published on in Geekyness Music buckethead ffmpeg FreeBSD

more fun with ffmpeg

To follow up on two previous posts, the Buckethead concert and making your own YouTube bootlegs, I’m going to add just a little more.

As I mentioned, the concert was great. If I were to pick out one part, it would have been this lengthy untitled (as far as I know) freestyle jam he did with a simple looping beat.

I cannot think of anything worse than falling in love with a song at a concert, and not knowing the name of it.

Thankfully, a lot of people have recorded the entire show. So Friday at work, while I was beating my head against MediaWiki’s new installer (that silently fails to populate the database with stock data because they tried to import a poorly escaped text blob… sheesh), I played the entire concert in the background. When my ears finally picked up the wonderful peice I heard at our SF show, I took note of the time.

The song starts around the 29 minute mark, and its nearly 8 minutes and 40 seconds long.

Once again, the first thing is to extract the audio from YouTube with youtube-dl:

[server]-[mcarlson] 11:55am: /SafeKeg/Music/Buckethead>youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format="aac" ''
[youtube] Setting language
[youtube] l_bApGe0a0U: Downloading video webpage
[youtube] l_bApGe0a0U: Downloading video info webpage
[youtube] l_bApGe0a0U: Extracting video information
[download] Destination: l_bApGe0a0U.mp4
[download] 100.0% of 519.25M at    1.51M/s ETA 00:00
[ffmpeg] Destination: l_bApGe0a0U.aac
Time spent in user mode   (CPU seconds) : 5.831s
Time spent in kernel mode (CPU seconds) : 9.170s
Total time                              : 5:49.83s
CPU utilisation (percentage)            : 4.2%

Now I have a nice aac file to work with. That clip is almost 50 minutes long though, and I just want one song.


ffmpeg is an exceptional tool, and how it ties into a LOT of other codecs and filters make it really useful. You can even cut up an audio file, like I did here.

The command,

ffmpeg -i l_bApGe0a0U.aac -ss 00:29:01 -t 00:08:41 -ab 128000 -ar 44100 sweet-new-song.mp3

specifies the following:

  • -i l_bApGeoaoU.aac : This is the input file, out audio that youtube-dl extracted for us

  • -ss 00:29:01 : Seek to 29 minutes a 1 second

  • -t 00:08:41 : The total “time”, or duration, of this file will be 8 minutes and 41 seconds

  • -ab 128000 : The bitrate to use

  • -ar 44100 : Sets the audio sampling rate to 44.1K hz

  • sweet-new-song.mp3 is the final output name

[server]-[mcarlson] 10:03pm: /SafeKeg/Music/Buckethead>ffmpeg -i l_bApGe0a0U.aac -ss 00:29:01 -t 00:08:41 -ab 128000 -ar 44100 sweet-new-song.mp3
FFmpeg version 0.6.1, Copyright (c) 2000-2010 the FFmpeg developers
  built on Apr  2 2011 08:09:07 with gcc 4.2.1 20070719  [FreeBSD]
[aac @ 0x803c22010]max_analyze_duration reached
[aac @ 0x803c22010]Estimating duration from bitrate, this may be inaccurate
Input #0, aac, from 'l_bApGe0a0U.aac':
  Duration: 00:53:04.07, bitrate: 126 kb/s
    Stream #0.0: Audio: aac, 44100 Hz, stereo, s16, 126 kb/s
Output #0, mp3, to 'sweet-new-song.mp3':
    TSSE            : Lavf52.64.2
    Stream #0.0: Audio: libmp3lame, 44100 Hz, stereo, s16, 128 kb/s
Stream mapping:
 Stream #0.0 -> #0.0
Press [q] to stop encoding
size=    8144kB time=521.22 bitrate= 128.0kbits/s    ts/s
video:0kB audio:8144kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead 0.000396%
Time spent in user mode   (CPU seconds) : 27.280s
Time spent in kernel mode (CPU seconds) : 0.340s
Total time                              : 0:27.74s
CPU utilisation (percentage)            : 99.5%

And if anyone wants to listen to the final product, here you go: sweet-new-song

The whole thing is a work of art, and to me, the second half (around 4:30) is the absolute best. So beautiful.