Arista Transcoder

An easy to use multimedia transcoder for the GNOME Desktop. Arista focuses on being easy to use by making the complex task of encoding for various devices simple. Pick your input, pick your target device, choose a file to save to and go.

Arista has been in development since early 2008 as a side project and was just recently polished to make it release-worthy. The 0.8 release is the first public release, all previous versions were private. For a list of things still to do please see the GitHub issues and Launchpad bugs pages. If you are reporting a new issue please use GitHub.

Visit the official Arista website


  • Presets for iPod, computer, DVD player, PSP, Playstation 3, and more
  • Live preview to see encoded quality
  • Automatically discover available DVD media and Video 4 Linux (v4l) devices
  • Rip straight from DVD media easily (requires libdvdcss)
  • Rip straight from v4l devices
  • Simple terminal client for scripting
  • Automatic preset updating


Arista is written in Python and requires the bindings for GTK+ 2.16 or newer, GStreamer, GConf, GObject, Cairo, and DBus. If you are an Ubuntu user this means you need to be using at least Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty). The GStreamer plugins required depend on the presets available, but at this time you should have gst-plugins-good, gst-plugins-bad, gst-plugins-ugly, and gst-ffmpeg. If you are on Ubuntu don't forget to install the multiverse packages.


There are several ways to install Arista, depending on which distribution you use.

  • Ubuntu Linux users can install via the Ubuntu Software Center
  • Arch Linux users can find PKGBUILDS in the AUR
  • Everyone else, see the README file in the download tarball

Development & Contributing

All development will happen on Launchpad, which provides bug tracking, distributed version control, milestone / roadmap planning and tracking, a forum and translation utilities. All development has moved to GitHub, which provides bug tracking and distributed version control which is much faster and easier to use than Launchpad, where the project was originally hosted and is still tracked for Ubuntu. There are still bugs, translations, and question/answers on Launchpad, but new bugs should be reported via GitHub.


Transmageddon is a similar project to Arista with slightly different goals that uses the same technologies. The two projects are working together to try and share code and device presets where possible. Transmageddon will be considered more bleeding edge than Arista, requiring the latest GStreamer libraries and implementing experimental features that will eventually find their way into Arista. The latest Arista release will always run on the latest release of Ubuntu. Be sure to check out Transmageddon and report any bugs you find - in time that may save Arista from getting a few bugs.

Around the Web

Here are various other places you can find info, reviews, etc of Arista:


Transcoding Futurama from a DVD
Transcoding Futurama from a DVD
Preferences dialog
Preferences dialog
Transcoding a Family Guy episode
Transcoding a Family Guy episode
About dialog
About dialog