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Subject: Re: Summer of Code 2009

Re: Summer of Code 2009

From: Paul Louden <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 09:10:24 -0600

alex wallis wrote:
> Also, someone might not have the technical knowledge of how to
> transcode a real audio file.
> I don't use it myself but I think its always nice to have more audio
> codecs. Personally I would like to see rockbox able to play avi and
> other types of video file such as wmv.
"avi" isn't a type of video format. That's, in essence, like saying "I
like to eat food from ziploc bags." All kinds of food can be in ziploc
bags, so you're not really communicating a taste in food. .avi files are
a 'container' format and can hold a fairly wide range of formats.

As it stands, there's much less of a reason to support multiple video
formats. With audio formats, it's good to support as many as we can so
we don't need to ask people to transcode and lose quality. With video
formats, the players are slow enough that we have to ask people to
transcode because they must convert to fit the screen. Given that they
need to lose quality anyway, a few well picked formats will actually
make the user experience better than a wide range of formats. If only a
few are chose, we can recommend good conversion utilities (or eventually
integrate conversion into the utility), provide better instructions for
setting up video in the wiki or manual, catch bugs more easily in the
player(since multiple formats of video don't need to be dealt with), etc.

While there's no real harm in supporting a wider range of video formats,
there's a very real benefit in "keeping it simple" in terms of what a
user needs to know to get video working, and no real advantage to
supporting a wider range of video formats beyond probably what we have
now, MPEG4-ASP, and h.264/AVC. With these you basically have "fast, low
quality", "medium quality, used everywhere" (more or less the MP3 of
video) and "more modern, slow" (this one is unlikely to run on any but
the fastest players, or players with special hardware, but will provide
the smallest file sizes).
Received on 2009-02-24

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