[maemo-users] Projects Nokia should support (yours?)

From: Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras at gmail.com
Date: Sun Nov 2 01:35:58 EET 2008
On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 10:59 PM, Zeeshan Ali (Khattak) <zeenix at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi!
>> Agreed, we have officially supported GStreamer and the excellent mplayer
>> which can be wrapped if someone wants a (different) gui. VLC certainly
>> doesn't classify as a killer app bearing these in mind IMHO.
>  You missed my entire point. :) mplayer is also a competitor of
> GStreamer and afaik it is NOT officially supported by Nokia. MPlayer
> is a great application no doubt but so is VLC (afaik much more
> portable even) and therefore unfortunately faces the same fate.
>> Something with more mileage, though still not really a killer app, would be
>> working on optimisation of the backend libs that all three media players use
>> (therefore any media player would benefit). But this will have to wait until
>> we see what the hardware is capable of really.
>  Which backend libs all three apps use? I think GStreamer is the
> perfect backend that all multimedia applications should be using if
> they are very serious about targeting Maemo. OTOH! I understand their
> reasons for not going for GStreamer since this will require a huge
> amount of work and also throwing off a huge amount of investment both
> MPlayer and VLC have put into their own stacks.

GStreamer is not as lightweight as FFmpeg for example. I can see why
MPlayer and VLC developers wouldn't want to use it as a backend. As a
framework it's great though.

The "backends" that Simon talks about are the ones that most projects
share: libmad, libvorbis, x264 (which VLC guys started), etc. But must
of the codec support comes from FFmpeg (both gst and vlc use it), and
I don't see, for example, GStreamer developers optimizing the codecs
for ARM as the FFmpeg guys are doing.

But this is of course in the open source arena, when doing products
you can't just use FFmpeg due to licensing issues. That's why
GStreamer is more attractive to companies since it's extensible and
proprietary modules can be developed.

Android is following a completely different approach. It's providing
the codecs themselves[1] in an Apache licence, so the open source
community can compile and improve them, but companies can also include
them in their products paying the licence fees, and contribute without
granting patents.

Also, Google is providing the codecs with OpenMAX IL interface, so
GStreamer can already make use of them through gst-openmax [2]. In a
similar fashion GStreamer can use proprietary DSP accelerated codecs
through the OpenMAX IL interface.

Anyway, coming back to the subject; I don't have a media player that
suit my needs in the Maemo devices, so VLC looks like a nice
alternative. But eventually, as Simon points out, it's more important
to work on the backends that the different players can reuse,
otherwise performance will be bad.

[1] http://android.git.kernel.org/?p=platform/external/opencore.git
[2] http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/GstOpenMAX

Felipe Contreras

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