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[playogg-discuss] Re:

From: Chris Double
Subject: [playogg-discuss] Re:
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 13:06:12 +1200

Hi, I run the site that was discussed here recently. I
stumbled across the discussion on google and thought it might be
useful to address some of the comments. I'm also very open to
suggestions on things to improve.

> Sam Geeraerts wrote:
> With some love on the interface, de-emphasizing (or removing) the Facebook 
> stuff
> and a bit of an effort to filter out crap and illegal content, it might be 
> something I could use.

Yes, I'm definitely a programmer, not a web designer. I've recently
had some great contributions from users and the site is slowly getting
better looking. I've put some thought into how to filter/remove bad
content but haven't yet implemented anything. At the moment I manually
remove content that isn't allowed, and act on any requests for things
to be taken down via email.

> Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Their server transcoding seems to be based solely on YouTube.

The site is basically being developed 'live'. More so in the early
days. Before I had written upload support my only option to get videos
on the site was transcoding and YouTube was the easiest choice at the
time. Given that I transcode from the highest possible quality
available from YouTube, Vimeo or Daily Motion, the results aren't too
bad. I use HD or H.264 if available, falling back to the high quality
FLV and then the standard FLV.

> They also suggest Firefogg, but that's a client-side plug-in.  I'm sure
> it's valuable, but I think a server-side solution is clearly needed as
> well.

I think Firefogg is a great client side transcoding solution. It's
open source, uses free tools, and is good quality. For server side I
only support uploading Ogg format. I may change to transcoding uploads
as well but long term I'm not sure this is the right solution. I want
to encourage use of the Ogg formats on the client. And I want to
reduce the costs of paying licensing fees to transcode H.264.

An issue with server side transcoding of user uploads is dealing with
the many different formats they can upload. I haven't yet found a free
tool that transcodes correctly without user intervention.
ffmpeg2theora for example will sometimes not do a/v synchronisation
correctly. In those cases it requires a '--sync' flag. Some videos
work with this. Some without. There's no real way to tell. In other
cases aac audio is not converted correctly.

The effort of implementing error handling, retrying, reporting to the
user, is quite large and something I haven't had time to tackle yet.

>>I also don't see why they are using Facebook instead of a free framework
>>like OpenID.

Two reasons. The first is that I wanted to provide the ability to
'social network' the videos. Being able to recommend and discuss
videos on the social sites drives traffic and awareness of the Ogg
format. The second was I didn't have an Open ID library for the
language I wrote in. I wanted to write a video site. Not a
user authentication implementation. Facebook provides client side
libraries with minimal server work needed so it was very easy to set
up. Since I needed some form of authentication to allow uploads that
enabled be to get uploads implemented quicker. Thankfully I found a
service ( that does similar for OpenID and was able
to utilize that.

> Yes, it's obviously a new feature, still poorly documented (see "Videos
> can be associated with your FaceBook account if you are logged in.") on
> the main page.

 Yeah, I missed that, fixed in the recent update.

> Aaron S. Hawley wrote:
> The Cortado player only plays from the beginning of the stream for me,
> it doesn't allow me to skip forward or backward.

I'm not sure if Cortado supports seeking, I'll check. I may not be
passing a correct parameter to enable it. I had to patch Cortado for a
bug that prevented it from working on some servers (an error due to
the way Cortado tried to always use basic authentication). This may be
the reason for it not working on certain setups. The fix has been


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