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An Interview With The Developers Of FFmpeg

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  • An Interview With The Developers Of FFmpeg

    Phoronix: An Interview With The Developers Of FFmpeg

    Earlier this week the FFmpeg project reached version 0.5, which was quite significant considering no new FFmpeg release was made available in years. This release contained a plethora of new encoders and decoders, support for VDPAU, a variety of bug-fixes, and many other improvements. What is next for FFmpeg? When will we see proper Blu-ray support? Will there be a 1.0 release in the foreseeable future? To answer these questions plus others, I spoke with three of the main FFmpeg developers about this very popular -- and important -- open-source multimedia project.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13589

  • #2
    There could have been better questions asked IMO.

    A major one would be whether they envisage going modular/having plugins in the future.

    Distributions like Fedora currently struggle with large behemoths such as FFmpeg as they cannot follow a model where they only ship the legally acceptable plugins allowing other repositories to ship the restricted ones.

    That is FFmpeg's biggest weakness IMO and where gstreamer capitalises.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by bugmenot View Post
      There could have been better questions asked IMO.

      A major one would be whether they envisage going modular/having plugins in the future.

      Distributions like Fedora currently struggle with large behemoths such as FFmpeg as they cannot follow a model where they only ship the legally acceptable plugins allowing other repositories to ship the restricted ones.

      That is FFmpeg's biggest weakness IMO and where gstreamer capitalises.
      Well, Michael asked in the other FFMpeg article for any questions we'd like to ask, but there wasn't that much response

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrats

        That was a very informative interview- thanks Michael and ffmpeg devs. I was too late in spotting Michael's request for questions for the ffmpeg devs but they all got asked anyway (Blu-Ray and OpenCL).

        Blu-ray is turning out to be the new Betamax, as many predicted. Sony have not done anything to endear themselves to supporters of free media and software so its not one of my biggest concerns although lack of simple BD playback under Linux is a bit of a blow to its desktop pulling power.

        Congrats to the ffmpeg team on getting a new release out, ffmpeg is truly one of the greatest, most versatile treasures in all open source.

        ff'ing good work guys!

        DRM

        Comment


        • #5
          Just a big personal thanks to the ffmpeg team. We are all in debt with you guys Both linux and Windows users.
          Last edited by bulletxt; 03-11-2009, 04:42 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bugmenot View Post
            There could have been better questions asked IMO.

            A major one would be whether they envisage going modular/having plugins in the future.

            Distributions like Fedora currently struggle with large behemoths such as FFmpeg as they cannot follow a model where they only ship the legally acceptable plugins allowing other repositories to ship the restricted ones.

            That is FFmpeg's biggest weakness IMO and where gstreamer capitalises.
            If they started cutting up ffmpeg up it loses it's appeal over independent codecs. If it was stripped down to just the free codecs that are supported you would be left with vorbis, faac, etc which already are supported as separate packages anyways and that's how distro's already provide support for those free codecs. Nothing would improve at all. ffmpegs monolithic structure is it's key appeal and advantage. Plus it would be a HUGE pain in the ass to package.
            Last edited by deanjo; 03-11-2009, 07:38 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Neither Diego, Baptiste, nor Robert have a Blu-ray drive, so at this point they have no personal interest in Blu-ray support.
              If I donate $25, and three other people donate $25, they could buy one.

              Am I right or what?

              And maybe some movies could be donated by somebody who owns some and is done watching them.

              I don't see any options for donations on ffmpeg's homepage though.

              And too bad ffmpeg-mt could take years. By then, it's probably not necessary anymore because a single core from any budget CPU will probably be sufficient for pretty much any video.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bugmenot View Post
                There could have been better questions asked IMO.

                A major one would be whether they envisage going modular/having plugins in the future.

                Distributions like Fedora currently struggle with large behemoths such as FFmpeg as they cannot follow a model where they only ship the legally acceptable plugins allowing other repositories to ship the restricted ones.

                That is FFmpeg's biggest weakness IMO and where gstreamer capitalises.
                I know exactly what you are talking about, and from helping out on the IRC channel, it's a frustrating and annoying issue. Thankfully for the release, every single encoder/decoder, (de)muxer, and bitstream filter, among others can be individually set- either by themselves, or all at once with --disable-(muxers,encoders,decoders,demuxers).
                Here's an example for Fedora:
                --disable-encoders --disable-demuxers --disable-decoders --disable-parsers --disable-muxers (and then use --enable-(type from above)-(which one you want to enable)

                It will guarantee that only the things you want built get built.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by W3ird_N3rd View Post
                  If I donate $25, and three other people donate $25, they could buy one.

                  Am I right or what?

                  And maybe some movies could be donated by somebody who owns some and is done watching them.

                  I don't see any options for donations on ffmpeg's homepage though.

                  And too bad ffmpeg-mt could take years. By then, it's probably not necessary anymore because a single core from any budget CPU will probably be sufficient for pretty much any video.
                  I really don't think that it's the cost of the drive that is effecting them. I think they would rather not have to worry about the lawsuit happy mpaa and sony targeting them as public enemy #1. Times are very different then when DVD Jon released the code to decypt DVD's.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That sort of thing has not worried the ffmpeg people in the past. They never included decryption support, at least not by default. For example DVD cracking is handled by the libdvdcss stuff.

                    So this is mearly a question of supporting the audio, video, and container formats on decrypted or never-encrypted media. Remember that it should be quite possible for people to make blueray compatible media for their own purposes and companies to sell non-encrypted media. I think. People do that all the time for DVDs.

                    I think it's just a matter of the fact that they find Blueray uninteresting personally so haven't devoted a lot of time to it.

                    If buying them a blueray player would help then I'll pony up some cash, certainly. I don't own blueray, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't think it's important.



                    KUDOS TO THE FFMPEG PROJECT!!!! MAKING LINUX MEDIA NON-SUCK FOR YEARS AND YEARS!!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      no mention of DIRAC

                      there was no mention of DIRAC

                      its a wavelet format and comes with no patents...

                      it has 'drac' for use in the ISO media file format Also, an Object Type Indication for use in the MPEG4 systems layer has been assigned for Dirac video.

                      so that would be really nice to see implemented as a encoder

                      regards

                      John Jones
                      http://www.johnjones.me.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ffmpeg is a very good product , BUT please start providing a nightly or even just a weekly binary build AND Direct URL link of the current git for popular platforms....

                        its really disapointing that you cant even easly find a current binary for a given platform directly off the main FFmpeg site page.....

                        for instance, even your July 4th, 2009 blog http://rob.opendot.cl/index.php/usef...uide/#examples
                        makes reference to useing this currently available cli option.
                        "
                        Single-Pass Constant Rate Factor (CRF) Example
                        Or for a single pass CRF encode:

                        ffmpeg -i INFILE -acodec libfaac -ab 96k -vcodec libx264 -vpre hq -crf 22 -threads 0 OUTPUT.mp4

                        "

                        now clearly the -crf 21 through -crf 26 is a *VERY GOOD THING, however you dont bother to link to any binary we can find or use, AND the only semi official FFMpeg binarys to be found for windows does NOT even understand the required some might say vital today 'vpre hq' to produce H@L4.0 or H@L4.1 (SD)HD.mp4 High Quality output files as given in that informative yet simple working example, anyone will be trying.

                        the fact the blog doesnt even allow annon posting does Nothing to help the new users trying to use the current official cli FFmpeg on any platform least of all the windows novice.. never mind the linux novice....

                        so were Exactly can a person simply find a current binary compiled FFmepg version for the popular platforms,and a list of the additions in it, not from the FFmpeg official site it appears...currently.

                        preferably with and without the newest x264 "Macroblock Tree Ratecontrol" testing (Release candidate) as that seems to be the very good latest addition from the x86/64 windows libx264/x264 developer(s)

                        very few ordinary (win32) people actually have a GCC compiler environment installed and fully configured, and even ordinary (linux) people that do , mosly dont ever use it, or even know how to... current regulary updated binarys are good, please supply at least direct links to them on the official site ASAP.

                        * as kemuri-_9 points out on D9 "every raise of QP/CRF by 6 'points' halves the bitrate.
                        this could be applied in vice versa as well: a decrease of QP/CRF by 6 'points' doubles the bitrate."

                        for a better high quality Encode, -vpre hq -crf 22 is a very good thing, use it if you can actually find a binary that actually understands -vpre hq.
                        Last edited by popper; 08-09-2009, 10:39 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by popper View Post
                          so were Exactly can a person simply find a current binary compiled FFmepg version for the popular platforms,and a list of the additions in it, not from the FFmpeg official site it appears...currently.
                          That's really the responsibility of your distro and not the responsibility of FFmpeg devs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            thats odd, you think its not the FFmpeg devs responsability to provide at least basic links to known working current binary compiles of their product....

                            i always thought a distro's main job was to provide a stable version of a given app they choose to include that works with the other 3rd party code on there, not provide cutting edge GIT binarys that may kill the distro in one way or another....

                            id like to see MS distro's provide current FFmpeg , not even cutting edge GIT on their CD/DVD, but thats NOT going to happen is it...

                            so do the most basic google search and find me a working current windows FFMpeg binary that knows even the -vpre hq option never mind the x264 "Macroblock Tree Ratecontrol" testing (Release candidate) options, the chances are you cant without some serious search modifications and lots of following unknown 3rd party links to it...

                            AND No Cheating compiling a windows version yourself and putting up a URL, ohh go on then, ill allow that, anything to get a current working version without going through these hoops, getting a current binary FFmpeg should never be this hard.
                            Last edited by popper; 08-09-2009, 12:25 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by popper View Post
                              thats odd, you think its not the FFmpeg devs responsability to provide at least basic links to known working current binary compiles of their product....

                              i always thought a distro's main job was to provide a stable version of a given app they choose to include that works with the other 3rd party code on there, not provide cutting edge GIT binarys that may kill the distro in one way or another....

                              id like to see MS distro's provide current FFmpeg , not even cutting edge GIT on their CD/DVD, but thats NOT going to happen is it...

                              so do the most basic google search and find me a working current windows FFMpeg binary that knows even the -vpre hq option never mind the x264 "Macroblock Tree Ratecontrol" testing (Release candidate) options, the chances are you cant without some serious search modifications and lots of following unknown 3rd party links to it...

                              AND No Cheating compiling a windows version yourself and putting up a URL, ohh go on then, ill allow that, anything to get a current working version without going through these hoops, getting a current binary FFmpeg should never be this hard.
                              A distro is responsible for packaging and compiling. You can't expect the FFmpeg devs to know all libs you have installed on your system to fill external dependencies. After that daily builds are solely up to the end user (or a kind 3rd party).

                              Comment

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