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FOSS Codecs Research

EngageMedia is currently conducting a research project into Free Open Source Software (FOSS) video codecs. We may also engage in a bit of experimental development work as we go along. We will be coordinating this project, but would love to engage other groups working around FOSS video software in this process.

“Codec” means compression-decompression and is the algorithm that allows your video to be made smaller for easier transport on the web or so it can be played back on your chosen software or hardware video player.

It is important to encourage the development and use of Free Open Source Software video codecs to ensure the community has the ability to access online video technologies and modify them for our own needs. Proprietary video codecs are often very expensive to license, there needs to be an alternative for community-based projects and those at a financial disadvantage to utilise.

These are the major questions we will be addressing in this project:

  • What FOSS codecs are currently available and how do they compare?
  • What is needed within the most popular systems to enable the
    upload and playback of FOSS codecs?
  • What would be required within various systems to implement cortado player or another embedded FOSS streaming video solution?
  • A survey of open source flash upload and playback options.
  • The possibility of creating server-side auto-transcoding applications to take the onus off video producers to encode to these formats.
  • Research into the development of a desktop transcoder/uploader application that could work locally to encode the file and then
    upload it to a specified site.
  • What desktop tools currently exist that support encoding to open-source codecs?
  • The practicality of creating a GUI for ffmpeg2theora, or what would be needed to implement it into current FOSS transcoding applications such as Media Coder, ffmpegx, Virtual Dub and
    Gtranscode.

The core outcome of this report will be a set of recommendations to promote the implementation of FOSS video codecs within online video distribution projects working for social change.

There is a wiki-page added for your input on the Transmission wiki here, with links to further information about the project.

Or please contact us via our feedback form here

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