Another day with two tutorials posted. The first tutorial was on purely understanding the FFMPEG program. I am not sure I made this clear judging from a few responses I’ve gotten back, but FFMPEG must be installed on your server first before you try any of these. If you are not sure if it is installed, ask your hosting provider.
If you are using a shared host, you probably do not have ffmpeg installed on the server because it can be cpu intensive. Yet there are plenty of ffmpeg providers out there, I use to use one call Cirtex. But using them will cost you more than average hosting and they will limit your storage space. 40 gigs and unlimited bandwidth for $50 a month might seem like a lot, but when I was running a video site, that went quickly.
My suggestion, if you have the technical know how or time to learn, would be this. Either get a Rackspace Cloud Server or Amazon EC2 server. When users are uploading videos, DO NOT STORE THEM ON THE SERVER. You will either end up with a mess of files on a bunch of different servers or quickly run out of space on your one server and have to delete stuff. Thankfully Amazon and RackSpace offer cloud storage. Store your videos in those. It will probably cost you per gigabyte stored and a bandwidth fee but in the long run it will be worth it. And from then on, you can stream videos to users that come to your site. If you really want to get into streaming your content efficiently , I suggest looking to using a CDN(Content Delivery Network.)
Sorry for the off topic detour, back to the tutorials. The second tutorial was on using PVAudio, a class that wraps the ffmpeg program and makes it easier to pass variables and less likely to pass erroneous options to ffmpeg. I would suggest going through both tutorials. The first one talks about recording audio streams from your microphone and even converting text files into sound files. The second tutorial talks about audio compression and what to expect when compressing an audio file.
FFMPEG Audio : http://www.prodigyview.com/tutorials/slideshare/374/109
Audio Converter: http://www.prodigyview.com/tutorials/slideshare/377/109