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FFmpeg Finally Releases Long-Awaited Version 0.5

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the unsung-software-heroes dept.

Media 176

An anonymous reader writes "After many years of release-free development, FFmpeg, the most widely used audio and video codec library, has finally returned to a regular release schedule with the long-awaited version 0.5. While the list of changes is far too long to list here, some high-profile improvements include the reverse-engineering of all Real video formats, WMV9/VC-1 support, AAC decoding, and of course vast performance improvements across the board. To commemorate the 'lively' discussions predating the release, 0.5 is codenamed 'half-way to world domination A.K.A. the belligerent blue bike shed.' The new version can be downloaded from the official website." As another reader points out, FFmpeg is what makes some open source multimedia apps (like MPlayer, Xine, VLC and Kdenlive) so versatile.

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M!! (3, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134423)

the reverse-engineering of all Real video formats,

Sweet! does that mean that we are going to be able to play rmvb in the Wii soon?

Re:M!! (1)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134449)

Wii uses ffmpeg??!

Re:M!! (2, Funny)

rallymatte (707679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134543)

Wii uses ffmpeg??!

If you're running Linux on it probably could.
WiiLi [wiili.org]

Re:M!! (1)

Viperlin (747468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135011)

You Don't need to be running WiiLi there is an mplayer you can put on it if you have your wii hacked, also handles DVD's if you've installed the right libs

Re:M!! (5, Informative)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134557)

The Will has several ports of mplayer available. The version called MPlayer CE is the most actively developed.

http://www.wiibrew.org/wiki/MPlayer_CE [wiibrew.org]

It can be installed by the Homebrew Channel. The downside of the mplayers port is that they has no memory protection so attempting to play files that they can't play can crash the Wii requiring a hard reset. I've done this a number of times and haven't suffered anything evil like bricking the thing.

Returns to Regular Release? (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134913)

Can we say, "Too soon to tell" if this is going to be on a release schedule?

Re:M!! (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136417)

Man, why would you want to?

Suck cocks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134437)

That's what y'all need here.

Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134451)

I'd like to point out that FFmpeg is what makes some open source multimedia apps (like MPlayer, Xine, VLC and Kdenlive) so versatile.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (5, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134505)

I'd like to point out that FFmpeg is what makes some open source multimedia apps (like MPlayer, Xine, VLC and Kdenlive) so versatile.

Thanks for that info. I was reading the Slashdot article summary, where it says: "As another reader points out, FFmpeg is what makes some open source multimedia apps (like MPlayer, Xine, VLC and Kdenlive) so versatile." and was hoping that some reader like yourself would point that out because that factoid is only mentioned once in the summary and thus is not obvious to people who only read the scrollbars on their window.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134605)

Maybe this was the reader who pointed it out?!

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (5, Funny)

rilles (1153657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134875)

Thanks for pointing out that fact. phew.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (5, Funny)

Alphanos (596595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134699)

Presumably he's the reader the editors were referring to...

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (5, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134597)

I too would like to point out that FFmpeg is what makes some open source multimedia apps (like MPlayer, Xine, VLC and Kdenlive) so versatile.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (5, Funny)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134937)

I would like to point out that teen pregnancy is an unfortunate problem that is difficult to prevent in our society.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (0, Offtopic)

tiananmen tank man (979067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135357)

I like teen pregnancy in our society

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (2, Funny)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135523)

"This MILF is paedobear approved..."

That's just damned disturbing.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (0, Troll)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135539)

Easy solution: masturbation. Not as an alternative to sex though, that would never work. The trick is getting them to do it with coat hangers.

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135787)

Are you suggesting we try to impregnate coat hangers?

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136839)

Where do you think baby coat hangers come from?

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135705)

I would like to point out that 19 year old adult women married women who get pregnant are counted as bing a teen pregnancy in our society.

YEAH? YOUR POINT? (2, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136073)

19 year old 'adult' women, married or not- who are pregnant?

the whole point of tracking teen pregnancy is how disadvantaged the resulting children are likely to be.

How marginally different is it really just because the mother in question is married.-when it's at age 19..

yeah.. given the choice- I'd feel far less concern about the birth to a 30 year old single mother than a 19 year old married mother

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137363)

Not according to Wikipedia which defines teen pregnancy:

"Teenage pregnancy is defined as a teenage or underage girl (usually within the ages of 13-17) becoming pregnant. The term in everyday speech usually refers to women who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world, who become pregnant."

Re:Who cares about FFmpeg? You should. (0, Redundant)

rallymatte (707679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135821)

I too would like to point out that this is getting ridiculous.

"Regular release schedule" (3, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134501)

How is one release after "many years" of nothing a "regular release cycle"? Wouldn't that require, at minimum, two consecutive releases? What if the next release isn't for another 5 years? Unless you're suggesting that is in fact their "regular release" schedule.

Re:"Regular release schedule" (5, Informative)

c0rN_g0aT (752144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134591)

I think he was trying to point out that previously FFmpeg didn't have any release cycle at all. They wanted everyone to download and compile the latest CVS snapshot and use that. In fact, to get help from the mailing list they usually require that you download source and recompile first. The fact that they have locked in and officially named a release is significant.

That was always the most confusing part too (5, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135105)

There never was a real build for ffmpeg. Now that they've got a stable release, I wonder when they will start pushing out official builds for various platforms (say, Win32/64)?

That said, could they actually push out binaries? One of the strange things with ffmpeg is that pretty much everywhere you go, it is compiled different. One system's ffmpeg will have a bunch of codecs installed and another will not. You can never really count on having something like H.264. Hell, I've seen one installation that didn't even have libmp3lame on it! Reminds me of PHP in many ways--so many damn compiler flags that you are pretty much guaranteed every system will be different.

Is this a legal thing, or a "we dont have a good build process yet" thing?

Re:That was always the most confusing part too (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135481)

Hell, I've seen one installation that didn't even have libmp3lame on it!

You do realize, don't you, that thanks to software patents, it's probably illegal to distribute libmp3lame in the US?

Re:That was always the most confusing part too (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136751)

Unless you can point to an individual, non-commercial user of ffmpeg who has been sued I'm not going to worry much about this. I don't see how the patent holders could even find out that you are using an unlicensed player unless you are stupid enough to ship something commercially.

Patent Laws (-1, Redundant)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135125)

They wanted everyone to download and compile the latest CVS snapshot and use that.

I remember something about multimedia patents - open source developers were not allowed to release binaries. So they released source code only.

Could this be the case?

Re:Patent Laws (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137141)

> I remember something about multimedia patents - open source developers were not allowed to release binaries.
> Could this be the case?

Nah, firstly MPlayer, VLC etc. do not really have problems, secondly FFmpeg is located in Switzerland.
If nobody does a release at all because it is considered too much effort, why do you think they should do binary releases, particularly when the most important parts are the libraries anyway?
And lastly, binaries for Linux are usually made by the distributions (or someone else providing distribution-specific packages) and for Windows everyone VLC, MPlayer, ... has had trouble finding developers, and thus also in general someone to do the build.

Hope this helps building a better documentation (5, Informative)

egghat (73643) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135963)

ffmpeg is one of the pieces in the open source world that must have the biggest gap between usefulness and usability. Ever seen the man page? Gazillions of options! Some of them can be applied multiple times for input and output. Therefore the order of arguments is significant. Took a while for me to figure that out ...

Re:Hope this helps building a better documentation (4, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136991)

FFMPEG is not something that I think is targeted at the end user to use on the command line. It works great for people like you and I who can figure it out. I can't remember all those options either but I certainly can and have created some shell scripts to build correct ffmpeg commands to produce output for the various media devices I own. Its nice to have this option, as I don't know of any software front end that would let me record directly from my DTV card and convert to the obscure mov+jpegB format used by my SANSA on the fly. Its to exotic a situation and something only a small number of people want to do. That is where the ffmpeg binary is great. It lets people like me to slap what I want together in some shell scripts and not have to break out the C compiler.

Really the projects value is in libavcodec; which is used in all sorts of things like VLC, mplayer, Myth etc which are much more "usable" and target at the end user.

Re:"Regular release schedule" (1)

rpmayhem (1244360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135363)

Maybe they are restarting a regular release schedule with 0.5?

Re:"Regular release schedule" (4, Informative)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135675)

Not "restarting." "Starting." They have never had a release schedule as they do not do releases. OR didn't. Whatever.

Re:"Regular release schedule" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135931)

Yes they did. There were regular snapshot releases of FFMpeg up to around 0.4.9, then they decided making proper releases was too much effort and adopted the policy that only CVS could be considered "current". This is great if you're an FFMpeg developer, but sucks if you're the unlucky SOB who is trying to package the damn thing into a release. Hopefully we'll get back to semi-regular releases and I can stop worrying about trying CVS snapshots daily until I get lucky and one builds, and works.

hallelujah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134545)

it's incredible, I've been using ffmpeg for several years, I never thought they would do it again...
Nevertheless, I'm a bit surprised, because main ffmpeg developers were always against releases and their constraints...

Can I now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27134559)

Can I play HD content on my Pentium III nao?

AAC Decoding (1)

tecker (793737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134635)

Really? AAC Decoding is new?

I thought that this was already done by many things (VLC for one). Unless these were using an SVN build this really surprises me.

Also for us not in the know. Is WMV9 what WMP10 and WMP11 use?

Re:AAC Decoding (1)

Milvuss (1417689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134755)

AAC decoding was possible thru FAAD (GPLv2). Now, FFMPEG can decode it natively with its own LGPL code.

Not a big difference for a lot of people, but quite important for some third parties using FFMPEG.

Re:AAC Decoding (1)

jmak (409787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134853)

FFMPEG can also decode E-AC3, i.e. Blu-Ray audio.

Re:AAC Decoding (1)

thaig (415462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134795)

VLC is built with ffmpeg inside, ffmpeg has had all these features for ages - this news is only new because there's a "release" - not because the features are new in ffmpeg or in the programs that use it.

Re:AAC Decoding (2, Informative)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136521)

Actually the news about it is that instead of using a GPL AAC decoder, they have their own LGPL decoder that is twice as fast as the old decoder. This LGPL AAC decoder is something that has only come about since maybe last year's Google Summer of Code.

Re:AAC Decoding (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134827)

Basically Yes. [wikipedia.org]

Re:AAC Decoding (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137033)

everyone who has ffmpeg in their project uses SVN checkouts.

That's the only way to use ffmpeg up until now.

At last! (1, Redundant)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134707)

Now I can listen to my Nobuo Uematsu collection!

Re:At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135021)

You've been fantasizing at Rinoa Heartilly in the little white dress while listening to Eyes on Me, haven't you?

Hooray! (1)

clong83 (1468431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134845)

This is good news. Now the bad news is I have many scripts that run ffmpeg, and they might need to be updated... But really, a new stable release is a fantastic thing.

easier blu-ray on linux? (5, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134859)

I noticed on the release notes that ffmpeg now supports TrueHD as well as the VC-1 for video, these are both commonly used on blu-ray discs. Maybe we'll get lucky and at least now we'll be able to play our blu-ray disc tracks on linux after we remove all the DRM, & HDCP nonsense. We could sort of do it before but it's a royal pain in the ass: just last night I had to go through about four different media players to blue-ray tracks in trueHD audio and some other weird video format before I found one that could actually play my disc without spewing out error messages every frame. Even then it seemed like the dolby 5.1 sound was messed up -- the voices were coming from behind us and the music from the front.

Re:easier blu-ray on linux? (5, Informative)

LeafOnTheWind (1066228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135119)

We're working on it. Just to let you know, while I'm sure an official release will be useable, don't expect the raw source ffmpeg model to go out any time soon. I expect that bug fixes and features will be in the repository very quickly and if you have a need for these things, you should probably compile the code from source. You may also want to keep an eye on the mailing lists
http://lists.mplayerhq.hu/mailman/listinfo/ffmpeg-cvslog/ [mplayerhq.hu]
http://lists.mplayerhq.hu/mailman/listinfo/ffmpeg-devel/ [mplayerhq.hu]

Re:easier blu-ray on linux? (2, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135841)

Thanks for the response. Yeah, I expect it will take a while for the changes to trickle down to the media players, i.e. some of them (VLC IIRC) use their own version of ffmpeg. I am compiling my mplayer from source, because of the VDPAU support. :) In any case, I find it's usually better to get the bleeding edge version with audio and video software since codecs, etc. seem to change much more rapidly than most software.

Re:easier blu-ray on linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136787)

Yeah but will it play HD content using the GPU. The last time I tried to play HD h.264 video with VLC, it was a horrible experience. 100% CPU usage and a lot of choppiness. Windows Media Player handles HD content fine because it uses the GPU for acceleration, but I couldn't bring myself to use that as my video player.

I found The KMPlayer [kmplayer.com] and it uses GPU acceleration too (completely smooth 1080p h.264 playback with only about 20% CPU usage on one of my cores), has lots of built in codecs and supports external codecs as well. I've since removed VLC from my system since it has been made obsolete. If this new ffmpeg supports GPU acceleration, I might have to have a look.

Re:easier blu-ray on linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137359)

It's already possible and many of us have already set it up, It isn't easy to initially set up though. Check out this link here, it's a good starting point http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-691564.html

for blu-ray disks you pretty much need the "hitchhiker" patch set for the kernel, and the patched versions of mplayer and ffmpeg from the berkano overlay (assuming you use gentoo, otherwise you'll need to manually patch, which patches you need will be listed in the ebuild, they're just text script files)

Almost done? (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27134915)

So, 0.5. Does that mean they're half way done?

Re:Almost done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135025)

Real programmers start counting at 0.

Don't worry; you'll do just fine with a marketing degree.

Re:Almost done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135807)

Real programmers start counting at 0.

Just like he did.

Don't worry, you'll do just fine trolling on 4chan.

Re:Almost done? (2, Informative)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135699)

The release codename is 'half-way to world domination A.K.A. the belligerent blue bike shed.'. Did you even read the abstract, or just the news title ?

Halfway there (2, Funny)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135827)

Does that mean they're half way done?

OHHHHHHHH LIving on a prayer!

Sorry. Had to. It's in my contract. =)

Re:Almost done? (1)

scriptdaemon (923033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136659)

half-way to world domination

So... yeah.

Also.... (1)

buanzo (542591) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135041)

Audacity :)

WMV9 but no WMA9 support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135047)

That's the real sucky thing for us on 64-bit platforms that can't easily use the 32-bit Windows DLL's.

You can watch the videos but NO SOUND! Even if you do install all the 32-bit stuff, it will still be out of sync with the video.

Anyway, I'm happy that ffmpeg does anything in the first place. A great piece of software for sure.

Re:WMV9 but no WMA9 support (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27135349)

You can watch the videos but NO SOUND!

That's okay, the only things in WMV9 format that are worth watching are porn, and you don't need sound for that.

Re:WMV9 but no WMA9 support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136127)

A WMA9 decoder is in the FFmpeg-Soc repository. Not sure how well it works, but if it is important to you you can try that...

Re:WMV9 but no WMA9 support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136137)

Er, I meant to note that by WMA9 I mean WMAv3 support. WMV9/WMAv3 is what you get if you use the latest Microsoft encoders.

As the poster above mentions, I don't know why people use that crap. H.264 with AAC seems to be the correct path for the future and is what most people are using these days.

The question is- (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135123)

When will there be a media player worth a darn on Mac OS X? Playing x264 files on OS X is not an option at this time unless you have an 8-core Mac Pro. 1080p crawls in VLC and Perian, and the CorePlayer for OS X is a joke-no AC-3 support, yet they want $20 for it? Why did they release it as a standalone app instead of a codec package for QuickTime?

Shitty utter ass, the entire situation is!

Re:The question is- (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135287)

I was unaware there was a Open Source general-case multi-threaded h.264 decoder. What are you using?

Re:The question is- (1)

frogblast (916870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135385)

Have you tried MPlayer Extended: http://mplayerosx.sttz.ch/ [mplayerosx.sttz.ch]

though i do agree that overall the video player lineup on os x is pretty weak

Re:The question is- (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135573)

I'll throw my recommendation behind this one. Quicktime's interface isn't bad but it's format support is terrible (and for things like WMV files you have to wait for a good amount of time where it does a mini-conversion before it plays). I *normally* find VLC a very usable player on most systems (Linux, Windows) but the Mac OS X version has always been really, really buggy for me. Mplayer Extended gives you essentially the Mplayer backend with a Quicktime-esque interface.

The only thing that still bugs me on Mplayer Extended (and it's often the same on many players) is that clicking in the tracking bar to a specific location in a video often puts you "somewhere kinda close to that point" rather than EXACTLY to that point. Minor quip though.

Honestly though, as much as people knock Windows, I've STILL not found anything on any platform that beats Media Player Classic for a simple, no nonsense video player. http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:The question is- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136445)

install perian for quicktime
its like ffdshow for windows media player

Re:The question is- (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136651)

I have already done that. It doesn't work as well - it certainly doesn't enable WMV support which I need. Flip4mac does that but it's a very poor implementation. So far I've just found MPlayer Extended to be the best option in OS X.

Re:The question is- (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136135)

The latest versions of mplayer will do H.264 much better than they used to.

I'm not sure if/how it would work on a Mac, but I do know that VDPAU is working very well on Linux, it'll accelerate H.264 decoding if you have an 8xxx or later nVidia chip.

Re:The question is- (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136623)

Are the H.264 decoders for Intel chips as bad as the H.264 *en*coders are for PowerPC, then? I just tried to watch a 1080p movie trailer on my dual 1.8 Ghz G5, and while it certainly dropped frames, it looks like a dual 2.5 Ghz PowerMac (and certainly the quad-core version) would probably play it alright.

This was playing it in Quicktime. In VLC it just flat-out didn't work (I got 5+ seconds of still image between partial frame updates!)

RealPlayer managed it about the same as Quicktime.

Of course, that's *if* the CPU is the problem.

However, neither Quicktime nor RealPlayer redlined my CPU; I still had about 15% idle on each chip. I suspect the video card may have more do to with the skipped frames than raw CPU. (Even fullscreen 1920 x 1200 iTunes visualizer playback is choppy.) I'm running two screens of the original GeForce 5200 64 meg card.

Most widely used? (0)

slagheap (734182) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135153)

FFmpeg, the most widely used audio and video codec library.

I think that statement may require some qualifiers, like "open source". I would guess that Windows Media, Quicktime, and several other non-free codec libraries are *vastly* more widely used than ffmpeg.

For end-users, yeah (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135653)

But there isn't anything like ffmpeg for batch transcoding or even one-off transcoding. A lot of commercial apps even use ffmpeg for transcoding.

Yeah learning the command line switches are kind of a bitch, but once you do, you will know more about how audio, video and metadata are combined to create "media". That said, there are some good front-ends to ffmpeg--for example MediaCoder [sourceforge.net] , which lets you feel the joy of transcoding.

Re:For end-users, yeah (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137111)

while i rarely need to transcode media, i have stumbled upon mencoder/ffmpeg manpages, so i decided to look at mediacoder.

for the record, it seems to be a windows app, and linux as supported platform is mentioned only "Linux with Wine (most features work)".

Re:Most widely used? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136165)

I wouldn't be surprised if FFMPEG is close to those two. I use VLC (which uses FFMPEG) on both of my Macs, and it's installed on my mother's Windows machine for playing video and DVDs.

Re:Most widely used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136999)

> I would guess that Windows Media, Quicktime, and several other non-free codec libraries are *vastly* more widely used than ffmpeg.

Depends. How much does e.g. YouTube count? Also, if you do not just count installed but actually used, I'd guess ffdshow (and thus FFmpeg which it uses) ahead even on Windows systems (obviously this is only a guess).

What about iTMS? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135187)

Anyone know if/how this version can play iTMS-encrypted music and/or videos?

Re:What about iTMS? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135613)

Anyone know if/how this version can play iTMS-encrypted music and/or videos?

No, it won't decrypt/break DRM for you.

For music - I suggest you just pay the upgrade fee already to get it into iTunes+ format (higher quality, DRM free). All tracks should be DRM-free soon enough. Else, see below.

For video - you'll have to find a program called "requiem" - the official distirbution site is on Freenet though, so I suggest you grab a copy off a torrent and grab the freenet link contained in the readme file. Just to avoid a malware infested download.

Once defanged, it's standard AAC and h.264 video easily playable in any compatible player (e.g., mplayer, vlc).

Re:What about iTMS? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136817)

> No, it won't decrypt/break DRM for you.

To be pedantic, that is not completely right. It will decrypt ASF/WMV/WMA files, it will not break the DRM though - so you need to get the decryption key from somewhere else (e.g. FreeMe2)

still no multithreaded h.264 decoding (3, Informative)

mczak (575986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135241)

Multithreaded h.264 decoding is what I'm missing. Still only slice-based multithreading support, which doesn't work with 95% the content out there, which means you can't get real time decoding of full hd content on A64 X2 (core2 cpus are probably fast enough even with one core, at least the faster ones). ffmpeg-mt branch fixes this, I wonder when this will be merged (still seems to be a bit buggy).

Re:still no multithreaded h.264 decoding (5, Informative)

the_crowbar (149535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135729)

If you have an Nvidia 8400 or better card and driver version 180.xx (I think .37 is newest) you can use the VDPAU api to offload the video decode to your GPU. Just Google it to find the mplayer patches or maybe binaries. There are also some MythTV unofficial builds with it. It can allow a Sempron to easily play high bitrate h.264 video (i.e. BluRay).

Cheers,
the_crowbar

Re:still no multithreaded h.264 decoding (1)

mczak (575986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136143)

Right, and chances are intel and amd support something like that (using their own apis...) in the future too. Doesn't help if you have older graphic chip (like rs690 igp) however.

Re:still no multithreaded h.264 decoding (3, Informative)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136287)

IIRC The next version of Ubuntu coming out in April (Jaunty) should have VDPAU supported media players and (if you have an nvidia card supporting VDPAU) driver 180.29 as the standard install. (ie, you won't have to compile the experimental mplayer anymore to watch 720p or 1080p files)

Re:still no multithreaded h.264 decoding (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136289)

It's definitely still buggy. I've played with the ffmpeg-mt branch a few times, but it throws up decoding errors while playing and so on. It's definitely not ready for prime-time, but it is promising.

Re:still no multithreaded h.264 decoding (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136393)

Ditto that sentiment. I'm very sorry to tell my OSX/Linux using friends that, no, your brand new $2000 Macbook Pro cannot play this 1080P x264 file because the decoder will only use one core and it's not fast enough to keep up. Unfortunately, until the ffmpeg-mt branch becomes stable and gets merged back in (and now it will be months before that happens) you have to use Windows or wait for http://www.coreavc.com/ [coreavc.com] to be ported to your platform.

Even in the face of a preference for open source, just about everyone in the HD community will admit that you either need a really fast rig (C2D/AX2 ~2.4Ghz for 720p, ~3.0ghz for 1080p), some sort of GPU-offloading or a CoreAVC because it can do real multithreading (slice-based is fail). This is going to be very important if Linux based media-centers are going to have any punch in the living room.

It's a disappointing area for proponents of OSS, to say the least.

FFmpeg in SUPER (3, Interesting)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135295)

FFmpeg is extremely powerful and versatile. Those words are, for the newer user, synonymous with difficult and confusing when the program is based on command line or a very simplistic front end. FFmpeg is very fully implimented (along with MEncoder, ffmpeg2theora and RealProducer) in the free audio and video format and parameter conversion front end software SUPER, from erightsoft.com. Free to download and use but not FOSS: small loss since it is, after all, intended for the majority of users who'd have trouble running such as FFmpeg native, those users hardly likely to want the source anyway. There are very few functions of the internal programs not implemented (setting a max output file size is one of the few). SUPER is extremely powerful while having every available function made as obvious as possible (and all have float-over hints), making it also useful as a training device for learning audio and video compression and conversion. The authors of SUPER clearly and repeatedly insist that their program is simply a front end, and that all credit for the power inside their program go to the programs they've built their around, and the authors thereof.

A minor beef is they require you to use IE with security settings low in order to download it as well as participate in the (very well attended by the authors) chat area. The 5 year span since the last FFmpeg release is a complete surprise to me, a daily user of SUPER, because there's so much more of that program available through the front end than I ever use.

I purchased DivXPro so I could convert everything to DivX, in order to play it on my DivX capable home DVD player. I found SUPER (with which I run FFmpeg almost exclusively for video) to be so much more powerful, flexible and faster, that I made the comment in the chat area that "SUPER does for free what others can't do for money". They liked that phrase so much that they adopted it as a motto. This is the sole association I have with the folks from erightsoft's SUPER project, just so your sure this is a testimonial, not an advertisement. One other small beef, they won't let you put it up for download elsewhere, even with the best of intentions on the sites with the best reputations. You can only get it from them.

I'm quite confident that SUPER will make use of the greater power of the new FFmpeg. I'm less confident I and most of the other users who just want to make things go will learn all about them. For those that do want to learn about them, the SUPER front end provides an a priori description of what will happen if you select each.

Bring it on -- no doubt erightsoft is already working on the new impplementation. In the mean time, check out the current version to find out how powerful FFmpeg already is. I'll bet you'll be surprised.

Re:FFmpeg in SUPER (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136035)

Have you ever considered going into marketing?

"Last week I used ffmpeg on the command line, and I broke two of my fingers while trying to covert something to divx. Today, I clicked a button for a GUI frontend to ffmpeg, and like the thousands of other GUIs, it converts stuff to divx."

"Also, Larry the Lawyer got me $300.000,- from the keyboard manufacturer"

Re:FFmpeg in SUPER (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136153)

Last time I checked, SUPER still required admin privileges to run it, not just to install it, and they had some lameass excuse about how that was to prevent it being run on public machines and the like.

Granted, they can't even figure out the right way to determine whether they have admin privileges, so I suppose it's too much to think they could come up with some way for an admin to do something to allow the program to run without it requiring those privileges at runtime.

It may be overly paranoid of me to wonder what the real reason for the admin privileges might be, but I think it's still a valid concern.

Doesn't support Dirac (4, Interesting)

Burz (138833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27135651)

WTF? I am supposed to use Theora if I want an unencumbered codec??

At least VLC supports it directly.

Incidentally, VLC is not so hot on OS X these days. Instead of using FFmpeg for everything it can, it defers to Quicktime and its plugins for anything it can. Which means that most of the time you will not get an alternative method of decoding with the latest VLC versions; I can play many more files with earlier versions.

Re:Doesn't support Dirac (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136163)

Incidentally, VLC is not so hot on OS X these days.

VLC is not so hot on windows these days either. Since the 0.9 versions it takes too damn long to start up, and I think Qt has something to do with it. For some reason it also stopped working properly on dual monitor setups on windows, and even though there's a workaround it's annoying at best.

I've reverted back to using a recent version of media player classic and ffdshow. I haven't used 0.9 on OS X yet, but the 0.8 version works pretty well there.

Re:Doesn't support Dirac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137229)

At least the dual monitor problem was solved, or at least it was on my machine, with one of the newer builds of VLC. For a few though it did have a lot of problems.

Re:Doesn't support Dirac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136247)

FFmpeg _does_ support Dirac de/encoding through libdirac & libschroedinger!

Re:Doesn't support Dirac (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136353)

I recently came across MPlayer OS X Extended [mplayerosx.sttz.ch] , which is almost as good as VLC is on OS X - unlike the normal mplayer builds. You might want to check it out if you haven't tried it before.

Re:Doesn't support Dirac (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136379)

In some cases (at least the test cases that I used), Theora looked better for low bitrate (~800kbps) streams than Dirac.

Re:Doesn't support Dirac (2, Informative)

MadMoose (23590) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136447)

Try Movist on OS X, it lets you choose between FFmpeg and QT. And the interface is lovely.

Whow...just in time to support all Real video... (0, Offtopic)

one_in_a_milli0n (1085449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136367)

...formats, now that they become more and more obsolete.

AAC revival (2, Insightful)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136425)

It is interesting that his follows closely on the heels of the FAAC 1.28 Release [sourceforge.net] and FAAD2 2.7 Release [sourceforge.net] after an over 2 year haitus. On the other hand, the developer mailing list is quite active considering I get sourceforge-marked [SPAM] between 5-10 times per day.

Documentation? (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137317)

Have they also improved the documentation? I've looked at using ffmpeg in my own image processing application, but after reading for a while I gave up and now I just use png (you can dump png images of a video stream using mplayer).

In my opinion, a package with such a central role in the open source multimedia landscape should have exemplary documentation. A professor once told us that it is better to have a well-documented implementation that doesn't work than an undocumented working one, and there is some truth in it.

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