Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
VP3 gets released under LGPL

By sudog in News
Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 04:48:04 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

According to this vorbis-dev posting and even the VP3 homepage there may finally be a video codec that's open-sourced under the LGPL.


Part of the problem with multimedia under the free operating systems (such as NetBSD and Linux) is that it's all based around a technology that could literally be swept out from under them. AVIPlay, for example, requires copyrighted Windows codecs in order to play Windows-media; all MP3 algorithms are strangled by royalty-based licenses from the Fraunhofer Institute--they could, effectively, kill the MP3 standard on a whim.

Xiph.org decided this wasn't in the best interests of free-thinkers anywhere and came up with a competing standard that was unhindered by any patent royalties, was totally and completely free, and best of all, was of superior audio quality than equivalent-bitrate MP3.

That had taken care of the audio and music situation. Everyone enjoys free music on many free platforms now, and doesn't need to worry about someone whipping the carpet out from under them--they can just switch their music collections over to OGG vorbis and be done with it. Freedom is all about choice, after all.

Unfortunately the situation is now even more dire for the video codecs and standards than it was for the music. There are quite literally, no high-quality free video codecs that can be used without penalty in any software. Accessible multimedia in the free operating system world is nonexistent. Macs outperform and out-do both Windows and any free software alternative you'd care to name when it comes to digital video editing; yet the idea of a free-to-use and free-to-embed video codec is something that many people would significantly benefit from. Without the worry of a patent-encumbered codec looming over their heads, the free software developers could at last begin labouring on a new love: a full streaming, competitive standard that nobody would ever have to pay for.

It seems obvious: This is wonderful news for anyone interested in it, and it's great to see ON2.com coming around the fence and approaching some of the best programmers to help them. Provided they're offering freedom and not just another form of royalty and patent shackles, it's a superb way to promote choice.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Ever heard of a video codec?
o Course. I've designed them. 5%
o Yes. I use them to rip DVDs and eDonkey2000 to trade them. 15%
o Yes. And you're a goof for asking. 66%
o No. What's a codec? 1%
o I'm a big old fungi-mould that's been living in my parents' basement for years, and you're bugging me about this GNU philosphy crap? 10%

Votes: 84
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this vorbis-dev posting
o VP3 homepage
o LGPL
o NetBSD
o Linux
o Fraunhofer Institute
o Xiph.org
o ON2.com
o Also by sudog


Display: Sort:
VP3 gets released under LGPL | 38 comments (36 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
I'm confused (4.50 / 2) (#1)
by Delirium on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:33:11 PM EST

I thought Xiph.org was working on the Tarkin video codec. And by "working on" I mean "barely stared working on."

And what's wrong with the Xvid codec?

XVid is MPEG4 and that's being squashed by fees.. (4.60 / 5) (#2)
by sudog on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:36:19 PM EST

XVid is based around the MPEG-4 video standard and is being squashed by royalty-based fees-per-use and fees-per-anything-you-care-to-mention. It's not viable, as external corporations could easily squash it in an instant the moment it began interfering with their bottom line.

XVid is a nice idea. But it's simply not usable by any non-anonymous entity in the free world. Sadly.. :(

[ Parent ]
Just wait.. (none / 0) (#35)
by hstink on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 09:14:34 AM EST

.. until the MPEG4 licensing stipulations are revised.

Hint hint nudge nudge.

That aside, given the industry following that MPEG-4 will receive regardless, XviD is a nice complement to say LAME. And it's just downright fun to work on.

-h

[ Parent ]

Xiph.org is working on tarkin.. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by sudog on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:49:34 PM EST

It's the last hope if VP3 falls through.

Unfortunately, tarkin is coming along at a glacial pace. Nobody with expertise has the time to spend working on it, nor researching possible patents involved in its design. At the rate it's going, I don't expect to see anything viable until about two or three years from now unless some kind of development critical mass is reached.

[ Parent ]
From what I've heard (5.00 / 2) (#6)
by Delirium on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:51:19 PM EST

All resources (coder and monetary) are being put into getting Vorbis 1.0 done, so Tarkin is a "what we'll look at once Vorbis 1.0 is done" thing at the moment. Once that happens things should pick up, at least a bit.

[ Parent ]
gstreamer (none / 0) (#19)
by Mister Proper on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:50:19 AM EST

GStreamer supports Ogg Tarkin already, so it must be usable somewhat at this point.

[ Parent ]
Odd (none / 0) (#22)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 05:49:50 AM EST

From everything I've read there isn't actually an Ogg Tarkin codec in existence. There is some rudimentary stream format stuff described, which might be what they're referring to.

[ Parent ]
Odd indeed (none / 0) (#23)
by Mister Proper on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 06:42:19 AM EST

Ogg Tarkin is listed on a plugin wishlist on GStreamer's website. There's a GNOME weekly summary with an Ogg Tarkin announcement. I know I've seen more sites announcing this but I couldn't find them. Nothing in CVS too AFAICT.

My guess is that there's something in the works, but that it's not quite ready yet.

[ Parent ]

the code exists (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by jbridge21 on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 02:14:49 PM EST

There are two candidate codecs for Ogg Tarkin, and one of them is highly preferred over the other one at the moment. The name of the good one (in the CVS archive, at least) is w3d. The GStreamer people have taken the code for that and changed it up a bit to work with their stuff, and included it as part of the GStreamer plugins package.

So, you could technically use "Ogg Tarkin" with GStreamer right now, except that 1. I think the compression stinks right now and 2. formats will almost surely change in the future.

[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#25)
by WWWWolf on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 09:39:34 AM EST

...from what I heard, gstreamer supports one of the candidate codecs for Tarkin - the author just went on to announce "hey, we do Tarkin already!" and that sort of confused people =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
Monopolistic GNU Communism? (2.50 / 6) (#3)
by Neuromancer on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:37:11 PM EST

Ok, I don't mean to sound like a prick here. I happen to be a Linux user myself. I also happen to work under BSD and Solaris and quite a bit of other software, even Windows.

I have an opinion question for you all. Are the people who PROMOTE Linux with empty, uneducated promises and lies, or will use ONLY GPL'd software, or consider it ONLY good if its gnu JUST AS BAD as monopolistic software entities?

Think about it, vaporware, empty promises, ours is the only system you shall use. What separates those who refuse to run BSD licensed or even windows software from those who refuse open source?

Just a thought. I'm not expressing an opinion but expanding on conversation.

You're not a prick... (5.00 / 4) (#4)
by sudog on Wed Mar 27, 2002 at 11:45:05 PM EST

But the way you're phrasing your question leaves little to possible interpretations as to your intent.

Is the story I posted pro-GPL? Not directly. However, I refuse to allow corporate greed to stunt the growth of free multimedia standards--the delivery of creative content is something we <b>MUST</b> take back control of, as a populace and as rational thinkers.

Do you really want Disney to control what movies you're allowed to see and when? Do you want Time Warner to tell you what movies are good, and what are bad? Because anyone creating digital content right now has to pay the corps whatever they want just to send their creations out in a form that the hundreds of millions of people with computers can actually see and appreciate.

Where's the creative license in that? The corps could arbitrarily assign a huge royalty just for artists whose works they've decided not to promote, and suddenly people creative outlets are stifled.

A free video codec--truly free--would cement the rights of authors and content developers for a decade easily. Without it, we let corporate shareholders pander to our basest of whims and the lowest common denominator amongst us.

A free video codec is just that important to me--as it should be to any free-loving, rational and open-minded individual.



[ Parent ]
Dude (1.57 / 7) (#10)
by The Eradicator on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 12:09:04 AM EST

If this video codec was for real, then there'd a link for me to download a test app and the codec.

As it is, I can smell the shit stinking from a mile away.

[ Parent ]
I'll see your codecs (5.00 / 4) (#11)
by ghackmann on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 12:35:28 AM EST

and raise you the source code.

You can also get just the codecs if you're interested.

[ Parent ]

Uh.. smart-ass.. (none / 0) (#18)
by sudog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:42:41 AM EST

It's right there. Are you blind or just ignorant?

You don't even have to register to get the source via cvs--they give it away via anonymous :pserver: cvs!

And the windows-style codecs are there too--again without registering.
Lose the attitude, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Standards vs Code (none / 0) (#32)
by Neuromancer on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 06:03:37 PM EST

That's why we have standards committees. Also, what's wrong with BSD license, for instance?

[ Parent ]
Nothing's wrong with it (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by andrewm on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:57:46 PM EST

And not only that, but as it's a patent-free program, you're allowed to write your own version and give it a BSD style license. (Even if you despise the GPL, they're not stopping you from writing your own code.) There will never be a single license for all software, but as long as your BSD licensed system can read files that someone else creates on their GPL system, you're better off than if every system was completely incompatible.

Patented algorithms (mpeg, windows media, etc) however force you to pay a license to use it, and prevent you from writing your own BSD license version of the code (you'll have to pay the fees for everyone who used code based on yours and/or possibly even request permission first, which may not be granted at all). That's the big difference here.

Oh, and standards committees are great, provided that everyone doesn't go away and implement their own incompatable version of the standard, or the standard organisation doesn't patent their standard and make GPL or BSD versions effectively illegal due to licensing issues. Unfortunately, if you're using licenses to tie your customers to you (preventing them using other suppliers) then standards are exactly what you don't want. Sure, they benefit the customer, but that's hardly a sensible business practise. (Me cynical? How could that be?)

[ Parent ]

Difference (5.00 / 3) (#9)
by marx on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 12:03:26 AM EST

Are the people who PROMOTE Linux with empty, uneducated promises and lies, or will use ONLY GPL'd software, or consider it ONLY good if its gnu JUST AS BAD as monopolistic software entities?

[...]

Think about it, vaporware, empty promises, ours is the only system you shall use.

If we assume your premises to be true, GPL software is still much better. The difference is that with a company monopoly on software, control is in the hands of a few. With a communal monopoly on software, control is in the hands of everyone.

This is why for example democracy is considered better than dictatorship, even if it in some situations is not as efficient.

If the GPL license stated that only those who are members of the Communist party can distribute GPL software, then you'd have a point. That's not the case though, anyone can distribute GPL software.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

But it's not (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by Neuromancer on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 06:06:53 PM EST

What about the BSD license? What about the artistic license? Perhaps I phrased that incorrectly, but what about the fact that there is free software... and probably free codecs that are not gpl'd?

What about the fact that such matters are more important to be open standard than open source? If you can't understand how the codec works, why do you need the source code? It's more important that you are able to replicate the effort and write a compatible system than that you are able to download someone's library.

I'm not smashing on the product/story/idea, but quite frankly, this doesn't put any control in the hands of anyone. It just gives you yet another codec to comply with for compatibility.

[ Parent ]
My dream. (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by ODiV on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 02:42:12 AM EST

I want to put all my VHS tapes onto CD and build a DivX, DVD, Ogg, mp3, etc set top box.

I'll let you know how it goes.

So far, not so good. I'm using flaskmpeg to encode these and I'm having trouble with setting the bitrate and such. What should I be using to encode with VP3? Maybe I should just break down and search the sites for instructions of some kind.

--
[ odiv.net ]
Better method, dunno bout VP3 yet (2.50 / 2) (#16)
by sacrelicious on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:39:27 AM EST

So far, not so good. I'm using flaskmpeg to encode these and I'm having trouble with setting the bitrate and such. What should I be using to encode with VP3? Maybe I should just break down and search the sites for instructions of some kind.

Check out doom's site for some instructions using better tools than flask. Like Xmpeg, or virtuldub/gordianknot.



[ Parent ]

vp3 encoding (none / 0) (#38)
by ECY on Wed Jun 12, 2002 at 03:53:27 PM EST

you can try DVDX to encode a DVD or mpeg file to vp3 with bitrate setting but make sure to set the output to rgb24 and not Yuv2 or Yv12

[ Parent ]
Re: Your Dream (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by sudog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:39:47 AM EST

It's not that hard. Get a decent tv tuner/tv-in card, a de-macrovision black box to embed inside, a couple of dvd drives or a dvd changer, drive it with Linux, MPlayer and a remote control interface and voila! :)

Okay, it's hard. But the VHS digitizing part is pretty easy. Visit your local hobbiest electronics store and ask them about the de-macrovision device. They're pretty cheap these days.


[ Parent ]
It's even easier than that (none / 0) (#20)
by sacrelicious on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:51:35 AM EST

Look here and here for some software-only ways to remove macrovision from your video output.
Also, lots of new rather inexpensive video cards can be had with tv output, like this one



[ Parent ]

The de-macrovision device is for his VCR.. (none / 0) (#26)
by sudog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 11:23:42 AM EST

The output on the VCR is generally macrovisioned, especially with movies and rentals. With a de-macrovision device, you don't have to sit there and watch a blue-screen (or green screen) on your tv-tuner card because they usually recognize macrovision and disable the inputs.

With the black box cleaning up the signal things are much nicer. :)

[ Parent ]
.avi?!? (2.33 / 3) (#13)
by ShadowNode on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:07:58 AM EST

Look, I know everyone likes the .avi extention, but please stop using it for every damned new codec! Especially this one, why are they calling it vp3 if they're not going to use that as the extention? I'm tempted to write a word processor or something that uses the .avi extention, just for the satire purposes.

AVI (5.00 / 5) (#14)
by marx on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:17:14 AM EST

AVI is the container format. Quicktime is another container format. Inside a container you have chunks of encoded video and audio, which can be encoded with an arbitrary compression scheme. VP3 is such a compression scheme (or codec, "coder-decoder").

From the view of the application which opens the video, the codec is not that relevant. All it wants to do is read the video file and get the frames.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Read the links in the intro please.. (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by sudog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:37:01 AM EST

VP3 wants to embed the VP3 format into an OGG stream and multiplex it with ogg vorbis for the audio!

So, no .avi and we get to go to a nice clean, truly free streaming format.

way cool.


[ Parent ]
Yes... (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 03:53:34 AM EST

What you're saying isn't contrary to what marx was saying. .ogg is just yet another container format, like .mpg and .avi and .mov and so on.
--
"...but who knows, perhaps [stories about] technology and hardware will come to be [unpopular]." -- rusty the p
[
Parent ]
Read closely (2.00 / 4) (#24)
by The Eradicator on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 09:32:45 AM EST

So, no .avi and we get to go to a nice clean, truly free streaming format.

He's a religious fanatic. The hinter is the whole "truly free" bit.



[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#27)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 12:16:50 PM EST

Only I'd like to point out that .avi isn't a streaming format (though .asf is).
--
"...but who knows, perhaps [stories about] technology and hardware will come to be [unpopular]." -- rusty the p
[
Parent ]
Go ahead, brush it off.. (5.00 / 6) (#28)
by sudog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 02:12:57 PM EST

..as religious fanaticism. While you're happily chewing your cud in a pasture of your own making, I'll be on the other side of the fench enjoying my freedom. We make the prisons we live in, and apathy (in law, religion, and in general) is a terrible state to be in.

You sound like you'd happily accept whatever Disney gives you to consume, and gladly vote the corporations more power than they can possibly wield. Do you really want to pay for something so seemingly crucial when it might be developed and released for free? Do you think that patents and royalty-encumbered standards are a good thing? Do you think it's okay to allow corporations to define and regulate the very channels we communicate through --without any input from us at all? After all, corporations are far from democracies.

There's plenty of software that shouldn't be trumpeted over: The latest Linux kernel; the latest version of MPlayer; the latest GIMP plugin; the latest release of NetBSD. These are all things that gradually develop and improve over time. But a free standard that we can use--unimpeded by corporate ownership and control--to visually communicate ideas, art and news to one another? With television being one of the single most important advances in communications ever, you'd think people would realize that the ability to communicate visually with one another is fundamental to our current humanity!

How can you sit there and brush this kind of potential off as some kind of religious fanaticism? Fanaticism is characterized by a lack of reason--yet isn't brushing something of this magnitude off as though it were a meaningless diatribe posted by a open-source zealot (without even a logical argument to help prove your point) at the very least *just* as fanatical?

Wake up and smell the dollars being stolen from your wallet. Production has tripled (at least) in the last few decades and yet our salaries haven't. Our buying power as consumers is quickly eroding and all you can do is sit there, confident your money will be able to buy you the kind of communication you require, and be apathetic about an important medium like digital video. Be careful--by the time you find you need these freedoms to communicate, you may no longer have them.

[ Parent ]
Thankies Spankies Mister Fanatic (2.40 / 5) (#34)
by Ken Pompadour on Fri Mar 29, 2002 at 11:42:29 AM EST

Nutcase.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
You're welcome, moron. (none / 0) (#36)
by sudog on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:01:36 PM EST


Sleeping zombie sheep.


[ Parent ]
Similar problem with .txt! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by WWWWolf on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 05:52:43 PM EST

Look, I know everyone likes the .avi extention, but please stop using it for every damned new codec!
Yeah, and while you folks are at it, DON'T use .txt extension for anything other than factual information written in American English! People recklessly use different languages, dialects and even different kinds of content (fiction, poetry, ASCII art) - and all use the same extension, .txt! And not to even mention different character sets and transliterations! Reserve .avi for serious use!

=)

Seriously, though, I see no problem here... At least .avis have information on what codecs the contained stuff uses.

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
UPDATE: Dan Miller says VP3 Unencumbered by patent (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by sudog on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 02:50:02 PM EST

According to this vorbis-dev posting they fully realize that one of the requirements of the LGPL is to ensure that there are no patent problems or other restrictions on the use of the code therein.

Cool!

VP3 gets released under LGPL | 38 comments (36 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!