The summary tab is the default view of ffmpegX at launch.
As indicated at the top of the window, the encoding process is 1. drop a file in the "From" area (or in the "Open" field, or onto the application icon, or Click "Open" to browse and select a file), then 2. select a Target format in the "To" area (or use the other tabs to customize the encoding options), and 3. Hit the "Encode" button.
The source can be either a non-encrypted VOB file or VIDEO_TS folder, a muxed video/audio stream, or an elementary video or audio stream. To comply with copyright laws, the program will not allow to select an encrypted DVD device disk as input.
After selecting a source file, information about its contents is, when possible, automatically displayed in the left "LCD" displays, eg:
Click this button to obtain more information about the input file.
Click this button to playback the source file, applying currently selected filters, audio tracks and subtitle. When playing a non-encryped VIDEO_TS folder, title, chapter and angle controls from the video tab will also take effect.
Click this button to choose a name and location for the converted file including the proper file extension, eg. movie.avi, movie.mpg, or audio.mp3 (however, if you're encoding with the mpeg2enc engine there is no need to specify a file extension). If you don't specify it, a destination location is automatically selected by ffmpegX in the same folder as the source file.
Click this button to preview the converted movie while it's still encoding. In mpeg-2 encoding, is encoded after the whole video has been encoded, so the video will preview silent.
The right-"LCD" display allow to select a destination format from a list of presets. A preset defines many relevant settings with a single click. After choosing a preset, you may further customize it by clicking the "video", "audio" and "options" tabs. You may also save a custom preset to a file by using the "File > Save Preset" menu.
The following is the list of all available quick presets. They are organized in three groups, mpeg-4 based formats and DV, mpeg-2 based formats, and audio formats. Some presets are available in two versions depending on the encoding engine being used (e.g. "DVD ffmpeg" and "DVD mpeg2enc", or "DivX mencoder" and "DivX ffmpeg"). mencoder engine is generally faster for mpeg-4 based formats. ffmpeg engine is generally faster for mpeg-2 based formats. mpeg2enc creates more bit-compliant mpeg-2 streams and can be used in case of problems encountered on a specific player by using ffmpeg.
Click this button to start encoding. If the option "Open Terminal window" in the Tools tab is enabled, actual encoding will take place in a terminal window. If it is not enabled (default) then encoding will take place in the "ffmpegX Progress" Cocoa ObjC window.
The Progress window list includes, for each process, a progress bar, a cancel button and a "more info" button.
The "more info" button opens a window for advanced users including the process output. The output is colorized in red for errors, orange for warnings and blue for useful information.
The processes are queued in the list and will start as soon as the preceding process finish or fails.
Waiting processes can be started manually with the "Start now" button (don't run concurrenty multiple 3-pass encodings).
A done or fail sound effect is played at the end of each process.
When a process is done, a "reveal in Finder" button appears to locate the encoded file in the Finder.
The "Clear" button at the bottom of the Progress window cancels finished processes from the list.