When comparing ffmpeg vs GStreamer, the Slant community recommends ffmpeg for most people. In the question“What are the best combined audio & video transcoders?” ffmpeg is ranked 1st while GStreamer is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose ffmpeg is:
There are multiple GUI implementations of ffmpeg for ease of use. Among the most commonly used [WinFF](http://winff.org/) (Windows, Linux), [Avanti](http://www.avanti.arrozcru.org/) (Windows) and [Miro](http://getmiro.com/) (cross-platform) are worth taking a look at.
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In addition to having great flexibility over demuxer, decoder, processer, encoder, muxer choice and settings, ffmpeg can crop, stream, merge audio and video from different sources and perform many other tasks.
Works on Linux, OS X and Windows.
Pro Extensive list of formats supported
Among the more common formats ffmpeg can handle are h.264, HEVC(h.265), mp3, AAC, mpeg-4, wmv3, ProRes, QuickTime, SWF, Speex, FLAC, VP9 and many more. To get a full list in terminal type: ffmpeg-formats
Pro Free and open source
Licensed under LGPL.
Pro Screen capture
You can use ffmpeg to record your desktop along with audio.
Pro Excellent streaming support
Because ffmpeg allows transcoding on the fly and supports multiple streaming protocols such as rtmp, rtsp, http, ftp, hls, you can use it to stream to services such as twitch.tv or set up your own streaming solution.
You can use both local realtime recordings or another stream as a source, transcode it if necessary, and output it to a different stream.
ffmpeg -i rtmp://server/live/originalStream -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -vpre slow -f flv rtmp://server/live/h264Stream
In addition to having great flexibility over demuxer, decoder, processer, encoder, muxer choice and settings, GStreamer can clip, crop, stream, extract frames, merge audio and video from different sources and perform many other tasks.
You can dynamically load plugins and implement different libraries to extend functionality.
Pro Excellent debugger
GStreamer can give you detailed information about the pipeline and each individual process it's running.
Pro Excellent variety of formats
Among the more common formats GStreamer can handle are h.264, HEVC(h.265), mp3, AAC, mpeg-4, wmv3, ProRes, QuickTime, SWF, Speex, FLAC, VP9 and it can also be extended with other libraries to support different formats.
Pro Free and open-source
Licensed under LGPL.
Available on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
Con Steep learning curve
Unless you use a front-end (that has reduced functionality), ffmpeg might be intimidating at first.