Figuring out how to do the various video conversions I need has been a slightly non-trivial task, so I thought I’d share some of the mencoder-based scripts I’ve developed.

zencode input output [framerate]
For converting video to play on my Creative Zen pocket player. The Zen actually claims to support frame rates above 24fps, but I could never get the sound to sync properly except at that rate. Even worse, every once in a while the device would hang completely, requiring a hard reset. I haven’t had that problem since I decided to stick with 24fps.

decanonize input [output [framerate]]
For converting video from my Casio Exilim EX-Z1080 camera to an AVI that I can then crop and color-correct using avidemux. If the output is not specified it’ll be the same as the input except with the MOV extension changed to AVI.
makewmv input
Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to get avidemux to produce an AVI that was playable on Windows. If you’ve ever done video editing or conversion you’re probably familiar with the syndrome – AVI is just a container format, with a bazillion options of what video and sound bits can go inside, and it’s very easy to create something that plays on some systems but not others. If you haven’t done such things, you don’t know about that and probably don’t care. In any case, this one always produces output with the same name and characteristics as the input except of course that it’s WMV instead of AVI.