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Ask Slashdot: Movie Players for Linux? 167

Posted by Cliff
from the show-me-the-multimedia dept.
mrlament wishes to know about the following: "I've been a long time Linux user, but I keep finding myself having to switch over to my Windows box in order to view videos. I've tried xanim, and have yet had it properly handle a single video, aside from the real player, I cannot seem to find a single decent player for MOVs, AVIs and MPGs. Does anyone know of any, or are there just not any out there?" I posted this up here because I get a lot of this from people outside of Ask Slashdot, so I figure there are people out there that want this information. Hit the link for more.
In all honesty, I don't think Linux is going to get very far beyond Indeo Video 3.2 support since IV4, IV5 and the I263 codecs are VERY proprietary and (so I've heard) it costs a lot of money just to become a developer. I would love support for AVIs under more than just Windows, but it's been a couple of years since IV4 was released and I just haven't seen support for it materialize anywhere else (if I'm wrong, someone PLEASE correct me!).

I'm surprised that there ISN'T more visible QuickTime support, but that's Apple's bailiwick. Intel and Apple have also begun to crosslicense technology as Apple now gets Intel Video 4.4 support for QuickTime. Of course as far as I can tell, QuickTime is still only available for Macs, 95/98 and NT.

MPG video files are more crossplatform than any of the others. I expect this format is supported under more platforms than any other, however I don't have any information on a LINUX player. If someone has a helpful link, please post it.

As an aside, MainConcept has one of the best movie players I have seen and supports a wide range of formats. It's been the mainstay viewer under OS/2 for a while, and it looks like they've taken an interest in Linux as they are attempting to port their Video Editor over.

Update: 02/13 01:16 by C : I've started a discussion, and someone has already answered my question regarding IV4 and IV5 on Linux. It appears that the only people who can offer support on these codecs is Intel themselves. With their support of Linux in recent times, who knows, this might actually happen. A cordial letter writing campaign might be in order to see if we can get them to port these codecs sooner rather than later?
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Ask Slashdot: Movie Players for Linux?

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  • Once you're done getting XAnim, MpegTV, and some other multimedia players, try out Plugger [hubbe.net]. It provides Netscape plug-in capability for the file formats used in XAnim, MpegTV, Timidity, splay, and mikmod. Especially good for those QuickTime videos embedded in the @Home video news section.
  • by Micah (278)
    Yes, if you recompile xanim with the optional codecs, AVIs work fine (at least most of them).

    It even plays the infinitely cool whale.avi file, and the sound is a lot better on my box than under Win3.1. OS/2 doesn't even play it!
  • DO get the exploding whale! It's a true story. Off the coast of Oregon in 1970, a dead whale washed up on the beach. The highway department, in their infinite wisdom, decided to blow it up, and it was an utter disaster. The video is an actual news report of it.
  • Gnu/Linux is correct. It is the proper title for the Linux kernel and the GNU tools that make up a usuable operating system.
  • ...work fine under WINE (witness StarCraft). You can also compile source using DirectX against Winelib (though why you'd want to I don't see; there are much cleaner cross-platform APIs.
  • 3D support has nothing at all to do with the linux kernel -- and this is how it should be in any OS (see "stability").

    There is open 3D. It's called OpenGL, and runs just about anywhere. Folks can use it without compromising their source in the same way 3dfx does -- having a closed library (see "glide") that's called by the open one (see "mesa").

    As for sound support, ALSA is far better designed than OSS or Windows sound support. Now, hardware... . Most new sound hardware's backwards compatible with Creative's stuff. If not... well, as someone said, multimedia is Be's thing.

    No, WinNT trails Linux in multimedia (though 9[58] holds better hardware support).
  • It's not ridiculous at all. Most of the Windows stability problems I've seen are due to bad drivers.

    And the thing is, tracking down and fixing these problems can't be done without the source. As it stands, I have complete control over how my machine operates; It does nothing without allowing me to see exactly what it's up to.

    Binary-only drivers eliminate that.

    I don't mind having binary-only apps -- but when stuff I have no control of makes its way into my kernel (or does privilidged stuff), I care -- and reasonably so.
  • You probably knew this, but the reason Xanim doesn't support too many newer codecs out of the tarball is because the author had to sign NDAs to get that support there in the first place. In order to distribute the code, he'd have to break the NDA, which is not generally regarded as a wise decision.

    Unix as an OS for the Imac crowd (including people's grandmas)? I pray not. Call me a Unix snob if you like, but Unix is not an OS for the computer-illiterate, nor should it be. There *is* a market segment which is better suited by the Imac, despite the claims of "Linux-everywhere" advocates.

  • Posted by chmod777:

    I found an enhanced xanim on http://odin.appliedtheory.com/. It could play most AVIs and QTs, but the Page dosnt exists anymore.
    Maybe anyone knows what happend with.
  • by Pinky (738)
    Yes. QT is a big bundle of code for dealing with fileformats. Imagine a large, widely supported library for dealing with/ parsing HTML docs. Call this lib HTML and make it the only real way of looking at HTML fields and you have an analogy. Now make this thing support PDFs, RTF, Sorenson text docs, Textipac etc.. and you ahve a better analogy. Now make this thing 15 megs and contain a large proportion of the mac toolbox and you have a practically perfect analogy...



    Personaly, making a HTML decoder into a standard LIB would be so kick ass and problably very possible since the MOZILLA project. wooo, use movie player to surf the web.. funky..
  • I downloaded and tried this thing, it showed sqwat for me.

    Typice M$ crap
  • by demon (1039)
    If you're using MpegTV, doon't run 'mtvp' directly, that's only the player engine. Run 'mtv' - that gives you an Xforms-based UI to control playback from. (Works great for VideoCDs in the recent releases.)
  • Could it really be that there really isn't the interest in multimedia that you think there is? I really could care less about Multimedia for either Windows or Linux. I want to watch a movie or the news for instance I either rent a video or turn on the TV set. I've never bothered with watching an mpeg or avi via the WWW. After all once you've seen one XXX mpeg or avi you've pretty much seen them all....
  • And if you're not a multimedia freak, why should you give a damn? Your mistake MS Stooge is in thinking that people who use Linux and those who use Windows care about the same things. We don't......
  • Do you actually *KNOW* anyone who owns a force feedback joystick or any other of this silly gamer harware? I don't. That tells you right there just how popular a lot of the PC-gamer nonsense really is.
  • If you professional video editors know about Linux, there's no doubt that Quicktime for Linux would move a large number of MacOS users to Linux for the PowerPC platform. Imagining rendering while editing in Gimp with complete smoothness. Imagining rescheduling jobs on the fly. I believe professional video and audio are the only two things sustaining MacOS right now and Apple would definitely lose that if MacOS wasn't the only OS supporting Quicktime on the PowerPC.
  • Actually, the DirectX API is publicly
    documented; if it weren't, it would be very
    difficult for people to write games that use it.
    As such, a clean-room implementation that works
    from just that documentation is possible, and is
    being done by the Wine people.
  • I agree. Mpeg TV is incredible. I bought it the week after I downloaded the demo. The quality is flawless, and it can play DVDs!!

    AVI sucks as far as formats go. MPG has the photographic quality and incredible compression of JPEGs and the sound of MP3s (MPEG-AUDIO).

    Don't get me started on Quicktime -- they're just animated GIF's with an attached audio.
  • ??? You are confusing 'is unable to...' with 'does not...'. Linux is perfectly capable of supporting more hardware, it just doesn't. :-) This isn't a design issue, it's a political issue. Companies don't want to put the effort into a driver for a platform that's not 'mainstream' and don't want to release the specs to let anyone else. But the infrastructure for most stuff (excluding some oddball input devices and so on..I don't know anyone who has a force-feedback joystick anyway..) is there.

    Daniel

    Daniel
  • QuickTime is the API to use for multimedia, in the Mac & Windows world. It's a decent API. It's also published. Not just the data formats, but the high-level calls that developers use in their products, and the low-level interface that allows developers to build new codecs and effects and so on.

    To get more codecs and multimedia software, Linux has to support this API. It's a much stronger argument to go to Intel, Sorenson, or any other codec developer and say "if your QuickTime codec compiles on MacOS/Windows it'll only need some tweaking to run on Linux" than it is to whine at them about how they need to support your favorite operating system. This goes double for application developers.

    One other suggestion: Follow GNUstep's lead and separate the front end from the back end of the multimedia system. It'd be cool for game developers to be able to use LinuxTime in their SVGALib game, or for application developers porting from OPENSTEP & Mac OS X to use it within GNUstep on Display GhostScript, or...


  • Does anyone know of any software for converting between different formats... like say from QT or AVi to MPEG-1(2) ? I've always been surprised how there seems to be nothing around which does that.
  • by DK (2203)

    There definitely are mpeg encoders out there. Just do a search. I used one a couple years ago to record a CGI animation, but I don't remember where I got it from.
  • by KrON (2656)
    Define "proprietary".. BeOS is posix compliant and compiles alot of unix apps right out of the box. Just cuz they arent gpl, and dont run binaries from other os's doesnt mean they are 'proprietary'
    ..
  • What xanim really needs is a way to dynamically load relocatable codec objects so we don't have to recompile it to use the proprietary codecs.
    --
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • I was unable to find an email address, but there is a discussion forum here. [intel.com]

    Here is the message I posted:

    "Subject: Intel CoDecs for Linux?

    There is currently a discussion on Slashdot:

    http://slashdot.org/askslashdot/99/02/12/1342224.s html

    ...regarding this subject. I would think that Intel would at least consider it, given their support of Red Hat and the commitment to Linux on Merced.

    How about it, Intel? At the very least, it would be great to have a free binary available to play files encoded using the latest Intel standards. I'm sure the Linux Community would prefer something open source, but that's not completely necessary.

    Please give it some consideration.

    Cheers, Matthew"

    Perhaps a /. effect of postings might raise some awareness, eh?
  • Xing has a very nice video stream product called Streamworks.
    Of course there is a Streamworks palyer for Linux:
    http://www.xingtech.com/support/downloads/swplay er/
  • ...including AVI, MOV, and MPEG. It does barf on some of them (mostly weird MPEGs). I've also noticed that its MPEG decoding performance stinks compared to the players I've used in Windows.

    hawk@celine:hawk> xanim --version
    XAnim Rev 2.70.7.0 by Mark Podlipec (c) 1991-1998

    I got it from a Debian package, version 2.70.7.0-3.

    Now, what I really need is a Linux Vivo player. I'd even settle for a Windows player I could run under Wine. `
    --
  • "QuickTime = animated GIF"? On what technical data are you basing THAT comment on? I'm assuming you're not trolling -- idiot trolls usually hide behind AC logins. Therefore, you MUST simply be uninformed. :)

    QuickTime isn't perfect, but it's MILES ahead of anything out there, which is why every digital video editor I've talked to SWEAR by it. It has nothing to do with "Apple loyalty" either, because even the bozo's on NT4 use QuickTime.

    MPEG is a good solution for compression and platform independence, given the lack of good QuickTime support on other platforms like Linux. :-/

    Quicktime has been selected as the basis of MPEG4 because it works well, and I suspect partly because "its not Microsoft". So eventually you will be able to use a modern video player instead of pea-shooting ata topic you know nothing about.

    Cheers,

    Scott
  • Hmmm... since you're the expert I was wondering why you didn't mention the Mac for video editing? Oops.

    Even with the imbalance in "overall" market share, a majority of Adobe Premiere users select the Mac as their platform. They probably know something you don't.

    The way I see it Linux WILL be the future of multimedia. I shake my head everytime I hear someone do comparisons like this... it's not like "Linux" is a commercial offering struggling to keep up with Microsoft, or hoping they don't get noticed by them (like Be).

    Maybe some other open OS will take over, but right now it looks like Linux. One thing I am certain of is once this happens, the billions that are wasted on Microsoft will in the end be extra money in our pockets and to spend on hardware toys. Be patient and everything will eventually fall into place. Once it DOES, no one can take it away, and that's the most important thing. I'm waiting for USB drivers so I can migrate away from SCSI, but I just have to wait.

    I for one will build my next Linux box out of Creative components wherever possible...
  • I know this isn't on the front page any longer, but it may help someone.. (then again, don't all /. readers watch Freshmeat also?) Quicktime low level library 0.5.0
  • I know this isn't on the front page any longer, but it may help someone.. (then again, don't all /. readers watch Freshmeat also?) Quicktime low level library 0.5.0 [freshmeat.net]
  • For one thing the kernel is not the only place one puts in functionality in Unixs. A lot of it can be in user space too.

    This is so when the functionality is too complicated or is not dependent on such kernel-only processing such as interrupt handling or physical memory addressing and stuff.

    So if I wanted to support a sound card I would put it in the kernel. But video cards are typically supported from user space.

    Next, Linux *does* support multimedia - just like Microsoft does.

    What happens is that *vendors* provide the support for their devices in Windows. Many vendors do not provide this support for linux - simply because it probably isn't a large enough market - *not* because linux isn't capable or lacks the architecture.

    So its vendors who do not support Linux and not linux that does not support multimedia.

    veliath
  • Ignorant. 'Nuff said
  • I've been raising the issue of QuickTime ports to Solaris and Linux in the QuickTime developers mailing list for sometime and Apple just aren't interested.

    Theire attitude to a Solaris port is go and talk to Sun, which seems a strange attitude to me.

    Andy
  • Or maybe it's just a dumb baby? ;-)
  • Oh sure, just shut up. That will do a lot of good. Then all the drivers needed are bound to appear. I know this is hard to understand, but if no one who can't code voices a need, no one with the skills to make drivers will know what needs to be done. The last thing we need is a 'talented individual' with time on his/her hands making yet another window manager when there is hardware to support and real features to add.

    Of course, this all assumes that one can write drivers for the hardware with companies keeping specs under lock and key - but you don't need to acknowledge that! No, just call people stupid and demand they write the drivers themselves.

    Speaking of writing, are you honestly suggesting that the open-source methodology of "release early, release often" is a bad idea? Sure, maybe you'd like it if the first release of code was called '1.0'. Its been done a lot, mostly by commercial entities, and the result is something that *should* have been called v0.0.9pre-alpha. Or maybe you'd have liked to skip all 100+ development kernels so the first time anyone saw the new kernel was 2.2.

    But anyway, since when is *nix a server-only OS? It's still the preferred engineering workstation at places like IBM, AMD, Intel, and of course at Uni's. With KDE and StarOffice its a decent workstation for just about anyone. But take that same WORKSTATION and run ftpd on it, and suddenly its a SERVER (even though the engineer is still using it for his spice simulations). The difference between a server and a workstation is just what software you choose to run on it, and the two needn't be mutually exclusive.

    Since when do you need to be a unix guru to use linux? So what if you don't know pwconv does? Does that make you dumb? Hardly. I know at least two dozen programmers who develop operating systems (OS/400 if you must know) but don't even know what shadow passwords are, because they don't care. And they do their development on AIX WORKSTATIONS.

    Really what pisses me off is the kind of elitist crap whereby the ONLY measure of intelligence is programming ability and knowledge of *nix. Like people can only qualify to use an OS if they can make alterations to its kernel. Hey, maybe some of us would rather use our WORKSTATION to write novels than hack our OS. Maybe some of us would rather make the silicon that your silly drivers and OS run on, and could care less if we can make sense of kernel code (after all, anyone can code -- even your dog!)

    I hate to burst the elitist self-proclaimed 'unix-guru' bubble, but if you do not know what pwconv does it doesn't make you dumb, and knowing what it does doesn't make you smart. It doesn't even mean you know anything about unix.

    You're right; that was fun.


  • Get xanim (must be from Woven Goods or SuSE) this version supports all codecs MS, Quicktime, etc.
    RealPlayer of course from the Netscape archive and
    X11amp or (recommended) Xaudio. The mxaudio player
    that comes in xaudio is really superb. Woven Goods
    has a complete collection of add-ons that makes
    Linux complete including plugins for Netscape. Add mtv, timidity, and xltwavplay and you can definitely throw Windows out the door.
  • There is something called Aktion that comes with Linux-Mandrake [linux-mandrake.com]. Then click on features on the left.
    Among others, it mentions
    aktion 0.2 (mpeg/avi/mov player)

    Check it out!
  • Hi!
    I am working on Video Server project - this is not exactly the topic of the discussion, but is related. This is the software to broadcast live video across the network or to play video on demand from the database. URL:
    http://www.ecsl.cs.sunysb.edu/~andrew/VideoServe r/videoserver/index/book1.html

    Beware: it is on alpha stage, don't expect it to be useful right now, but i will appreciate if you take a look. I will double appreciate if you put your hands over. The goal is to make this software used in some Universities to be used by students. The next snapshot is expected tomorrow.

  • Xanim only plays I frames from mpeg video streams... the last time I tried it didn't know how to demultiplex audio and video from a sytems stream...

    mtv does fine for me.
  • There are plenty of Mpeg encoders around - Mpeg2Encode which has been incorporated into ImageMagick ( but it requires stupid amounts of memory if you use Image Magick - it loads all teh frames into memory before encoding) - but this only does fixed bitreate streams. I Tend to use the Berkley Mpeg encoder which does variable rate streams nicely (I've about a gigabyte worth of simiulations and movies I've made). For people that can#t live without a GUI there's MpegTool.

    These all generate video streams only - if you want to add audio you need to get an mpeg audio stream (but don't use mpeg layer 3 - not many video players support it) and a Multiplexer which packs the video and audio streams into an mpeg systems stream.
  • Microsoft has been saying that netshow for Linux will be available `in a few weeks' for ages (at least 8 months, to the best of my knowledge). If you think it will ever be released, you are naive or worse. Clearly, Microsoft does this to lull consciencous content providers into believing that their streaming media technology is multi-platform. A perfect example is npr.org, which provides audio for NetShow, and states that UNIX & Linux versions of the client are `coming soon'! The phrase `hook, line, and sinker' comes to mind....

    Microsoft seems to have pioneered once again by adding a new twist to the its old vaporware tactic. Who says monopolists don't innovate?
  • by mindedc (7819)
    Well, if you want a non-microsoft OS to play video on, give BE a whirl. I think they have the Intel codecs built into the OS, and they are 180 degrees from the Microsoft side of the world.

    Hell, their OS is DESIGNED to play video....and they made it so that it's completely happy sharing a computer with another OS..Unlike 98/95/NT

    They're gpomg to have GL VERY soon too :)
  • You can visit our site at http://linuxmedialabs.com [linuxmedialabs.com] and even order a board that does video capture/playback with (de)compression.

    I hate propriatory as much as any other Linux fan and it seems that MJPEG is a very good standard. It's patent clean, it can have very good quality. And the fact that compression ratio is not very high, i.e. you need about 10Gb for a movie would soon become a non-issue with storage capacity and network bandwidth becoming more and more affordable.

    Also we have plans to bundle our board with MainActor software, so resonable video solution for Linux is not that far away, maybe in the May timeframe.

    Board interfaces are fully open and drivers are under GPL. But more people need to get the board to get GNU process started. We are fully commited to providing video solutions for Linux and have plans for MPEG-1 and 2 board. Of course more support for video (real time) needs to get into Linux kernel and in fact into XFree.

    When there is over 10 millions around, and they demand something that would be delivered, by us, or somebody else. That is the true nature of capitalism, not a particular license - be it GPL or not. In fact I'd rather call that Free Market.

    Vassili Leonov vleo@linuxmedialabs.com

  • As HTML 4.0 (and soon XML+XSL) goes mainstream, they're becoming a universal UI toolkit; a growing number of apps are being written to run under MSIE4 with the expectation that 5.0-generation browsers will have as-good-or-better capabilities as a universal application frontend.

    One big thing missing is the lack of embeddable media players for Unix in general and Linux too. Standalone, helper-app audio and video players are a start, but they need to be embeddable, whether via plugins, signed Java applet wrappers or <SMIRK>ActiveX controls</SMIRK>. That goes for streaming media, AVI, quicktime and MPEG alike. It's got to happen or a lot of the new generation of browser-based, theoretically cross-platform apps won't work.
  • I've found xanim to work well, with the exception
    of Quicktime 3.0 support, specificaly Sorenson Video. Send mail to pauli@s-vision.com if you'd like a Sorenson Video codec integrated into xanim.

  • The best way to get multimedia capabilities into Linux is for an open source implementation of the Quicktime API to be created.

    Why Quicktime? Because it's a comprehensive multimedia API and its vendor is simply lame, which is a lot better than being antagonistic. It's also good.

    Why not just bug Apple to do it? It will take years before they figure it out, years more until they deliver something, and there is absolutely no guarantee they will open-source the code.

    I have QTVR code that I am willing to open-source, I just haven't had the time to work on it (see http://www.quickmotion.com).

    Some other things people have been glossing over:
    - MainActor was originally an Amiga port of XAnim, which was then ported to OS/2, then to Windows. I have seen Markus make enthusiastic remarks about doing something for Linux, possibly even porting their sequencer product. I don't know if it would be open sourced.
    - MPEG4 uses the Quicktime file format
    - It is possible to reverse engineer codecs. One man, Marc Podlipec, reverse engineered Cinepak. All of us using any platform other than win or Mac have him to thank for having any decent chance of viewing movies at all.


  • Flame me all you want, but the only Unix-based platform that comes close to multimedia editing (I'm talking about traditional non-linear editing of digital video) is SGI, and I don't have the tens of thousands of dollars to buy both an SGI and a decent video/sound editing package. Windows, on the other hand, gets me Premiere (about $400), Sound Forge (another $400), and a CHEAP Zoran MJPEG chipset capture board (Zoran is totally standard hardware, and only about $200 for the Buz). $1000 gets me broadcast-quality editing, even though I only use it for creating Video CDs (MPEG-1).

    Linux is free and the tools are free, but there aren't any tools for this sort of thing under Linux.

    Sure, you can play MPEGs on Linux. But you can't create them. That's why I still use Windows for all of my multimedia needs.

    I wish that all you Linux advocates (the people who instantly think "Linux" whenever someone writes "Unix") could realize that Linux is not the holy grail of operating systems. I am a firm advocate of using the right tool for the right job--and Windows is currently the right tool for multimedia editing. Linux is the right OS for speed. FreeBSD is the right OS for stability under heavy loads. OpenBSD is the right OS for security. Solaris x86 is the right OS for hardware RAID support. And so on.
  • I'm not suggesting you reboot all the time, if that's what you thought I was talking about.
    As for qualifying statements regarding other Unix OSes, do I need to? I thought it was pretty much common knowledge.

    I've got an HP Netserver sitting right next to me; 6 4gig disks on a Mylex RAID controller and Solaris x86 is humming away. (Linux has no driver for it and never will; check the Mylex driver source in Linux, it only supports the newer hardware rev.)

    OpenBSD is so secure that it's the only OS that hackers can't break into, even the l0pht runs on OpenBSD.

    I've witnessed FreeBSD take a load average of 80 and keep on chugging; the same on Linux 2.2.1 starts dropping packets. ftp.cdrom.com runs on FreeBSD and takes 3000 simultaneous FTP connections averaging 20K/second.

    Like I said before: Linux's strength, in my opinion, is speed. It's very fast. But that doesn't make it the only Unix you should run, given your needs. I enjoy Linux--I'm using it right now--but it is not the holy grail of Unix OSes.
  • Actually, saying `Linux-based GNU' is more like saying `Pentium-based PC', not `hard drive-based PC'; I don't believe that I've seen many PCs with hard drives as their central processing units, though I have seen many Pentium-based PCs (PC/Pentium), as well as K6-based PCs (mine's a PC/K6), and I've seen a good number of computers running the GNU (pronounced "g'noo") operating system with Linux as their kernels (Linux-based GNU, AKA GNU/Linux).
    Some people complain that `just because it's under compiled with GCC doesn't mean it's GNU (the group, pronounced "noo" or "nyoo") software--if it was compiled with an HP compiler, would that make it HP/Linux?', and the fact is that it's not part of a GNU system because of GPL or because it was compiled with GCC--it's part of a GNU OS because the OS, sans kernel, is called `GNU'; if you were to stick Linux into a BSD system, then you'd have a `Linux-based BSD' or, in a non-formal, written document, `BSD/Linux', and, yes, if you managed to replace the HP-UX kernel with Linux, then the resulting OS would be `HP/Linux' (or maybe `HP-UX/Linux'.

    Now, which box are you going to check?

    . o O ( Great--now I look like a moron, too, because the /.'s PERL script does evil things....)
  • But not for the Sorenson Video codec.
  • I downloaded MS Netshow before the link broke. You can get it from my school's web space [emerson.edu]. You're welcome. : )

    Will Meyer
    wmm@wmeyer.boston.ma.us
  • 2. Write an implementation/driver for Linux and shut up (assuming you are intelligent enough to do this)

    This is a bit of a digression, but it really bugs me that so many people around here equate "intelligent" with "able to write whatever code they need." Believe it or not, there are some intelligent people in the world who have actually chosen not to become programmers. Perhaps they chose to devote themselves to such challenging fields as math, chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, etc. Maybe they even chose to study philosopy or literature.

    How much time does it take to become a programmer capable of writing the multimedia tools whose absence we are lamenting here? Can you fairly ask someone who specializes in something else to put in that time? Accept it: not all non-programmers are stupid.

  • There is a couple people working on playing DVDs.
    Already there are reports of unencrypted DVDs played under Linux.
    http://www.rpi.edu/~veliaa/linux-dvd/
    says that
    http://linuxtv.openprojects.net/
    can play unencrypted DVDs.
    There are a couple Mpeg-2 codecs but they seem to be for non-comercial usage.
    --
    Four years in jail
    No Trial, No Bail
  • http://www.myboot.com/movies.html [myboot.com]

    That's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen. :)

    Troops is worth a viewing too.

  • Linux has sweet raid support, I use it daily.
    the only thing that sucks under linux is lack of apps for video editing. This will change in time, but until then that is the ONLY limiting reason. Win95 has some cutsie toy programs available nothing that can be called serious, and SGI has all the good stuff. I've tried to do video editing on my Win95 box, it sucks.. I fall back to analog editing because of the crappy software and stupid hiccups and crashes.. (Alright the news clip is done, play it to tape and ship it... what? the damn thing crashed again????) If someone would make a good driver or board for video in/out that worked under linux (I mean a good board not that sub $1000.00 crap that doesnt give you true NTSC out or even SVHS out.) things are changing, Linux is young, we are now on the edge of the Application Explosion that is all that is required to bring Linux way past Microsloth or the joke called novell.
  • Right -- cuz there's no way I want a 16 GB removable media on my computer! Sheeit. I'm more than happy with 750Mb CDs -- oh, and yeah, why bother watching DVD's on my 1600x1200 monitor when I can get 320 whole scan lines on my low res tv. (Or alternatively, I can spend several thou and get an HDTV...hmmm let me think....)

    =)
  • Probably, since QuickTime 3.0 does. It's a set of Java classes to access the QuickTime API. You still need a native version of QuickTime for your system. From http://www.apple.com/quicktime/de velopers/qtjava/ [apple.com]
    "QuickTime for Java brings these two powerful technologies together, allowing developers to create Java software that takes advantage of the power of QuickTime on both Macintosh and Windows."
  • I don't think the patent issue applies to hardware decoders. If I remember correctly with dvds the only thing that is patented is the encryption. Since the dvd hardware handles the decryption the software player doesn't need access to the patented routines. IIRC the only real information needed on the creative labs dxr2 card is how to use the mpeg-2 decoder.
  • mpeg2encode does a great job. I use it with tvset and xvidcap and my $60 video capture card to put videos of my son on the net.
  • So, oh technical guru, how much did microsoft pay you? Don't get me wrong, people are free to support whatever views they want, and I don't go screaming M$ lackey at anyone who doesn't support microsoft. The thing is, you're comment sounds an awful lot like a promotional pitch. It's the sort of thing that I'd expect to see on a brochure (sp?).
    About sound, ever checked out ALSA?
    About 3D, ever hear of precision insight?
    About microsoft, that isn't a 3D experience, it's a new version of DOS. If you want to compare Linux to IRIX, and say that IRIX offers real multimedia and Linux doesn't, fine, you'd be right, at least for now. Microsoft offering a complete multimedia experience? Right. My playstation offers a more complete multimedia experience than windows does. And I use that with my TV card under Linux. How do you sleep at night?
  • Linux does not currently support all sound cards out there. This will hopefully change to a degree, but until Linux has 20-30% marketshare, I don't think that it will change all that much. There will always be Uncle Bill's $5 sound cards that don't work, and there will be some companies who are just anal (creative labs, for example).

    About openGL, just wait a bit. Precision Insight is putting together a direct 3D multipipe rendering architecture for XFree86. That combined with Terrence Riperenda's glx work, and you'll have better 3D support than windows does. Then all that's left is hardware support. You should have the 3dfx cards, hopefully matrox cards, and permedia cards. Give it a little while and it should be really good, giving you almost the functionality of some SGI workstations.

    As far as controllers, from what I have read, the new Linux joystick driver rivals the win95 one, supporting just about everything (I think that the BFRIS people said that, check them out to be sure).

    It's either there or coming. Linux isn't perfect yet, especially not for games. If you really want multimedia, get an O2. Why on earth would to mention windows? There is a lot of hardware compatability problems with NT, and 95/98 is just a new version of DOS with some unified drivers. Playing games, it's incredibly unstable. God, why would you even mention windows? They haven't been able to accomplish anything but market share on that nonsense system.
  • What on earth are the benefits of the SB live? Do you have the appropriate 8 speaker system to take advantage of its new features? It will eventually be supported once creative gets a clue and releases specs. There will probably be some shoddy binary only nonsense that doesn't work for a good percentage of the population even sooner.

    As far as 3D, it's not here now, you are correct. It will never be in the kernel. However, XFree86 should be there within 6-12 months. And it won't be shoddy games only crap, either. It should be (given the descriptions of what precision insight is working on) SGI workstation quality software, even if the hardware won't have that sort of power.

    Oh, as a side note, I'm not terribly familiar with sound hardware, but creative generally doesn't make very good stuff. All of the boards that we have specs for give evidence of that. They use pathetically small buffers and other junk. Btw,if you want a good sound card, get an Ensoniq AudioPCI card. It has two independent DSPs, so you can play two pcm streams simultaneous (e.g. voice and mp3 background, game and voice, etc.)
  • Ok, I see what you mean, and you are correct in it.

    I do recommend getting a TV card and a playstation, or just a playstation if you have a TV. It doesn't crash, has a tremendous selection of software, is reasonably priced, has good hardware acceleration, and is compatable with all playstation games. It isn't that good for some forms of RPGs, but FF7 is amazing. Frankly, are the windows games really that much better than the playstation games?
  • MpegTV is great, but, I am having problems with larger Mpeg files with sound. But with most MPegs, its fine.
  • You make games? Wow.

    Well, the whole 3D argument is weak. With 3dfx cards supported, what else do you need for a gamming card? In the windows world, which has lots of games, you have game makers ignoring OpenGL and Direct3D, and doing GLIDE only games. Now if they
    do that, what is the problem with porting/making a game for Linux?

    Question, how good are those force feedback controllers? Are they any better than the ones for the PlayStation or N64?
  • I use mtv on Linux Intel. I didn't had much luck with Xanim so I downloaded and mtv and have used it ever since.
  • As RMS was explaining earlier, developers should use the GPL when they are offering something that users and developers can't get from the commercial world. The LGPL is useful for things that they could get somewhere else. At least it keeps the source open while still making it possible to compete. As it stands now, Redhat, Debian, etc. can't distribute a version of xanim that can play the newer codecs (i.e., almost anything you get off the internet you can't play with the stock xanim). How are we supposed to conquer the desktop like that? "I'm sorry, you just have to download these separate packages, edit the makefile, and recompile. That's all there is" is not going to cut it with people's grandmas. What do you guys think?
  • >Would everyone please get off their Linux
    >high-horse and look at the kernel. Linux sound
    >and 3d are fairly bad supported

    My SB Pci 64 seems to be very well supported under linux. (anyone know about the sbpci128?)
  • Hello all,

    Ben Waggoner here, digital video writer for DV magazine. I'm seeing a bit of confusion here in the distinction between file formats and codecs.

    AVI, MOV, and MPG are all file formats, which describe how audio and video data are organized in a file. All of the above formats are publically documented.

    The data itself in these is created and decoded by codecs (compressor/decompressor). Some of these are well documented and supported on many platforms (MPEG, MP2, Cinepak, Indeo 3.2), and some of these are highly proprietary (Indeo 4 and above, Sorenson, TrueMotion, Bink, etc.). Generally, open-source players only support older, primative codecs, and so are unable to play an increasing amount of video availible on the web.

    Windows Media Player (native support for AVI and NetShow) is Win32 only, discounting some unusable betas for other platforms. QuickTime 3.0 is well supported for Win32 and Mac. Older AVI and QuickTime 2.x support is pretty standard with all these players.

    From an issue of platform advocacy, it's not Apple and Microsoft's responsibility for not making all the codecs availible for other platforms' players. The cool codecs are generally created by third parties these days, like Sorenson Vision, QDesign, Duck, and RAD Game Tools. It is up to those vendors to make software availible for Linux et al.

    Of course, if Apple or Microsoft decided to create a full UNIX implementation, they would certainly encourage their codec vendors to port as well. A full QuickTime implementation under Linux would be a major win, and preferable to Windows Media Player. Microsoft's digital video efforts have ranged from the laughable to the infuriating, and have always lacked the elegance of QuickTime.

    In the mean time, the best file format to use for multi-platform delivery is probably MPEG-1. It's widely availible and provides quite good quality. Die-hard FSF folks may have trouble with some of the patent confusion surrounding MPEG, but there are similar problems with ALL of these technologies.
  • Sorry, I should have been a little more clear about that.

    QuickTime is a media architecture. Its native file format is the QuickTime file, .mov. However it can read lots of other formats, and even embed other formats inside of a QuickTime file. For example, QuickTime can directly work with DV files, GIF, MPEG-1 (Mac only), 3DMF models, animated GIF files, some AVI, etc. For the purposes of this discussion, QuickTime is mainly important as the only playback mechanism that fully supports the .mov file format, although many players can handle many older 2.0 era files.

    But QuickTime does a huge number of other incredible things as well, and a full Apple-supported QuickTime would be definite win for Linux. QuickTime is a complete digital media architecture, complete with video capture, compression, editing, and effects services. And Apple has to do a UNIX port for OS X anyway...


    Ben Waggoner

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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