FFmpeg, the hyper fast audio/video encoding tool, was for years only available as a bleeding edge version from the version control repository. At the time when the last release was made available, there were no or at least only a few video serving web sites and services, such as Youtube and Lulop. Most of the current services use FFmpeg for the server side video encoding.
Today, after years of debate, FFmpeg developers have made a release version 0.5. Most of the struggle has been about that who would keep maintaining the release branch while the trunk (latest improvements and new features) is evolving.
I shall be updating my simple tutorial of how to build a complete set of server side encoding tools.
There is also a discussion to release a new version of Mplayer too, it would be 1.0 RC 3.