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Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879

From: David Hansen
Subject: Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 08:04:52 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

On Wed, 18 Jul 2007 00:41:30 -0400 Richard Stallman wrote:

>     mplayer does not encourage the use of proprietary codecs.
> What are the facts on which you base that conclusion?

For a lot of people it is important that they can watch DVDs or listen
to their favorite radio on the computer (just to mention two examples).
mplayer and libavcodec give you this possibility on a GNU system.

It also supports free codecs.  BTW all the DVD playback related features
and most other codecs and container formats are free software (though
some illegal or at least with an unclear legal status in countries with
fucked up copyright and patent laws).

A mplayer installation w/o any binary only codecs works pretty good for
most of the media files.

> Your idea of what does or does not encourage the use of proprietary codecs
> might be different from ours.
>     > We definitely should not support mplayer.
>     You (the GNU project) already does so with EMMS.
> What is EMMS, and how does EMMS relate to mplayer?

It's an Emacs interface to various command line media players.  It also
has a lot of features you would expect from a full blown GUI media
player, like playlists, ability to browse your media files, managing web
streams and a lot more.

mplayer is one of the supported players.

>     IMHO `mplayer' and the strongly related `libavcodec' encourage a lot of
>     people to switch to a free operating system.
> Many others aim to convince people to migrate to GNU/Linux, often by
> forgetting about freedom as a goal.  That may be what you are doing
> here.

Free software somehow has to interact with the "real world", which -
sadly - is dominated by proprietary software and file formats.  A lot of
people switched to free software after free office software became
reliable in reading M$ office files.  I think the case with mplayer is
similar.  No one forces you to use the binary only codecs, mplayer
already does a pretty good job w/o them (except for listening to BBC
radio but hopefully the BBC comes to its sense...).

And when it comes to patents or restriction circumventions:  the legal
status is different from country to country.   I don't think this makes
mplayer "non free", it's the laws in some countries which restrict the
freedom here.


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