I had to resize a bunch of images today to a specific target size while padding the remaining space with a transparent background. Out came ImageMagick

convert -auto-orient -background "#00000000" original.jpg -resize 720x576 -gravity center -extent 720x576 resized.png

The above command would make an output image of 720 x 576 and the remaining space will be padded by transparency (#00000000).

To do it for all files inside a folder we can use this (here we are only targeting all files ending in .jpg)

for PHOTO in *.jpg
    convert -auto-orient -background "#00000000" "$PHOTO" -resize 720x576 -gravity center -extent 720x576 "resized/$PHOTO.png"