AV codecs: VFW or libraries ?

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forart
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AV codecs: VFW or libraries ?

Post by forart » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:13 am

I stongly use coded files (Xvid, Theora, Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, etc...) and i noted that MS-Windows does a really bad work with VFW approach; common users installs mega codec packs frequently 'cause they -correctly- think "more codecs i have more formats i'll can use" but this also means system performance and stability degradation so:

Do you think that a sort of "codecs library" could be usefull for the OS ?

I mean something like VLC or MediaCoder approach... (maybe UCI)

Opinions and suggestions welcomed !
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GreatLord
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Post by GreatLord » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:51 am

Hi
for vfw u got fdshow it contain almost all codecc in same codecc file
it using ffmpeg as engine, it is same engine as vlc using and it is also mplayer engine. ffmpeg is devloping by mplayer devlopers. it support allot diffent format for encoidng and decoidng in high qualite.

Person I only using fdshow + media classic or vlc

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Post by forart » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:30 am

GreatLord wrote:Person I only using fdshow + media classic or vlc
I install ffdshow + MPC on video editing machines, just VLC for common playing usage.
:roll:

BTW having a "common (free) codec library framework" could be usefull for applications (like encoders, format converters and dvd-backup tools for examples) that can be "purged off" embedded codecs/codecpacks. In other hand you can simply update libraries with Download! (while VFW needs to be uninstalled then reinstalled, and sometimes asks to reboot).

Just my opinion.
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myrrdin
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Post by myrrdin » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:28 pm

i don't know the status of VFW on reactos, but you can always use the K-Lite Codec pack which installs the fddshow...

http://www.codecguide.com/ - available here, get the full version, and make sure fddshow is enabled during install.

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Post by forart » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm

myrrdin wrote:i don't know the status of VFW on reactos, but you can always use the K-Lite Codec pack which installs the fddshow...
GreatLord, can you understand what i mean ? :roll:
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etko
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Post by etko » Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:14 pm

ffmpeg opens almost any format you need. It's just one VFW (DirectShow) filter, whish uses libXXX.dlls in it's directory for decoding. You can can extended it simply by plugging in new compliant libxxx.dll for a new codec. So actually there is no need for codec pack in sense of "classic" windows codec packs, they are very buggy usually. Not because more format support but becouse it's not uncommon that they install two distinct filters doingthe same thing. More over as DShow is based on COM any player can register it's own internal filter which resides in same exe, and these filters are usually very buggy (BSPlayer, MicroDVD etc).
Anyway as DirectShow is part of DirectX, I believe there is virtually no support in ReactoOS coded in. I believe, when it comes to video/audio playback developers should focus on fixing and integrating Media Player Classic and including ffdshow filters (the ones for audio too). That usually all what'll be needed.

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Post by forart » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:53 pm

etko wrote:I believe, when it comes to video/audio playback developers should focus on fixing and integrating Media Player Classic and including ffdshow filters (the ones for audio too). That usually all what'll be needed.
No MS approach here, plz ! :twisted:
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Post by etko » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:49 pm

forart wrote: No MS approach here, plz ! :twisted:
Are you referring to this FOSS software Media Player Classic!?!? As far as I know it has nothing to do with MS.

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Post by Tachikoma_Pilot » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:26 pm

he means he doesnt like the idea of idegrating a media player tighly with an os

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Post by cppm » Sun May 27, 2007 10:23 pm

sorry to necromance, but the only reason why media player in windows is 'integrated' is because MS has decided to make the same packages for some video playback API's only available with Media Player. For example some games have required at least a certain version or higher or MP to playback movies.

With that in mind those API's still need to be implemented, and users will still expect to have a convenient 'media player'. But we need not reimplement corporate lock in strategies.

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Post by Reacter » Mon May 28, 2007 3:12 am

I do not believe that integrating anything they have down to minesweeper is a good thing, but Bill Gates said so. It is too late to turn back now. Now, we must find or make some kind of Media Player.
More ReactOS, please!

ThePhysicist
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Post by ThePhysicist » Mon May 28, 2007 3:27 pm

To make something clear: wfw and directshow filters are 2 completely different things. Most video players nowadays use ds filters and cannot use vfw codecs, but some apps (virtualdub) can only use vfw codecs.
To be compatible ReactOS must support both.
ffdshow is originally (as the name implies) a direct show filter pack. But there's now also ffdshow_vfw, wich also includes the vfw codecs.
I think the vfw codec framework was not a bad idea. It provides a good standard and makes it easier for developers to integrate different formats even proprietary formats, wich can not always be supported with standalone libraries like vlc does. But vfw is old and ds is simply faster and has the possibility to make use of hardware acceleration for decoding. It also makes it easier to combine multiple formats
file->[demultiplexer]->video stream->[decoder]->video output
->audio stream->[decoder]->audio output
you simply input your encoded data into the first ds filter and dx does the rest.

I think this should have been extended to support a lot more stuff like archives, documents, images, encryption, etc. So any app could read all installed formats. It would render the problem of format incompatiblaty obsolete.
Atm all programs come with their own set of libraries. Your favourite audio player might have a lot of cool functionality, but it cannot play ogg files, so you need another player for that. Or you want to access your favourite game's data files, you cannot simply use 7zip, you need an additional tool, wich probably sucks a lot ;-)

And I don't see a reason why this should cause "system performance and stability degradation"

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Post by forart » Mon May 28, 2007 4:08 pm

ThePhysicist wrote:And I don't see a reason why this should cause "system performance and stability degradation"
Well, the problem is not in the architecture itself (even if some doubts have been exposed), but in the users' approach to it: many peoples just installs any codec available -just google 'codec pack' to figure what i mean- and often many versions of the same codec.
Last edited by forart on Tue May 29, 2007 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Haos
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Post by Haos » Mon May 28, 2007 5:16 pm

Mind that some older games might be using old/depreciated codecs. For example, Close Combat 3 needs Indel Indeo and Cinepack codecs.

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Post by forart » Tue May 29, 2007 9:02 am

ehm.... sorry i lost the connection...

BTW, i noticed both de&en-coding performance degradation when a standard machine has too mutch codec installed, so i think that a sort of "codec manager" should be implemented to keep the situation under control, at least.

To me the VLC approach (i mean non-installed codecs) IS the best and probably the most controllable. I also understand that *MANY* software (VirtualDub too) already use the Win architecture, but i think it's solvable with a wrapper....
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