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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  MP4BOX (1)


MP4Box - MPEG-4 Systems Toolbox


General Options
Hinting Options
Import Options
Encoding Options
Ismacrypt Options
Extracting Options
Dump Options
Rtp Streamer Options
Live Scene Streamer Options
Swf Options
Supported Input Formats
Common Usage


MP4Box [options] file [options]


MP4Box is a multi-purpose command line tool to create and edit MPEG-4 Systems presentations and manipulate ISO-media files (MP4, 3GP, MOV).

MP4Box supports file conversion from various raw formats and IsoMedia/AVI/MPEG-PS/OGG containers, file hinting for RTP streaming for QuickTime compatible streaming servers, file interleaving, file fragmentation and track extraction.

MP4Box also provides dump tools used to inspect file layout, RTP hint tracks, SDP information, scene composition. It may also be used to convert to and from BT/XMT-A/VRML/X3D.

MP4Box also features MPEG-4 Systems encoders and decoders for BIFS and OD tools.

MP4Box doesn’t expect any particular order in options at prompt.


-h [type]
  prints help screen. "type" can be one of "general", "hint", "import", "encode", "extract", "dump", "swf", "meta", "crypt", "format", "rtp", "live" for specific help.
-version prints version of MP4Box.
-noprog disable progress reports.
-quiet quiet mode (no log info).
-v verbose mode (more log info).
  exits after the first error is reported.
-nodes lists supported MPEG-4 Systems nodes in MP4Box current build.
-node NodeName
  prints the node syntax. Each field is listed as
eventType fieldType fieldName defaultValue
and field quantization information and quantization bounds if any.
-xnodes lists supported X3D nodes in MP4Box current build.
-xnode NodeName
  prints the X3D node syntax. Each field is listed as
-snodes lists supported SVG/LASeR nodes in MP4Box current build.


-inter duration
  interleaves media data in chunks of the maximum specified duration (expressed in milliseconds) and prepare file for HTTP/FTP streaming. By default MP4Box always stores with 0.5 second interleaving. An interleaving value of ’0’ stores without interleaving (meta-data then track after track).
-old-inter duration same as -inter but without drift adjustment
NOTE: Track Edit Lists are ignored when performing interleaving.
-flat stores file with all media data first, non interleaved. If used when creating a new file, no temporary file is created (faster storage).
-frag duration
  fragments file using ISO-Media movie fragments. Tracks will be fragmented so that no track run exceeds the specified duration (expressed in milliseconds). Disables interleaving.
-out lt;filename>
  specifies output file name.
-tmp lt;dirname>
  specifies driectory for temporary storage. If not set, temporary storage is OS-dependent.
-ffspace size
  inserts free space before moof in fragmented files.
-nosys removes all MPEG-4 Systems information from the file but keeps an empty IOD for MPEG-4 Profile@Level indications. alias: -no-sys
-no-iod removes InitialObjectDescriptor from file.
-isma rewrites the file as an ISMA 1.0 Audio/Video file (all systems info rewritten) with proper clock references.
-ismax rewrites the file as an ISMA 1.0 Audio/Video file (all systems info rewritten) with ISMA clock references (streams not explicetly synchronized).
NOTE: Seeking may be broken with some players (in ISMA, audio and video streams do not depend on main scene clock).
-3gp rewrites the file as a 3GP file (no more MPEG-4 Systems specific info). This option is turned on by default when input file extension is .3gp or .3g2.
-ipod rewrites the file for iPod.
-brand ABCD[:v]
  sets major brand of file, with optional version.
-ab ABCD adds given brand to file’s alternate brand list.
-rb ABCD removes given brand to file’s alternate brand list.
-cprt string
  adds string copyright notice to file.
-chap chap_file
  adds chapter information contained in chap_file to movie. For more details on chapter file syntax, cf
-rem trackID
  removes given track from file - can be specified multiple times.
-enable trackID
  enables given track.
-disable trackID
  disables given track.
-new forces creation of a new destination file.
-lang [tkID=]LAN
  sets the language of all tracks or the given track. LAN is the ISO 639-2 3 character code.
-delay [tkID=]delay_ms
  sets the delay in milliseconds of all tracks or the given track. LAN is the ISO 639-2 3 character code.
-par tkID=PAR
  sets visual track pixel aspect ratio (PAR=Num:Den or "none").
-name tkID=name
  sets track handler name.
-itags tag1[:tag2]
  sets iTunes tags to file - more info: MP4Box -tag-list.
-split time_in_seconds
  splits in files of desired maximum duration. This will remove all MPEG-4 Systems media.
-split-size size_in_kilobytes
  splits in files of desired maximum size. This will remove all MPEG-4 Systems media. Alias: -splits
-split-chunk start:end
  extracts a new file from specified start to end times (in seconds). This will remove all MPEG-4 Systems media. Alias: -splitx
-splitz start:end
  same as -split-chunk option, but adjust end time to be juste before the last rap found in the chunk.
-split-rap start:end
  splits in files begining at each RAP. This will remove all MPEG-4 Systems media. Alias: -splitr
-group-add fmt
  creates a new grouping information in the file. Format is a colon-separated list of following options:
refTrack=ID: ID of the track used as a group reference. If not set, the track will belong to the same group as the previous trackID specified. If 0 or no previous track specified, a new alternate group will be created.
switchID=ID: ID of the switch group to create. If 0, a new ID will be computed for you. If <0, disables SwitchGroup.
criteria=string: list of space-separated 4CCs.
trackID=ID: ID of the track to add to this group.
*WARNING* Options modify state as they are parsed: trackID=1:criteria=lang:trackID=2 is different from: criteria=lang:trackID=1:trackID=2. -group-rem-track ID removes track from its group.
-group-rem ID
  removes the track’s group.
  removes all group information from all tracks.
-ref id:XXXX:refID
  adds a reference of type 4CC from track ID to track refID.
-dash DUR
  enables DASH-ing of the file with a segment duration of DUR.
-rap segments begin with random access points.
-frags-per-sidx N
  sets the number of segments to be written in each SIDX box.
-segment-name name
  sets the segment name for generated segments.
-segment-ext name
  sets the segment extension name. Default is m4s.
  uses UrlTemplate instead of explicit sources in segments.
  Uses daisy-chain SIDX instead of hierarchical. Ignored if frags/sidx is 0.
-dash-ctx FILE
  Stores/restore DASH timing from FILE.
-dash-ts-prog N
  Program_number to be considered in case of an MPTS input file.

When input file is an ISO-Media file (QT, MP4, 3GP), if no output is specified THE INPUT FILE IS OVERWRITTEN.


-hint hint the file for RTP\/RTSP sessions. Payload type is automatically detected and configured unless forced through one of MPEG-4 Generic RTP payload.
-mtu size
  specifies Maximum Transmission Unit size in bytes (eg maximum RTP packet size). Default size is 1500 bytes (Ethernet MTU). This must be choosen carefully: specifying too large packets will result in undesired packet fragmentation at UDP layer while specifying too small packets will result in RTP header overhead.
-copy forces hinted data to be copied to the hint track instead of simply referenced. This speeds up RTP packet construction at the server side but results in much bigger files.
-tight performs sample-based interleaving of media tracks and hint tracks. This should reduce disk seeks at server side (depending on server implementation) but results in a bigger file.
-multi [maxptime]
  enables Access Units concatenation in RTP packets if possible. maxptime is optional and specifies the maximum packet duration in milliseconds (default 100).
-rate ck_rate
  specifies the rtp rate in Hz when no default rate for payload. Default value is 90000 (MPEG rtp rates).
-mpeg4 forces usage of the MPEG-4 generic payload whenever possible. Media tracks without a mapping to MPEG-4 Systems cannot use this.
-latm forces usage of the LATM payload for AAC audio.
-static enables usage of static RTP payload IDs for streams with official payload IDs. By default MP4Box always uses dynamic payload IDs for maximum interoperability, some players having troubles with static ones.
MPEG-4 Generic Payload Options (Experts only)
-ocr forces all media tracks in the file to be served synchronized. This is needed because most streaming servers don’t support desynchronized tracks in a single file. Be extremelly carefull when designing MPEG-4 interactive presentations for streaming since you will have to take care of the streaming server capabilities... MP4Box generates warnings when the file timeline can be ambiguously interpreted by the server.
-rap signals Access Units random access flag in RTP packets. This is usually only needed for streaming of MPEG-4 Systems streams.
-ts signals Access Units Time Stamps (CTS and DTS) in RTP packets.
-size signals Access Units size in RTP packets.
-idx signals Access Units indexes (sequence numbers) in RTP packets.
-multi enables Access Units concatenation in RTP packets (-ts, -size and -idx are selected if needed).
-iod prevents system tracks embedding in IOD (ISMA-like IOD) when generating in SDP. MP4Box automatically detects ambiguous (ISMA/non-ISMA) files but nobody’s perfect. This shouldn’t be used with -isma option.
-add-sdp string
  adds string to movie SDP or track SDP (tkID:string, where tkID is the OD of the hint track or its media track). This takes care of SDP line reordering, but not of SDP content validity.
-unhint removes all hint tracks and other hinting info from the file.


-add <src_file>
  adds all src_file tracks to input file, creating it if not exisiting. Up to 20 cumulated -add operations can be used. Supported syntaxes are:
file#video: imports first video track from src_file.
file#audio: imports first audio track from src_file.
file#trackID=ID or file#ID: imports given trackfrom src_file. To get a listing of tracks in input file, use -info [ID]
[;lang=LAN]: specifies language of imported media.
[;delay=delay_ms]: specifies initial delay in milliseconds of imported media.
-cat <src_file>
  concatenates all src_file tracks to input file, creating it if not exisiting. Media samples are added at the end of existing compatible tracks. If no compatible track is found for a media it is created. Up to 20 cumulated -cat operations can be used. Syntax is the same as -add.
  skips media configuration check when concatenating file.
-keepsys by default all MPEG-4 systems media are removed with -add and -cat. This option will avoid removing them from final file.
  keeps all existing tracks when add file.
-dref keeps media data in original file an only imports meta-data (frame timing, size and random access).
NOTE Data referencing may fail with some AVI because it requires the framed data (eg an MP4 sample) to be continuous in the original file, which is not always the case depending on the original interleaving.
-no-drop forces constant FPS when importing AVI video. By default non coded frames (n-vop) are removed at import time, resulting in a variable frame-rate media.
-packed for CMP/M4V (raw MPEG-4 Visual), forces packed-bitstream mode (removes all n-vops and import at constant frame rate).
-sbr imports AAC as AAC-SBR, with backward compatible signaling (non AAC-SBR decoders should be able to play it).
-sbrx imports AAC as AAC-SBR, with non-backward compatible signaling (non AAC-SBR decoders will not be able to play it).
-ovsbr imports AAC as AAC-SBR with oversample SBR.
-ps imports AAC as AAC-PS, with backward compatible signaling of AAC-PS.
-psx imports AAC as AAC-PS, with non-backward compatible signaling (non AAC-PS decoders will not be able to play it).
-fps FrameRate
  overrides the input video frame rate or specifies it for SUB subtitles.
-mpeg4 forces using MPEG-4 sample descriptions rather than 3GP ones (3GP2 QCELP/EVRC/SMV audio only).
-agg N aggregates N audio frames in 1 sample (3GP media only). Maximum possible value is 15, and default value is 1 (no aggregation).


-mp4 specifies input file is for encoding. Supported inputs are BT/XMT-A/WRL/SWF files. Output file name is by default the input file name without extensions plus ".mp4" extension.
-def encodes DEF’ed nodes and routes with their textual names.
-log generates BIFS encoder log file.
-ms file specifies file for track importing - by default FILE.mp4 is used when encoding (in-place rewrite). This option is only needed if you don’t provide a proper muxInfo per stream in the BT/XMT file.
-sync time
  forces BIFS random access point generation every time milliseconds. Cannot be used with -shadow. WARNING: this may result in weird behavior of your presentation since a BIFS random access point restarts all media currently running in the scene (EXPERTS ONLY - DANGEROUS). Cannot be used with -shadow.
-shadow time
  forces BIFS shadow random access points generation every time milliseconds. Shadow samples are random access points that can be used instead of non random access points when seeking. WARNING: this may be not supported by some players (EXPERTS ONLY - DANGEROUS). Cannot be used with -sync.
-ctx-in file
  specifies initial context (MP4/BT/XMTA) for chunk processing. Input file must then be a command-only file: no IOD, and no implicit commands (commands without ’AT’).
-ctx-out file
  specifies output file of updated context (MP4/BT/XMTA) in chunk processing mode. This is optional, chunk processing doesn’t need to store the final context.
-resolution res
  LASeR resolution factor (-8 to 7, default 0). All coords are multiplied by 2^res before truncation.
-coord-bits bits
  bits used for encoding truncated coordinates in LASeR. (0 to 31, default 12)
-scale-bits bits
  bits used for encoding truncated scales in LASeR. (0 to 4, default 0)
-auto-quant res
  Use automatic LASeR quantification. resolution is given as if using -resolution but coord-bits and scale-bits are infered.


-crypt drm_file
  crypts a specific track using ISMA AES CTR 128.
-decrypt [drm_file]
  decrypts a specific track using ISMA AES CTR 128. drm_file can be omitted if keys are in file.
-set-kms [tkID=]kms_uri
  changes KMS location for all tracks or a given one if tkID is specified.
\DRM file syntax for GPAC ISMACryp
  File is XML and shall start with xml header. File root is an "ISMACryp" element. File is a list of "ISMACrypTrack" elements.
ISMACrypTrack attributes:
TrackID: ID of track to en/decrypt.
key: AES-128 key formatted (hex string 0x +32 chars.
salt: CTR IV salt key (64 bits) (hex string 0x +16 chars.
Encryption only attributes
Scheme_URI: URI of scheme used.
KMS_URI: URI of key management system - 'self' writes key and salt in the file.
selectiveType selective encryption type - understood values are "None": all samples encrypted (default), "RAP": only encrypts random access units, "Non-RAP": only encrypts non-random access units, "Rand": random selection is performed", "X": Encrypts every first sample out of X, "RandX": Encrypts one random sample out of X.
ipmpType: IPMP Signaling Type: None, IPMP, IPMPX.
ipmpDescriptorID: IPMP_Descriptor ID to use if IPMP(X) is used. If not set MP4Box will generate one for you.


-raw TrackID
  extracts given track in native format when supported.
-raws TrackID
  extract each track sample to a file. Note: ’TrackID:N’ extracts Nth sample of the track.
-nhnt TrackID
  extracts given track in NHNT format. All track types except ObjectDescriptors tracks can be exported.
-nhml TrackID
  extracts track in nhml format (XML nhnt). All track types except ObjectDescriptors tracks can be exported.
-single TrackID
  extracts given track to a new mp4 file with a single track.
-avi TrackID
  extracts visual track to an avi file.
-qcp TrackID
  same as ’-raw’ but defaults to QCP file format for AVRC and SMV audio codecs.
-aviraw TK
  extracts AVI track to its raw format. TK can be one of "video", "audio" or "audioN" for multi-track avi files (cf ’-info’).
-saf remux file to SAF multiplex.
  demux DVB-H file into IP Datagrams.
-diod extracts file IOD in raw format when supported.


-info [TrackID]
  prints movie and tracks information. If TrackID specified, dumps only extended track info. If input file is not an IsoMedia file, lists known tracks for import.
-bt dumps complete scene in a BT file. This will remove unknown MPEG4 nodes.
-xmt dumps complete scene in an XMT-A file. This will remove unknown MPEG4 nodes.
-wrl dumps complete scene in an VRML97 WRL file. This will remove unknown VRML97 nodes.
-x3d dumps complete scene in an X3D XML file. This will remove unknown X3D nodes.
-x3dv dumps complete scene in an X3D Text (VRML) file. This will remove unknown X3D nodes.
-lsr dumps complete scene in a LASeR+XML file.
-diso creates XML image of the file atoms.
-drtp creates XML image of all hint tracks samples of a hinted mp4 file.
-dts prints sample timing to text output.
-dcr creates XML image of all ISMACryp tracks samples of an mp4 file.
-sdp creates SDP file associated with a hinted mp4 file.
  Extracts cover art if any.
  Extracts chapter list to file if any.
-ttxt converts input subtitle to GPAC TTXT format.
-ttxt trackID
  exports given text track to GPAC TTXT format.
-srt converts input subtitle to SRT format.
-srt trackID
  exports given text track to SRT subtitle format.
-std dumps to stdout rather than file.
-stat generates statitistic report on node/field usage for the whole presentation.
-stats generates statistic report on node/field usage per BIFS Access Unit.
-statx generates statistic report on node/field usage in the scene graph after each BIFS Access Unit.
-hash generates SHA-1 Hash of the input file.


MP4Box supports the Meta addition to IsoMedia file format, used to make the file a generic data container (timed or untimed).
-set-meta args
  sets meta object type. Syntax is "ABCD[;tk=N] where:
ABCD is the four character code of the type, or O/NULL to remove the meta object
tk indicates whether the meta is at the root level (no "tk"), at the moov level (tk=0) or at the track level (tk=trackID).
-add-item args
  adds resource to the given meta. args is the item file path followed by ’;’ separated options:
tk=N: same as above
name=item_name: specifies the item name, otherwise file name is used
mime=mimeType: specifies the item mime type, otherwise application/octet-stream is used
encoding=enctype: specifies the content encoding type Note that file path set to "this" or "self" will identify the item added as the whole IsoMedia file
-rem-item args
  removes item from given meta. Syntax is itemID[;tk=ID].
-set-primary args
  sets given item as the primary one of the given meta. Syntax is itemID[;tk=ID].
-set-xml args
  sets XML to the given meta. Syntax is xml_file_path[;tk=ID][;binary].
-rem-xml [tk=ID]
  removes XML data from the given meta.
-dump-xml xml_out_file_name[;tk=ID]
  dumps the XML data of the given meta to a file.
-dump-item itemID[;tk=ID][;path=fileName]
  dumps the given item of the the given meta to a file. By default the item name is used as the output file name.
-package packages input XML file into an ISO container. all media referenced except hyperlinks are added to file.
-mgt packages input XML file into an MPEG-U widget in ISO container. All files contained in the current folder are added to the widget package.


MP4Box can stream ISO files to RTP. The streamer currently doesn’t support data carrouselling and will therefore not handle BIFS and OD streams properly.
-rtp enables rtp file streamer.
-noloop disables looping when streaming.
-mpeg4 forces MPEG-4 ES Generic for all RTP streams.
-dst=IP IP destination (uni/multi-cast). Default:
  output port of the first stream. Default: 7000.
-mtu=MTU path MTU for RTP packets. Default is 1450 bytes.
-ifce=IP IP address of the physical interface to use. Default: NULL (ANY).
-ttl=N time to live for multicast packets. Default: 1.
  file name of the generated SDP. Default is session.sdp.


MP4Box can stream BIFS or DIMS content to RTP with carousel generation and updates. The streamer currently doesn’t support audio/video/image streaming at the same time. All options supported by the file streamer are supported.
-live enables rtp live streamer.
-dims turns on DIMS mode for SVG input - default: off.
  source of updates - default: null.
  duration in ms of base carousel - default: 0 (off). you can specify the RAP period of a single ESID (not in DIMS) with -rap=ESID=X:time.
\Runtime Options
  The following options can be used at prompt:
q: quits
u: inputs some commands to be sent
U: same as u but signals the updates as critical
e: inputs some commands to be sent without being aggregated
E: same as e but signals the updates as critical
f: forces RAP sending
F: forces RAP regeneration and sending
p: dumps current scene


MP4Box can import very simple Macromedia Flash files (".SWF"). You can specify a SWF input file with -bt, xmt and -mp4 switches.
-global all SWF defines are placed in first scene replace. By default SWF defines are sent when needed.
-no-ctrl uses a dedicated stream for movie control. This will disable ActionScript.
-no-text removes all SWF text.
-no-font removes all embedded SWF Fonts, forcing usage of MPEG-4 Text and terminal fonts.
-no-line removes all lines from SWF shapes.
-no-grad removes all gradients from swf shapes.
-quad uses quadratic bezier curves instead of cubic ones.
-xlp support for lines transparency and scalability.
-flatten Value
  replaces 2 consecutive lines by a single one when angle between lines is less than Value (expressed in radians). Value 0 disables flattening.


RAW Formats and extensions
NHNT (.media .nhnt .info)
MPEG Audio (.mp3)
ADTS-AAC (.aac)
MPEG-4 Visual (.cmp .m4v)
H263 Video (.263 .h263)
AVC/H264 Video (.h264 .h26L .264 .26L)
JPEG Images (.jpg .jpeg)
PNG Images (.png)
AMR(WB) Audio (.amr .awb)
EVRC Audio (.evc)
SMV Audio (.smv)
Container Formats and extensions
AVI (.avi)
MPEG-PS (.mpg .mpeg .vob .vcd .svcd)
QCP (.qcp)
OGG (.ogg)
ISO-Media files (no extension checking)
Text Formats and extensions
SRT Subtitles (.srt)
SUB Subtitles (.sub)
GPAC Timed Text (.ttxt)
QuickTime TeXML Text (.xml) (cf QT documentation)
Scene Formats and extensions
MPEG-4 XMT-A (.xmt .xmta .xmt.gz .xmta.gz)
MPEG-4 BT (.bt .bt.gz)
VRML (.wrl .wrl.gz)
X3D-XML (.x3d .x3d.gz)
X3D-VRML (.x3dv .x3dv.gz)
MacroMedia Flash (.swf) - very limitted import support only


Importing a file
Import an AVI: MP4Box -add myfile.avi mymp4.mp4
Import audio from an AVI: MP4Box -add myfile.avi#audio mymp4.mp4
Import video from an AVI: MP4Box -add myfile.avi#video mymp4.mp4
Import an MP3 and leave data outside: MP4Box -dref -add myfile.mp3 mymp4.mp4
Import a JPEG or PNG: MP4Box -add myfile.jpg mymp4.mp4
Create a movie with subtitle: MP4Box -add video.avi -add audio.mp3 -add mymp4.mp4
Base File operations
Convert file for HTTP/FTP streaming: MP4Box -inter 1000 myfile.mp4
Convert unknown file to ISMA for HTTP/FTP streaming: MP4Box -isma -inter 1000 myfile.mp4
Convert unknown file to ISMA and respect ISMA broken sync: MP4Box -ismax myfile.mp4
Convert unknown file to 3GP : MP4Box -3gp myfile.mp4
Hinting a File
Prepare any mp4 for ISMA streaming: MP4Box -isma -hint myfile.mp4
Prepare any 3GP for streaming: MP4Box -hint myfile.3gp
Prepare any 3GP for streaming with RTP aggregation : MP4Box -hint -multi myfile.3gp
Prepare a simple audio/video mp4 optimized for server: MP4Box -hint -copy -tight myfile.mp4
Prepare a complex mp4 with BIFS for streaming: MP4Box -ocr -iod -hint myfile.mp4
Encoding/Decoding a file
Encode a BT file and keep node names for later inspection: MP4Box -mp4 -def
Encode a XMT-A file: MP4Box -mp4 pres.xmt
Translate BT to XMT-A file: MP4Box -xmt
Translate XMT-A to BT file: MP4Box -bt pres.xmt
Decode MP4 to BT: MP4Box -bt pres.mp4


For bug reports, more information on BT or XMT-A formats or GPAC TTXT files or ISMACryp, MPEG-4 Systems usage and more help on MP4Box please visit the GPAC web site


Jean Le Feuvre <> - GPAC (c) 2000-2005 - (c) Telecom ParisTech 2005-2011


GPAC(1), MP4Client(1)

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