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An Interview With the Developers of FFmpeg

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the in-media-res dept.

Media 80

An anonymous reader writes "Following the long-awaited release of FFmpeg 0.5, Phoronix has conducted an interview with three FFmpeg developers (Diego Biurrun, Baptiste Coudurier, and Robert Swain) about this project's recent release. In this interview they talk about moving to a 3/6-month release cycle, the criteria for version 1.0, Blu-Ray support on Linux, OpenCL and GPGPU acceleration, multi-threading FFmpeg, video APIs, their own video codecs, and legal challenges they have run into."

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first question! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27182341)

how do you like eating my asshole?

Re:first question! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27182401)

That's a nutty question

Re:first question! (-1, Troll)

rinoid (451982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183139)

Are you sure it tastes like nuts?

Re:first question! (-1, Troll)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182403)

Sup, dawg! I herd you liek eatin' assholes so I put an asshole in yo asshole so you can eat while you eat!

Version numbering (0, Offtopic)

Umangme (1337019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182423)

The versions will have to be numbered better if they play to have a release cycle. "0.5" just doesn't work.

Re:Version numbering (2, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183237)

Who modded parent insightful?

Numbers indicate nothing more than sequential release numbers.

You must be really distressed at Microsoft's race from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, to Windows 2000, only to plummet back down to Windows 7.

Wait, maybe there is some significance to these numbers after all.

Long Awaited? (-1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182519)

"Following the long-awaited release of FFmpeg 0.5"

Define "Long" and who was waiting for something that is still ".5" beta?

What the hell is FFmpeg anyway? Oh, it is just another CODEC library. Yawn!

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182577)

What the hell is FFmpeg anyway? Oh, it is a badass CODEC library. Yippie!

There fixed that for you.

Re:Long Awaited? (5, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182807)

It's neither "just another", nor a "codec library".

First, it is (arguably) the best out there.

Second, it is an extremely powerful, cross-platform transcoder for every format under the sun.

Third, it is an extremely diverse media player (mplayer)

Fouth, it is the bassis for a countless number of media player and transcoding projects.

As someone who manipulates digital video on both a person and professional level, ffmpeg is the #1 tool in my arsenal.

Congrats on 0.5!!!

Re:Long Awaited? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27182927)

The #1 tool in my arse.

The Anal Intruder !

Re:Long Awaited? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183477)

No. You. You tool!

Re:Long Awaited? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183275)

mplayer != ffmpeg. a "codec library" == the bassis for a countless number of media player and transcoding projects. I do not think these words mean what you think they mean. ffmpeg is primarily a codec. Encoder, and decoder. You might more accurately say it is a codec package because it provides the ffmpeg program (and others) and a collection of libraries (libavcodec, libavformat...) The package also provides a player, muxer, and a streamer; the player is ffplay, not mplayer.

Re:Long Awaited? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27184281)

No it isn't. It lacks even the most basic of features.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27184793)

No it isn't. It lacks even the most basic of features.

I can't think of any basic features ffmpeg lacks. I also Googled the question and couldn't find anything.

Examples please?

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Petaris (771874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27184565)

As someone who manipulates digital video on both a person and professional level, ffmpeg is the #1 tool in my arsenal.

Quick question, I know its off topic but do you know of any good way to convert a wmv file from MS Photostory3 to flv format? For some reason the file gets bigger, when it actually works. I Googled for answers but didn't find much. My only guess is that photostory3 is doing something funky in the wmv file. Though IMHO wmv is funky anyway. Alternativly if anyone knows of a good open source photostory3 replacement I'd love to know about it. I work for a school and so I am stuck dealing with Movie Maker and Photostory3. Also anyone know of a good open source DVD creator (video, with at least simple menus)?

Thanks,

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27185077)

WMV is a variable-frame-rate format, which depending on the tool you use and the output format can cause all kinds of issues. So, without having any more information to go by, I suggest you make sure you set a frame rate for the output file, otherwise you might end up with e.g. 120 frames per second or in the case of mencoder even 1000 frames per second (and it's no surprise it gets larger then).

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219843)

For some reason the file gets bigger, when it actually works. I Googled for answers but didn't find much. My only guess is that photostory3 is doing something funky in the wmv file.

PhotoStory generates wmv files that are not really a video in the normal sense. It contains the still photos and the different effects that are applied to them, and the soundtrack. Think of it as being the vector art of videos. The decoder then does all the work in "rasterizing" the video. That is why when converting it to a real video format makes the file larger.

As for OSS DVD creators, take a look at DVD-Slideshow [sourceforge.net] and 'Q' DVD-Author [sourceforge.net] . There are other frontends to dvdauthor [sourceforge.net] which are listed on the dvdauthor website. Or you could just use the command-line dvdauthor without a frontend to master the DVD.

Re:Long Awaited? (2, Interesting)

salahx (100975) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182975)

Don't confuse ffmpeg with libavcodec. Although libavcodec is part of of the ffmpeg distribution, and is used by many other program (mplayer especially), ffmpeg is more than that.

Re:Long Awaited? (5, Informative)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182683)

Define "Long" and who was waiting for something that is still ".5" beta?

It is not in "beta", it is production quality. The fact that it is 0.5 indicates that it is not complete and perfect yet.

Oh, it is just another CODEC library.

It is not "just another", it is the most important and most used open-source codec library

Re:Long Awaited? (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182753)

It's the "complete" part of that word that is the key one. I dare say that no software is ever going to be "perfect" ... or, for that matter, "complete" in the ultimate sense of the word. However, I'm guessing they have a list of functionality that they want to implement before they declare it to be FFmpeg 1.0; fulfilling their list of desired functionality makes it "complete."

Re:Long Awaited? (4, Insightful)

shar303 (944843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182769)

It's a bit more than a codec library - without it you probably wouldn't have Youtube or VLC, as well as countless other online and offline applications.

No one would expect you to be grateful, but you might want to demonstrate some knowledge of a domain you're so quick to pass comment on.

Re:Long Awaited? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27184817)

I don't use Youtube or VLC, so I really don't give a damn. FFmpeg also causes problems with tons of other applications and games.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186437)

Does it, now? If true, perhaps you can specify an example or two? If you don't use VLC or Youtube (which are the two video applications I access most frequently, personally), then what are you doing that is caused so much trouble by this excellent library?

Re:Long Awaited? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27187395)

Nah, said dumbass AC just doesn't know the difference between FFmpeg and ffdshow(-tryouts). And even that hasn't caused much trouble in the last few years, and if everything else fails you can just whitelist it to the few media players you want to use it in...

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27188657)

You're obviously stupid.

Re:Long Awaited? (5, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183291)

Right. What is FFMPEG? It's basically a package that allows you to convert from almost any audio or video file format to almost any audio or video file format. Not only that, but it's the audio/video converter that pretty much every other (excluding in-house proprietary) converters and players are based on. It's important.

As to why we care about a 0.5 release, FFMPEG has been around for years, but to my knowledge has not had "releases". There is the latest build, and that's it. The idea of having a stable "release" build is news in itself, whatever number you associate to it.

Yes, there's still a lot to do, so the 0.5 version number is probably warranted. For one thing, there are still a few formats out there that FFMPEG doesn't fully support, and not all of those that they support seem to have been optimized well enough for output quality IMO. However, it's amazing how much they've accomplished already. Life would be so much harder if not for these guys' work.

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183881)

>The fact that it is 0.5 indicates that it is not complete and perfect yet.

Bullshit.

Could someone please educate people on what version numbers mean?

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27184327)

Version numbers aren't a standard enforced by anything. A version number is anything the creator wants it to be. Sure there are accepted formats like "greater.lesser.rev fix", but there also dozens of others. The fact that you think all software has to follow one paradigm and that you think your ideal of that paradigm is correct is a bit insulting.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 5 years ago | (#27185639)

Could someone please educate people on what version numbers mean?

There is not one meaning to version numbers. Never was, never will be.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187721)

It is not in "beta", it is production quality. The fact that it is 0.5 indicates that it is not complete and perfect yet.

See, this is the reason why you should use version numbers like everyone else. Then you do not have to keep explaining over and over and over again that no, it's not beta even though the version number looks just like a beta version number.

"1.0" doesn't mean "complete and perfect". It merely means "first public release". ffmpeg passed that point long, long ago, and should have been named "1.0" then.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27188189)

It's just the usual goofy-ass Open Source versioning, where things stay sub-1.0 for years and years for no valid reason. 1.0 isn't supposed to mean "perfect." It's supposed to mean your first release.

Re:Long Awaited? (3, Informative)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182991)

Saying FFMPEG is just a codec library is like saying a Ferrari is a shiny surface for adhering horsie stickers to.

The distinguishing features of FFMPEG are that it's cross-platform (many commercial Windows and Mac apps use it under the hood), it's astonishingly fast at transcoding, has very broad codec AND container support, is fairly simple yet has a very rich set of advanced features.

What other tool are you going to use to convert your AutoDesk Animator video library to Flash video and animated gifs?

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183363)

Quicktime?

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27186465)

Which doesn't run on all the systems you might use, and which costs money on top of that? No thanks.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187739)

No, it's like saying that a Ferrari is a car. Most people do not see a problem with this.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183055)

Define "Long" and who was waiting for something that is still ".5" beta?

Version numbers are pretty meaningless for a codec library anyway. Codec support can be in the [0...1] range from none to perfect, but as a whole it's not very meaningful. Updates are always welcome but I don't know any that waited for the release specifically.

What the hell is FFmpeg anyway? Oh, it is just another CODEC library. Yawn!

Yeah, just what does all the hard work so the media player can thrown up a window and call play(). Yawn indeed.

Re:Long Awaited? (4, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183259)

ffmpeg is to video, what imagemagick is to images.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Gyga (873992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27184889)

I thought ffmpeg only decodes/converts videos, and imagemagick actually can edit images.

Re:Long Awaited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27185415)

I thought ffmpeg only decodes/converts videos, and imagemagick actually can edit images.

I believe he would be comparing the vast amount of different file formats that can be opened/converted/saved to with both programs...

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27185453)

I thought ffmpeg only decodes/converts videos,

Well then you've thought wrong. It has numerous audio and video filters that are available to use during both playback and during decoding/encoding.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27191997)

Not to mention ffserver, which in conjunction with ffmpeg and curl can take a live stream of images from a crappy webcam and turn them into swf (or whatever) on the fly. I used it to get around the proprietary "max 10 simultaneous clients" limit on my IP cam. I only used 1 stream from the IP cam but ffserver allowed (virtually) unlimited simultaneous viewers.

Example [daantje.nl] .

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192961)

You can use them together. I made DVD menus once by having ffmpeg output PPM to stdout, then a little perl and IM played with the images, and then I piped that back into another ffmpeg process. There was a little patch I had to make back then to ffmpeg but it worked great. This is how I got moving images into a static background in the menus before there was any other way to do it with free software. You could also export to bunch of numbered png or ppm files if you liked back then with no patches. At this point ffmpeg does have some better but still limited support for this sort of thing so you can edit the images while encoding.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187779)

Ok, so what is imagemagick? ;)

Re:Long Awaited? (3, Funny)

Mozk (844858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27188605)

It's like the FFmpeg of images.

Re:Long Awaited? (1)

iMacGuy (199233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27189675)

FFmpeg can open images too, although I don't remember the supported formats. It's also much faster at it.

Whither Google? (3, Insightful)

negatonium (1103503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182623)

They say they have trouble implementing code due to time and motivational constraints. Seems to me that if Google/YouTube has built a very successful website around the FFmpeg engine then Google ought to pony up some programming help with improving the project. Wouldn't that be "The right thing to do" (TM)?

Re:Whither Google? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27182689)

google has actually helped out a ton for ffmpeg

google is why ffmpeg can now decode wmv3 and real codecs (rv3/4).
more info and list of projects:
http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=FFmpeg_Summer_Of_Code [multimedia.cx]

Re:Whither Google? (0, Redundant)

Hobbes_BA (1004933) | more than 5 years ago | (#27182843)

I second that motion!

VDPAU sounds cool (2)

mowall (865642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183021)

Anyone know what kind of performance increase VDPAU can give compared with software decoding?

That application I'm working on needs to decode lots of H.264 streams so being able to offload that to a GPU would be a godsend.

Re:VDPAU sounds cool (2, Interesting)

nerdguy0 (101358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183317)

Take a look at this article [phoronix.com] linked to in TFA. Seems like a pretty big boost.

Re:VDPAU sounds cool (5, Interesting)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183467)

It works VERY well. Decoding a 1080p H.264 video using software on my dual-core 3GHz machine pegs the cores back and forth to around 80-90%, but plays fairly well. Using an mplayer build patched to support VDPAU, my CPU remains idle (clock drops to 1GHz, and 1-3% CPU usage) and plays equally as well, if not better. Furthermore, I was still able to go about my business with no noticeable impact on performance, even when using hardware-dependent Compiz. I have not though, tried this on multiple streams.

Oh, and this is using some cheap NVidia 8600 something-or-other card that I picked up new for ~$50. I, for one, was truly impressed by VDPAU and what it means for low-cost HD content.

Faster + less energy consumed. (2, Interesting)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27184143)

Pretty good, you can easily decode 1080p H264 video with a cheap nvidia card. It is also consume less power and cooler than using CPU for decoding, so VDPAU = great for HD video on laptop.

I also find it interesting that VDPAU can help decoding H264 video that I can't decode using its counterpart on Windows (DxVA) :)

New Video Format... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183239)

for specialized pr0n. Guess not

Time to promote the ffmpeg hall of shame (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27183379)

hall of shame [ffmpeg.org]

Re:Time to promote the ffmpeg hall of shame (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 5 years ago | (#27183563)

The first I randomly clicked on that list (Orb) has apparently complied with the license. It just hasn't been verified that the source they provide compiles. Isn't it a bit over the top to include projects like that in a Hall of Shame?

Re:Time to promote the ffmpeg hall of shame (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27184679)

Paradoxically, it could be doing those sites a favour, as there isn't a 'nofollow' in the links, so all the PR is passed on.

Re:Time to promote the ffmpeg hall of shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27191089)

I think that the goal is to see that page when you type the app name in your favorite search engine.

Re:Time to promote the ffmpeg hall of shame (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27204639)

Heh, interestingly AVS Video Converter is in there - I've seen that advertised on Slashdot a bunch lately

FFMPEG == digital God (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27184891)

ffmpeg is a godsend to the FOSS community. Great work to the ffmpeg developers and I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that I'm looking forward to the fruits of their hard work.

VDPAU and GSOC (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27185141)

X.org has posted some project ideas [freedesktop.org] for Google Summer of Code projects, including "VDPAU state tracker for Gallium. Admit it, it would be pretty cool."

Legal Issues? (4, Interesting)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27185503)

In the "Legal Issues" section of the article, I expected to see something about the issue of FFMPEG potentially infringing on existing patents. Instead there's just some stuff about violating the GPL. Seems like a major oversight to me.

What *is* up with the patent issue? Is it possible to use FFMPEG legally in commercial software if you adhere to the GPL and buy licenses for the patents that you're using? Since I already paid for software that includes encoders for some of these patented codecs, does that allow me to legally use FFMPEG? In my lifetime, how many times do I have to pay the patent fees for MPEG2 encoding?

Re:Legal Issues? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27185689)

The "official" answers to that are here: http://ffmpeg.org/legal.html
And no, I don't think you will find them useful, a lawyer is the right place to get legal advice.

Re:Legal Issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27187241)

The patent issue you are concerned about, doesn't concern everyone. Software patents are a problem in the US. And only there.

Re:Legal Issues? (2, Informative)

LackThereof (916566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187281)

From the FFMPEG website:

Patent Mini-FAQ

A lot of legal questions surrounding patents arise when discussing multimedia technology. This mini-FAQ attempts to address these issues. Note that much of this discussion is based on precedent, or what has happened in the past under similar circumstances. Very little consideration is given to what could happen. If you use your imagination, you can visualize any dire scenario and cease doing any productive work.

Q: Does FFmpeg use patented algorithms?
A: We do not know, we are not lawyers so we are not qualified to answer this. Also we have never read patents to implement any part of FFmpeg, so even if we were qualified we could not answer it as we do not know what is patented. Furthermore the sheer number of software patents makes it impossible to read them all so no one (lawyer or not) could answer such a question with a definite no, those who do lie. What we do know is that various standards FFmpeg supports contain vague hints that any conforming implementation might be subject to some patent rights in some jurisdictions, examples for such statements are:
For H.264:

        ITU draws attention to the possibility that the practice or implementation of this Recommendation may involve the use of a claimed Intellectual Property Right. ITU takes no position concerning the evidence, validity or applicability of claimed Intellectual Property Rights, whether asserted by ITU members or others outside of the Recommendation development process.

And for MPEG-4:

        The user's attention is called to the possibility that, for some of the processes specified in this part of ISO/IEC 14496, conformance with this specification may require use of an invention covered by patent rights. By publication of this part of ISO/IEC 14496, no position is taken with respect to the validity of this claim or of any patent rights in connection therewith.

Q: Is it legal to use such patented algorithms?
A: Patent laws change wildly between jurisdictions. Besides, even in places where software patents are recognized, there is serious doubt about the legitimacy of such legislation. Note that patents on algorithms are illegal in many countries. Plus the use of patents to prevent the usage of a format or codec on a specific operating system or together with specific other software might violate antitrust laws.

Q: Bottom line: Should I be worried about patent issues if I use FFmpeg?
A: Are you a private user working with FFmpeg for your own personal purposes? If so, there is remarkably little reason to be concerned. Are you using FFmpeg in a commercial software product? Read on to the next question...

Q: Since FFmpeg is licensed under the LGPL, is it perfectly alright to incorporate the whole FFmpeg core into my own commercial product?
A: You might have a problem here. Sure, the LGPL allows you to incorporate the code. However, there have been cases where companies have used FFmpeg in their projects, usually for such capabilities as superior MPEG-4 decoding. These companies found out that once you start trying to make money from certain technologies, the alleged owners of the technologies will come after their protection money. Most notably, MPEG-LA (licensing authority) is vigilant and diligent about collecting for MPEG-related technologies.

Q: You called the patent license fee protection money, is this a joke?
A: No. The legal validity of these patents is highly questionable. Still in many current legal systems it is very easy to ruin a company with patents even if the patents are invalid. Paying the (small) license fee is much cheaper than a patent lawsuit during which you would not be able to sell your product as the patent would be valid until you win the lawsuit 5+ years in the future. That is assuming you did not go bankrupt in the meantime...

Q: Can I be safe if I have paid my protection money.
A: You can never be safe as long as your country recognizes software patents as valid. There are companies that own many patents, pay and cross-license for other companies patents, but even such companies are being found guilty of infringing some obscure little-known patent and end up paying millions for it. That's why lobbying against software patents is in your own interest. Of course none of this is related to you using FFmpeg or another codec implementation. If you want to be safe the only option is not to touch any software at all.

Re:Legal Issues? (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187501)

There is this new thing on the internet, called "hyperlinks", so you don't have to copy content around anymore.
Now I could link to a introduction, but that would probably confuse you. So:

<<< imagine content of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink here >>>

Re:Legal Issues? (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27188693)

In the "Legal Issues" section of the article, I expected to see something about the issue of FFMPEG potentially infringing on existing patents. Instead there's just some stuff about violating the GPL. Seems like a major oversight to me.

So that's not why I can't get ffmpeg to strip the "Copy once" broadcast flag out of my HD recording of 24 "Day 7: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM"?

I can hear all the audio, but I can't see anything other than the cable-inserted ads. VLC will play it but not transcode it. MPEG Streamclip will rip the audio but not the video. Mencode with copy and copy fails. Mplayer saving to tga files works but takes up too much disk space and QuickTime Player doesn't offer converting an image sequence to video at 59.97 fps.

I just want to convert the 1280x720p MPEG-TS signal to 720x480p anamorphic DV video for editing in Final Cut Pro and mastering with DVD Studio Pro.

I'm going to have to use the analog hole to get this one, and that means it'll be interlaced in SD instead of progressive. And I'll have to catch up with the series before watching it.

Re:Legal Issues? (1)

iMacGuy (199233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27189681)

ffmpeg has no idea what a broadcast flag is; your file is probably encrypted, which it won't deal with.

Re:Legal Issues? (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27190351)

If it were encrypted, VLC and MPlayer would not be able to play it, but they can and do.

But ffmpeg not knowing about the flag would explain why it wouldn't strip what it didn't know about. Not sure why Mencoder would choke with an audio complaint trying to do the same thing.

Hasn't anyone created a filter that just clears the broadcast flag from a recorded transport stream? If I had that then MPEG Streamclip would handle everything else for me.

Re:Legal Issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27191103)

try mplayer -dumpstream and then encode the resulting file.

!GPGPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27186031)

Once again, using GPUs for graphics/video acceleration is not GPGPU. It is just plain hardware acceleration. Stop using this phrase if you don't know what it means.

ffmpeg allergic to releases (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27187533)

To anyone involved in maintaining ports of third-party software to a particular OS (or even a distro), working with a release of that software is quite important. Unfortunately, ffmpeg-developers couldn't be bothered with such things. Here is a rather arrogant response [mplayerhq.hu] I got two years ago from them:

We have them [releases -mi]. They are called nightly snapshots. Now, if you were to ask us to spend our time on evaluating and telling you which of the snapshots we consider to be more stable than the other ones -- you would be asking us to do *YOUR* job. Not a nice thing to do unless you can also give us some incentive.

He further explains their stance as:

The best way to use FFmpeg is to privatize its source code inside your project

If, indeed, this idiotic view has been retired for good — great!.

Re:ffmpeg allergic to releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27187973)

> If, indeed, this idiotic view has been retired for good -- great!.

No, it's still "your" (i.e. those who need something "stable") job, it's just that Diego decided to do it because all those people complaining about lack of releases (including the not-so-much-complaining distribution maintainers who have to do the work anyway) did not care enough to lift even a finger to make a release happen (if there was something _specific_ they needed a developer's help for they would probably have gotten it had they asked).
I still stand by questioning the need for a release if nobody's need goes far enough to make them actually _do_ something (besides complaining).

Re:ffmpeg allergic to releases (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27193917)

Wow. Just wow. So, you're all pissy because although they're giving you something amazing for free, they're not also giving you extra stuff that you want but they're not interested in. Do you also insult people at christmas when they don't give you exactly the presents you want?

Re:ffmpeg allergic to releases (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199621)

So, you're all pissy because although they're giving you something amazing for free [...]

Having been contributing to Open Source for over a decade myself, I'm long past your stage. It is only "free" if your own time is worthless. Mine is not. If I spend hours porting ffmpeg-2008FOO to FreeBSD to make, say, mplayer work well and then realize, that I must repeat most of that porting effort to make cinerella (which comes with its own, slightly different ffmpeg-2008BAR) build correctly, I will wonder, why the heck is not there ffmpeg-1.0 (or ffmpeg-0.4, or whatever), which can be shared by all ffmpeg-using applications.

And if my wondering is answered by the authors, that they are too important to concern themselves with Release Engineering [wikipedia.org] , I'll be upset. Upset enough, that I'd wish, their project did not exist at all — and did not "crowd-out" someone else's attempt to do the same thing properly.

Do you also insult people at christmas when they don't give you exactly the presents you want?

If I were given a broken gift, and the gift-giver refused to help me exchange it — claiming, they are too busy and I should be happy with what I got — I'd become upset too, yes. Upset enough to mention it, if the topic ever came up in another conversation.

Where is the interview? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27188055)

The correct title should be: "comments about some (lost?) interview to three ffmpeg developers". I'd like to read the real answers of the developers (and the exact questions), and not that kind of "educational explanation on their supposed responses".

BTW, some months ago I indirectly had to use their software (because of some web portal software related to video conversion.) From my little experience:

1) I found that they have a lot of bugs being accumulated and don't have the needed workforce to analyze nor resolve them
2) Too much effort (and attention priority) is put in the hall-of-fame and license violation "prosecution"
3) As they enforce the (IMO) confusing LGPL, several closed-source developers had passed a very bad time. Some were (again IMO) not trying to steal code, and just misinterpreted the weird licensing terms.

I'm posting anonymously because I'm waiting the resolution of a couple of yet "unassigned" bugs for more than two months and don't want their reprimands for the comments:)

Re:Where is the interview? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27189773)

(1) Yep. Pretty much standard OSS problem: it works as "expected" for simpler usage cases, but no-one's taken the time to write formal specifications and documentation and then implement to the spec. It's thus necessary to waste a lot of time filling in the gaps and figuring out the problems unless you have enough clout (hello Youtube!) to pique the interest of developers.

For most projects, it's usually better to have something professionally written that - while not implementing every little needed tweak under the sun - will at least do as expected where it says it will. Fixing other people's code is one of those tedious, geeky challenges that might make you feel like you're exercising your brain with some wonderful little problem but actually is just a cop-out from pushing yourself to more productive pursuits of creation and improvement.

(2) Capitalists have different ways of receivIng remuneration. Some want a direct infusion of cash, others demand credit and the resultant fame and indirect benefit to the CV. These guys are the latter. Licensing violations are thus oh-so-important as they represent "stealing" "their" work. Just go public domain already or admit that you're no more interested in "freedom" than the proprietary developer.

(3) Agreed. The LGPL is horrible because it bases legal permissions on very technical boundaries - ones which are barely relevant to 2009 and read as almost arbitrary. But the ffmpeg developers are just geeks implementing a set of specs - they are not innovators, businessmen or lawyers, and only require a limited understanding of *the world*. We cannot expect them to see a problem with the LGPL any more than Werner von Braun (who was, at least, a technical innovator) cared where the rockets came down.

Re:Where is the interview? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27191081)

> 1) I found that they have a lot of bugs being accumulated and don't have the needed workforce to analyze nor resolve them

Bugs aren't particularly interesting, nor can they be fixed easily if you can't reproduce them. And some things that people consider bugs are simply unimplemented features that can't be implemented quickly.
Given 300k lines of code there will be lots of bugs, but looking at http://fate.multimedia.cx/ it can't be that bad.

> 2) Too much effort (and attention priority) is put in the hall-of-fame and license violation "prosecution"

Uh, no. None of the core developers spend any relevant amount of time on that.

> 3) As they enforce the (IMO) confusing LGPL, several closed-source developers had passed a very bad time. Some were (again IMO) not trying to steal code, and just misinterpreted the weird licensing terms.

No, most simply have read neither the license nor the FAQ that the FSF provides. Don't try to paint people who want to profit from other people's code but can't be bothered to read and understand a license that is shorter and easier to read as almost any EULA as innocent.

Re:Where is the interview? (1)

disi (1465053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27191569)

I found a bug myself using the former version and then went straight to svn which fixed my memory problem. "FFplay version 0.5, Copyright (c) 2003-2009 Fabrice Bellard, et al." works like a charm so far :) The software has a lot of potential...

Notes on Compiling ffmpeg-0.5 for Mandriva 2009.0 (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27188867)

I have some notes on my efforts to compile ffmpeg with all available codecs (using PLF repositories) for Mandriva 2009.0 on my blog, MaximumHoyt.com [maximumhoyt.com] . Comments appreciated.

Re:Notes on Compiling ffmpeg-0.5 for Mandriva 2009 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27191383)

-O3 and -funroll-loops are likely to increase code size, and thus increase cache pressure. Particularly for H.264 this in our limited experience is more likely to slow things down that speed them up. Generally it is a bad idea to "speed-optimize" without benchmarking.

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