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Re: [Ring] Ring and proprietary codecs

From: Philippe Gorley
Subject: Re: [Ring] Ring and proprietary codecs
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2017 15:39:26 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.2.1

On 2017-08-02 01:28 AM, Thomas Daede wrote:
I recently noticed that GNU Ring currently depends on several
proprietary video codecs:

* H.264
* H.263

You are correct. As for audio codecs, we use Opus, G722, speex, PCMA, and PCMU. Would you know if any of these are also proprietary?

The usage of those codecs (as implemented by ffmpeg) requires payment of
royalties for use. It also prevents its inclusion in Linux distros such
as Fedora [1]. However, Ring also supports free video codecs, such as
VP8. I think it would make sense to:

I am currently working on fine tuning the VP8 settings to make it our codec of choice.

* Make dependence on proprietary codecs optional
* Turn off proprietary codecs by default

This could be possible in the future, and something we should look into.

In addition, as far as I can tell, Ring does not need compatibility with
legacy software. Especially because good alternatives are available, I
think it would make sense to not support proprietary codecs at all, and
instead rely on a baseline of VP8 and Opus (or VP9 and Opus).

Once VP8 is stabilized for all platforms, I may look into adding VP9.




Philippe Gorley
Free Software Consultant | Montréal, Qc
Savoir-faire Linux

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