It is not hard to switch to CenOS5, just install a couple of rpm packages and your done, but you really do not have to switch. It is possible to add the CentOS repos to your yum configuration. Sample /etc/yum.repos.d/ CentOS5.repo (sample name) file below;
To get started you need to install the latest svn version of mplayer, x264 and grab neroAacEnc from here. You also need to install gpac for muxing into the .mp4 container.
Using FFmpeg or mencoder to handle everything is convenient but they have problems. We can avoid these problems by breaking down the steps and using the best tool for that specific job.
SparkleShare is a syncing and collaboration tool that shines by its absence. it's designed to get out of your way, to make sharing documents and collaboration easier, and to make peers aware of what you are doing.