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Dolphin 7.0.9 vs. 7.1 beta FFmpeg Video Conversion

Awhile back I did some Dolphin 7 video testing with and without the h264 codec enabled with Dolphin 7.0.9.

You can read the complete details if interested here:
Dolphin ffmpeg Videos With and Without h264 Comparisons

The current Dolphin version / build at that time was 7.0.9. The test was done locally on a Windows 7 PC using dAMP (Dolphin - Apache - MySQL - PHP)

The input video format was:
File size: 10.2 MB .wmv
Run time/length: 1:40 (1 minute 40 seconds)
Frame width: 854
Frame height: 480
Data video rate: 5500 kbps
Audio bit rate: 192 kbps 2 channel stereo
Audio sample rate: 48 kHz
Total bitrate: 5692 kbps
Frame rate: 29 frames/second

Other details:
Video was made with Windows Movie Maker Live.

The basic end output/results were:

With h264 codec (.m4v):
Conversion time: 1:30 (1 minute 30 seconds)
PHP usage: 13 MB of Memory/RAM
ffmpeg usage: 38 MB of Memory/RAM

File size: 3.10 MB
Frame width: 640
Frame height: 360
Data video rate: 194 kbps
Audio bit rate: 60 kbps 2 channel stereo
Audio sample rate: 44 kHz
Total bitrate: 254 kbps
Frame rate: 29 frames/second



Without the h264 codec (.flv):
Conversion time: 0:30 (30 seconds)
PHP usage: 13 MB of Memory/RAM
ffmpeg usage: 8 MB of Memory/RAM

File size: 21.5 MB
Frame width: 640
Frame height: 360
Data video rate: 512 kbps
Audio bit rate: 64 kbps 2 channel stereo
Audio sample rate: 44 kHz
Total bitrate: 576 kbps
Frame rate: 25 frames/second


The major differences between using the h264 codec and not using it were:

  • 38 MB's of Memory/RAM usage vs. only 8 MB's without it.
  • Output file size 3.10 MB's (.m4v) vs. 21.5 MB's (.flv) without it.
  • Conversion time 1 minute 30 seconds vs. 30 seconds without it.


So while using the h264 codec results in a much smaller file size, it also used nearly 4 times as much memory/ram to convert it. It also took 3 times as long to process and convert it, which can also be a concern with shared hosting. This doesn't even include the CPU power involved in the conversion process. The more CPU and memory your account uses the more likely it will be to lead to a suspension.



Dolphin 7.1 video testing with and without the h264 codec enabled

I used exactly the same video and setup for testing with Dolphin 7.1.0 beta.

The results are much better in terms of Memory/RAM usage, and conversion time when compared to Dolphin 7.0.9. However, the Dolphin 7.1.0 beta version did not convert an additional mobile video like Dolphin 7.0.9 does in my test setup anyway. So part of the faster conversion time could be attributed to this. Whether or not this is a Dolphin 7.1.0 bug, or if this is how Boonex intends to have videos work now is unclear. Perhaps it does create a mobile video with Linux, but not with Windows. All I know is it did not with my Windows test set up.

FFmepg memory/ram use did drop substantially when using the h264 codec compared to Dolphin 7.0.9, which is definitely a positive improvement. We will have to wait and see what happens in the Final Stable release to know for sure though.


Dolphin 7.0.9 Video conversion vs. Dolphin 7.1.0 beta

With h264 codec:

  • Conversion time: 0:50 (50 seconds)
  • PHP usage: 13 MB of Memory/RAM
  • ffmpeg usage: 24 MB of Memory/RAM


The video only took 50 seconds to convert compared to 1 min 30 seconds. (40 seconds faster).
Ffmpeg memory/ram usage was approx. 24 MB's vs. 38 MB (14 MB's less).

As I said, the conversion process was faster, and part of the reason is that a mobile video version did not get created.

Ffmpeg memory/ram usage dropped by around 14 MB's, which shouldn't matter if a mobile version is created or not. So if this holds up in the final version this would be a major plus.

Also as I mentioned tests were done locally on a windows based computer. Testing on a Linux setup may have totally different results. I know Boonex added a newer, and much larger Linux ffmpeg.exe in Dolphin 7.1.0 beta, which can't be used for testing on a Windows system.

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12.07.2012 (1750 days ago)
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