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Re: [Gnash-dev] FLV decoding

From: John Gilmore
Subject: Re: [Gnash-dev] FLV decoding
Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2007 01:28:52 -0700

> So I guess we're stuck with ffmpeg for the release anyway.
> The whole proprietary codec issue is such a pain in the A$%#&^#... So
> nobody will be able to play any video files in a Flash movie using Gnash
> without installing ffmpeg, and non-free decoders. :-( I'm sure Adobe
> would be pleased, as this one issue pretty much prevents any FOSS
> distribution from shipping a free Flash player like Gnash with working
> video.

I was wondering why you-all were saying Flash video worked, but I couldn't
make it work from the latest CVS.  I have a pretty fresh FC6 that doesn't
have a pile of nasty-licensed codecs installed.  It took work just to get
MP3 playing.

There seem to be a lot of H.323 decoders out there -- though I haven't
spotted a good one in source code yet.  Even university projects, who
ought to know better, seem to like to publish binaries.  Is there a leading
open source one?

How is FLV's original codec different than H.323?  Are the differences
documented somewhere, or hinted at?

What makes the FLV format, and their main codec, proprietary?
Patents?  Trade secrets?  If there are patents on the encoding side,
we would still potentially be able to write a free software decoder.
If it's trade secrets, it's just more of the same.  The free community
has been legally figuring out Flash's trade secrets for years.

Sounds like we need to start populating a Flash Video Codecs page on
the wiki.


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