Lets say I want every .mp4 file in a folder as an input file.

How does one do that? It only reads it literal.

  • Why? Do you want to join them all together? Or do you want to perform the same operation on each file and save the output to separate files? ffmpeg / avconv doesn't support wildcards, but there are various ways around that. Eg ffmpeg $(printf -- "-i %s " *.mp4)
    – PM 2Ring
    Dec 27, 2014 at 13:53
  • @PM 2Ring I have 10 videos of one hour and I want them in 10 minute clips. What does your code do? Is there a way to escape ffmpeg, put the wildcard and go back in?
    – user96155
    Dec 27, 2014 at 14:04
  • If you give ffmpeg an input file with no output file, then it just prints some info about the file. So that command in my previous comment prints some info about every .mp4 file in the current directory.
    – PM 2Ring
    Dec 27, 2014 at 14:09
  • Generally, wildcard expansion is handled by the shell, (i.e. the shell converts your wildcard expression into a bunch of filenames & passes that to the command) but some commands have their own wildcard handling. ffmpeg doesn't do wildcards, but it can handle numbered sets of files using %d notation, both for input and output.
    – PM 2Ring
    Dec 27, 2014 at 14:15
  • For your application, you should pass one filename at a time to ffmpeg, which you can do with a bash for loop. Do you need help with that? FWIW, there's an example command to segment a video file into parts in this answer.
    – PM 2Ring
    Dec 27, 2014 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


You're dealing with a directory of videos, so you will probably need to use a loop. The following loop will split each matched file into ten minute segments, as requested in your comment:

for i in *.mp4; do 
    ffmpeg -i "$i" -c copy \
    -f segment -segment_time 600 \
    -reset_timestamps 1 \

However, if your input is a directory of images, then the image2 demuxer lets you use wildcards. Just specify -pattern_type glob and pass your glob pattern to -i in a non-interpolated string (so that the shell does not expand it).

For example, I did the following when converting a directory of JPEG files to an MPEG-4 video:

ffmpeg -f image2 -pattern_type glob -i '*.jpg' output.mp4

Just be aware that this depends entirely on the glob pattern to determine the order that the matched image files are processed.

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