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VP3 Video Codec Open Sourced

By akb in MLP
Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 07:13:39 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)

On2 has released the source for their VP3 video codec, get it here. VP3 is suitable for streaming and will be supported in Realplayer, could this be the long awaited open video format for the open source community?


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VP3 Video Codec Open Sourced | 11 comments (10 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Yes, and (2.00 / 3) (#1)
by MattGWU on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 08:32:00 PM EST

Real is the defender, supporter, and promoter of the Open Source Community that produces an Open Source player the Open Source Community can be proud of, to play this godsend video format.

Real Player Open Source? (none / 0) (#4)
by Jebediah on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 04:23:19 AM EST

Since when was RealPlayer Open Source? Last I knew it was "community supported" (on Linux at least) and I understood that to mean if you had a problem Real wouldn't fix it.

Not that I am bashing Real. Without RealPlayer streaming video on Linux would be non existant.

[ Parent ]
Um.... (none / 0) (#5)
by MattGWU on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 12:07:21 PM EST

........realplayer has never been open source. That's the point.

[ Parent ]
*feels stupid* (none / 0) (#7)
by Jebediah on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 08:31:22 PM EST

I can't believe I didn't get the sarcasm in that. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
Seemed like a good codec from what I saw (3.00 / 1) (#2)
by Skippy on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 11:43:24 PM EST

scifi.com was running some of the movies in their exposure section with the On2 plug-in for a while and it looked very good. Definitely better than a Real stream, especially at full screen resolution. It was broadband only so I don't know how it would do in a bandwidth constrained situation. It also seemed to be interlaced in the "every third scanline is black" sort of way. It still looked better than anything else I've seen. From a couple of feet back from the monitor it looked as good as broadcast TV does, though that isn't saying much.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
Alternatives (none / 0) (#3)
by Aztech on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 01:40:29 AM EST

Where does this leave DivX and OpenCodex? I know competition is a good thing, but sometimes it's best to get behind a definitive standard then challenege the properity guys like MS, Real, Quicktime etc.

However, it's good to see companies opening their technology.

Patent woes (none / 0) (#8)
by MfA on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 08:37:28 PM EST

OpenDivX is basically MPEG-4 and thus heavily patent encumbered, there is a fair chance that for non commercial use a royaltee free license will surface... but dont hold your breath given the pace at which MPEG-4 patent pooling and licensing has gone. OpenCodex seems dead, and they were going to use a H263 based codec which is said to be patent encumbered too.

VP3.2 on the other hand is backed by a company which presumably owns all the necessary "IP" to use it, and the license to use their source and that "IP" is IMO no worse than the one OpenDivX uses.

[ Parent ]
It's not open source (none / 0) (#9)
by piman on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:24:39 PM EST

Unfortunately, this codec is <em>not</em> open source, nor free software. You cannot make changes the code that make it stop reading VP3.2 files. Which makes it useless for anything but promoting VP3.2. And if it's in Real Player and Quick Time, that's not exactly open or free either.

Don't be deluded by On2's PR bullshit. There still is no real free video codec, and the way to get one is to work on one that's based around Ogg, like Vorbis is for audio.

That might not be their intention (none / 0) (#10)
by MfA on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:55:55 PM EST

I admit the wording of the part about incompatible bitstreams is far from clear, I send a question to the address on the FAQ page and in a reply they did say:

"Our intention with this language was to allow developers to add support for incompatible bitstreams on both encode and decode, as long as there is 'complementary' support for VP3.2."

I asked why they did not just say it like that but never got an answer. If you can live with the other parts of the license which make it non free/Open-Source you might want to mail them about it and ask them to change the wording too.

Personally I think the rest of the license is ok... and Id hate to see this source fail to take off due to an inadvertently ill worded clause. So for the moment I dont think you should assume the worst (that they worded that clause such to disguise that their true intentions are indeed to prevent you from producing incompatible bitstreams).

[ Parent ]
It's the Mozilla license with some changes.. (none / 0) (#11)
by VValdo on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 10:53:40 PM EST

From the top of the license:

VP3.2 Public License 0.1

(This license is derived from the Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL 1.1) from Netscape Communications, as found at www.opensource.com. Material modifications have been made through the addition of sections 2.1 (e) and 2.2 (e).)

Both of these sections have the "must be compatible with the original code" clause. I agree that this isn't really doing much in terms of extending trust to the open source community.

Still, I don't see why the code can't be used to provide the Original Code compatibility AND extend it with a Original Code "plus" codec or whatever. It would suck to have to have original code compatibility hanging on there but I'm guessing it could be largely ignored if the code were to develop in another direction.

Of course, the only reason I could think of to do this is because of VP3's fear that someone might take away control of the codec or something.

I have yet to see this codec in action, but it sounds promising-- maybe someone will add it to some of the OS video software. It would be cool to see Gstreamer or something support this.

Also notice the version number is called 1.0 from the license page but it's called version 0.1 at the top of the license.


This is my .sig. There are many like it but this one is mine.
[ Parent ]

VP3 Video Codec Open Sourced | 11 comments (10 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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