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A command-line utility for recursively running batch cropping and transcoding operations on a directory of videos. This utility is a wrapper for a a utility called transcode_video which itself is a wrapper for trancoding utilities such as HandbrakeCLI, MKVToolNix, and ffmpeg.


Requires Node.js and Ruby.

Important: You must have all of the dependencies listed in this section of the transcode_video README.

Before installing batch-transcode-video, install the video_transcoding gem using the following command.

gem install video_transcoding


This utility can be installed so that it is globally accessible from the terminal as batch-transcode-video using the following command.

npm i batch-transcode-video -g


For all the videos found in the input directory, this utility will determine if the source should be cropped (e.g.: it has black bars on the top and bottom of the source video) using detect-crop and then it will be transcoded using transcode-video. When in CLI mode, the progress and remaining time for the current file and the entire batch are displayed.

This utility can recover from most errors, and as such, it will continue to sequentially process source files even if a previous transcoding operation has failed.

A summary is displayed when the entire batch transcoding operation is finished. The summary includes the overall number of errors encountered and files successfully created.

Before You Begin

WARNING: If the program cannot successfully transcode an input file, and then verify the output video file, it will be marked as errored and the transcoded file (if one exists) will be deleted from the output directory. This is done to prevent partially-transcoded files from remaining in the output directory that then need to be manually deleted before retrying the transcoding operation.

If you run the program using an output directory containing previously-transcoded video, especially for source files that still exist in your input directory, you must use the --diff option to ensure sucessful transcodes from previous batches are not deleted from the output directory. In --diff mode, input files are skipped when their corresponding output files already exist in the output directory.

Alternatively, you can use the --keep option to ensure files are never deleted from the output directory, even if they have errors or failed to finish transcoding. However, subsequent runs, with or without using the --diff option, will not reprocess failed input files, unless the corresponding output files are manually deleted.


Recursively search for videos to transcode using video_transcoding. If an input directory is not specified then the current directory will be used as the input directory. If an output directory is not specified, the input directory will be used for the transcoded videos. By default, if an output file already exists then it will be treated as an error. Use the --diff option to skip input files that already exist in the output folder.

batch-transcode-video --input video/ --output transcoded/ --diff

Transcoded files will be placed in the same directory as the source unless you specify an output directory. The relative folder structure will be maintained in the output directory unless you use the flatten flag.

If you want to modify the search pattern that will be used to locate video in the input directory, you can specify a glob pattern using the mask option.

Non-binary Usage

You can also directly require() the underlying BatchTranscodeVideo video class. By default, the ES5-compatible files will be loaded when requiring this module.

// ES5 (default)
var BatchTranscodeVideo = require('batch-transcode-video');
var batch = new BatchTranscodeVideo({
  input: './my/rawVideos/',
  output: './my/transcodedVideos/'
}, ['--dry-run']);
.then(function (res) {
.catch(function (err) {

But, you can also require the raw ES2015 source files if you are running in an ES2015 capable environment.

Note: The un-transpiled source files are not including when you install the library using npm install. To get the ES2015 source, you need to clone this repository from GitHub using git clone.

// ES2015
import BatchTranscodeVideo from './batch-transcode-video/index.js';
let batch = new BatchTranscodeVideo(options, transcodeOptions);

Note: If you import the non-CLI files, you will not see any formatted progress bars and summary output in the console. To require the CLI version of the library from your application, then simply import the index-cli.js file instead of index.js.

import CliBatchTranscodeVideo from './batch-transcode-video/index-cli.js';
import minimist from 'minimist';
let options = minimist(process.argv.slice(2), {'--': true});
let batch = new CliBatchTranscodeVideo(options, options['--']);
// Start CLI mode


  • --help Flag: does not accept a value (Alias: -h)
    • You can view the manual for this tool by using this flag in the terminal.
  • --input [path] (Default: process.cwd()) (Alias: -i)
    • The input directory containing the source videos to transcode.
  • --output [path] (Default: same directory as source files) (Alias: -o)
    • The output directory to hold the transcoded videos. If you do not specify an output directory then each transcoded file will be placed in the same directory as its source file. Note: if a source file is already in the same file format as the transcoded video (e.g.: both source and output are both .mkv) then you must specify an output directory, as the program will not overwrite existing files.
  • --mask [pattern] (Default: **/*.{mp4,avi,mkv,m4v,ts,mov}) (Alias: -m)
    • Search pattern to use for input directory. Note that the default pattern will search in nested directories. For more information about what values can be used, see the glob documentation.
  • --crop Mixed values (Alias: -c)
    • If you provide an actual crop value (e.g.: "0:0:0:0") as the argument for this option, then that crop value will be used for all videos.
    • If you provide anything other than an actual crop value (e.g. 1) as the argument for this option, then when crop detection returns conflicting crop values it will just use the least extreme crop value and continue transcoding.
  • --diff Flag: does not accept a value (Default: false)
    • Enable this option if you only want to transcode source files that do not exist already in the output folder.
    • If a destination file already exists in the output directory:
      • And diff is enabled, a notice will be generated letting you know that the file was skipped (unless quiet is enabled).
      • And diff is not enabled, an error will be generated letting you know that the file already exists.
    • If you want to transcode a batch of videos in-place (i.e.: without specifying an output directory) then you should enabled this option to prevent errors from being generated when the source and destination file names have the same extension.
      • For example: trying to transcode a .mkv video into a .mkv video without supplying an external output directory will generate an error unless you specify the diff flag.
  • --debug Flag: does not accept a value (Default: false) Enable verbose logging mode. Disables progress indicator and then streams child process to master stdout for detect-crop and transcode-video.
  • --flatten Flag: does not accept a value (Default: false)
    • Do not preserve relative directory structure in output directory. If this is enabled, the base output folder will contain all transcoded videos. Note: this option has no effect unless you specify an output directory.
  • --quiet Flag: does not accept a value (Default: false)
    • Prevents any logging to stdout and will only exit 0 on success or 1 on error
  • --keep Flag: does not accept a value (Default: false) (Alias: -k)
    • Never delete any output files, no matter what happens, even if the encoding task fails for the corresponding input file. If you use this option, input files that fail to encode correctly, or finish encoding, will not be deleted from the output folder. Subsequent runs, with or without using the --diff option, will not reprocess the failed input files, unless the corresponding output files are manually deleted.
  • --nocrop Flag: does not accept a value (Default: false)
    • Skip crop detection entirely (i.e., do not run detect-crop) and do not pass a --crop value to transcode-video.

Providing options to transcode-video

If you want to provide custom options to trancode-video then you can place them at the end of your normal options following a -- and they will be passed directly to the transcode-video program. Find more information about the allowed options at the transcode_video README.

batch-transcode-video --input video/ --output transcoded/ --diff -- --dry-run


npm i batch-transcode-video

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