1724 (1.7M) 10
200 32 22050 480x270 1820 (1.8M) 15
200 32 22050 640x360 2128 (2.1M) 22
200 32 44100 320x180 2148 (2.1M) 13
200 32 44100 480x270 2244 (2.2M) 17
200 32 44100 640x360 2552 (2.5M) 22
200 64 22050 320x180 1724 (1.7M) 10
200 64 22050 480x270 1820 (1.8M) 16
200 64 22050 640x360 2128 (2.1M) 20
200 64 44100 320x180 2148 (2.1M) 12
200 64 44100 480x270 2244 (2.2M) 17
200 64 44100 640x360 2552 (2.5M) 23
400 32 22050 320x180 2780 (2.8M) 11
400 32 22050 480x270 2844 (2.8M) 16
400 32 22050 640x360 2864 (2.8M) 21
400 32 44100 320x180 3204 (3.2M) 17
400 32 44100 480x270 3268 (3.2M) 17
400 32 44100 640x360 3288 (3.3M) 23
400 64 22050 320x180 2780 (2.8M) 11
400 64 22050 480x270 2844 (2.8M) 15
400 64 22050 640x360 2864 (2.8M) 21
400 64 44100 320x180 3204 (3.2M) 13
400 64 44100 480x270 3268 (3.2M) 17
400 64 44100 640x360 3288 (3.3M) 26

Video conversion test script


# Path to video file to convert

# Aspect ratio of the video

# Various sizes bitweaver can create - width is set by bitweaver, calculate video hight as determined by the aspect ratio of the video
size="240x136 320x180 480x270 640x360"

# Settings
video_bitrate="160000 240000 320000 400000"
audio_samplerate="11025 22050 44100"
audio_bitrate="16 32 64 96"

echo '{| style="text-align:right"
|+ Full results table
! Video bitrate (bits/s)
! Audio samplerate (Hz)
! Audio bitrate (bits/s)
! Video size (pixel x pixel)
! File size (bytes)
! Encoding time (s)' >

for b in $video_bitrate; do
    for ar in $audio_samplerate; do
        for ab in $audio_bitrate; do
            for z in $size; do
                begin=`date +%s`
                ffmpeg -i $videofile -acodec mp3 -b $b -ar $ar -ab $ab -f flv -s $z -aspect $aspect -y $name
                now=`date +%s`
                duration=$(($now - $begin))
                bytes=`ls -s $name | sed 's/ .*$//'`
                hbytes=`ls -sh $name | sed 's/ .*$//'`
                echo "|-" >>
                echo "|$b || $ar || $ab || $z || $bytes ($hbytes) || $duration" >>
                mv $name "$name-$duration.flv"

echo "|}" >>

Feel free to run your own tests and post your results here or append them as a comment.


great doc

by laetzer, 12 Oct 2008 (17:41 UTC)
fantastic stuff. thanks so much for this info


by mysoogal, 27 Oct 2008 (17:31 UTC)
this crap is same as gallery2, i've got no idea how to add this flv plugin, no information is given, very poor documantion.


by Bobby Richardson, 05 Mar 2009 (17:44 UTC)
I suspect that, since there are so many different Operating System/Web Server configurations, you won't find many "Step 1, Step 2, Step 3,..." type of installation instructions.

Most of what bitweaver is and does happens automatically; and, considering it's complexity, bitweaver does it quite well. However, as with any Open Source CMS, various modules are at different stages of development - some rough as a cob, some smooth as a baby's bottom.

That's the great thing about Open Source - you can get the code and tweak it to your heart's content.

I see xing's instructions as "These are the things that need to happen. How you make them happen depends on your individual setup."

Adding this plugin is the same for any other bitweaver plugin. Much of the above instructions are for the behind the scenes action to support the plugin and process files.

Most of the initial developer documentation for any function is in the comments embedded in the source code. User-land documentation, of the "Go HERE, do THIS, to get THAT" sort, is (IMHO) not at the same level of completion as the source code
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