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Graphics Open Source Software Upgrades Linux

Multimedia Powerhouse FFmpeg Hits 3.0 67

An anonymous reader writes: The milestone release FFmpeg 3.0 "Einstein" has been unleashed. For those who need a reminder, FFmpeg comprises several libraries and command-line tools (the main command-line tool being "ffmpeg") that encode, decode, transcode, and stream audio/visual data, etc. FFmpeg supports a multitude of codecs, filters, and container formats too numerous to mention here. FFmpeg is used by MPlayer, VLC, HandBrake, Chrome, and many other projects. Changes from 2.x to 3.0 include: a much better native AAC encoder, better hardware acceleration, and some API/ABI breakage. See this, this, this, this, and the changelog for much better descriptions of the improvements.
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Multimedia Powerhouse FFmpeg Hits 3.0

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  • Not on Mint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @10:21PM (#51572245)

    It's not in the default repos on Mint, I learned this was replaced by libav. I used it to crop some videos for use in OpenShot* by commandline and the parameters seem compatible with FFmpeg. Any reason for the fork? I'm currently reading this [blog.pkh.me] to suss it out, hopefully it's good in the long run, and at least I can do what I need to do in the meantime.

    *(love it for editing home videos but lacking soundtrack support, added that by commandline too w/libav)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux and FOSS.
    • Re: Not on Mint (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @10:49PM (#51572355)

      Debian was a big player in the libAV mess, and they recently switched back to ffmpeg, so I imagine mint will at some point too.

      • Re: Not on Mint (Score:5, Informative)

        by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @12:33AM (#51572719)

        I remember that crap. It was fucked the way they changed it so it seemed like it was ffmpeg was installed but it wasn't. It broke so many applications and I couldn't figure out why. It used to work and then it didn't. When I figured it out I was more than annoyed. Sure if you want to change to libav go ahead but don't call it ffmpeg. I then got to compile ffmpeg from scratch. They didn't have any nifty cut and paste instructions at the time.

        • Re: Not on Mint (Score:4, Informative)

          by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @11:17AM (#51574807) Journal

          The narrative keeps changing. The first pass I heard was ffmpeg was full of NIH, haphazard bullshit, retard babies, and idiot politics, with code quality going down the shitter, hence the fork to libav; the latest pass I heard was ffmpeg folds in all the important features and bugfixes libav makes, while libav goes all NIH and re-implements their own from scratch, often simply ignoring bugs because it's run by a development team of retard babies and driven entirely by idiot politics.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Just a matter whose narrative wins. When it comes to bugs honestly that is mostly an issue of manpower, I don't think anyone ignores them on purpose. And as far as I can tell FFmpeg by now has decidedly won from the "available manpower" perspective.
            You're likely to find all kinds of accusations but the only major thing I could ever see in this mess was that there were certain people that simply couldn't communicate and get along with each other.
            It may have been born out of a project culture of "agressive di

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @11:25PM (#51572457) Journal

      If you want the newest ffmpeg and on any Linux, you can easily do what I did last night. The ffmpeg page has copy/paste instructions for downloading and compiling the newest ffmpeg with the newest versions of the libraries/ codecs it uses. Those instructions set PREFIX to something other than /usr or /usr/local so it doesn't step on anything installed on the system. It was really simple. I was using a very old version of Fedora, but didn't have any problems of missing dependencies because the dependencies are included in the instructions.

      One of the libraries takes a long time to compile, so I let that run while I and did other things. If you copy/paste exactly, you end up with the new ffmpeg in $HOME/bin/ . You can of course change that, or move it after it has compiled.

    • by jomcty ( 806483 )

      It's not in the default repos on Mint, I learned this was replaced by libav.

      http://johnvansickle.com/ffmpe... [johnvansickle.com]

  • Cool, but (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder how much sooner we would have gotten this release if not for all of the HEVC patent/licensing fee shenanigans of late?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      FFmpeg is source-only and hosted in Europe. It's not considered to be really affected by patent issues by the development team.
      So no, that had 0 relevance.

  • i like F.F.m.p.e.g! Go Team!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately, the current release of vlc refuses to build against ffmpeg-3.0. Transcode and xine-libs are also broken by the changes, but those might be fixable. One day, many of us will be using ffmpeg-3.0 in our systems : but it might be a few weeks away.

      • Correct, the latest stable release (VLC 2.2. 2) doesn't compile due to API changes on the FFMPEG side however the latest VLC in their Git repository works with it. I am the Gentoo proxy-maintainer for VLC, and I have looked at the changes to make VLC 2.2.x work with FFMPEG 3.0, and they're not trivial or backwards compatible. My recommendation for folks on Gentoo at least is to use VLC-9999 (the Gentoo name of the latest upstream commit) if you need FFMPEG 3.0. One other thing to note is that FFMPEG

      • Well I have a simpler concern : if this ffmpeg 3.0 doesn't hit Ubuntu 16.04, then wait for Ubuntu 18.04 (or Mint 19) to have it.

  • Stability (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @10:48PM (#51572349)

    My initial reaction:

    Multimedia Powerhouse FFmpeg Hits 3.0

    That's nice, but does it have a stable ABI yet?

    and some API/ABI breakage

    Welp.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My initial reaction:

      Multimedia Powerhouse FFmpeg Hits 3.0

      That's nice, but does it have a stable ABI yet?

      and some API/ABI breakage

      Welp.

      It is a major release. Some breakage is expected. As long as you stay on the same major it should be stable.

      • Re:Stability (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @03:17AM (#51573217)

        It is a major release. Some breakage is expected. As long as you stay on the same major it should be stable.

        Hah. Good luck with that. FFmpeg is an amazing collection of codecs wrapped in a horrible and ever-changing API. I have used it on a number of projects and it seems every time I upgrade something breaks.

      • As long as you stay on the same major it should be stable.

        Spoken like someone who's never had to maintain video related code which interfaces with FFMPEG!

        It has been pretty good for the last few years but before that it was the single largest cause of rewrites.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My initial reaction:

      Multimedia Powerhouse FFmpeg Hits 3.0

      That's nice, but does it have a stable ABI yet?

      and some API/ABI breakage

      Welp.

      I've not had to actually work with ffmpeg's ABI myself and I don't anything about it, but yeah well, you know, any time I see a x.0 release of anything, the first thing I'm going to assume is that there's some breaking changes in there. That's kinda the point whole of bumping your major release number.

  • fast encoding? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @12:02AM (#51572603)
    How fast can ffmpeg do encoding on modern hardware? Is there functional GPU support to get high compression rates in real time?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @12:48AM (#51572763)

    Like stealing from a Girl Scout

    https://trac.ffmpeg.org/query?... [ffmpeg.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most of those "issues" are merely including non-free codecs. They're doing the consumer a favour - a good thing. Your implication is deliberately misleading others by creating the illusion source code is not made available, when it clearly is. Many of those companies even have developer forums to add your own builds to their products with the aid of their own staff. The license change was to prevent TIVOisation, something not the case here. It's the opposite.

      Furthermore, ffmpeg's history isn't exactly clean

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I was surprised at the style of the license violation communication. often snarky and rarely detailed in their objections. Like the licensing is being run by USENET.

    • > Any Video Converter violates GPL

      I misinterpreted that entry, but on second thought, pretty much any converter I come across is based on it.
      It's not like Joe Neighbour implements a set of decoders in a weekend.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is it still the case that decoding with ffmpeg produces inferior video output quality as compared to codecs available on Windows? I remember back in the day (several years ago) people would post detailed screenshot comparisons of ffmpeg output versus things like CoreCodec's CoreAVC to show the inferior video quality on linux, even though the source files were identical.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      CoreAVC means H.264 (aka AVC) I assume. H.264 has bit-exact decoding requirement, so any "quality difference" for decoding is pure bullshit as it would mean at least one it is a completely broken decoder, and due to long reference chains it _would_ result in completely and obviously broken output over time.
      Of course anyone who wants could for example throw a sharpening filter, or frame interpolation, deinterlacing or whatever after the actual decoder (no idea what CoreAVC does), but that is not really the d

  • Contains everything I need to know, and links that add more information including the original source of the news.

    • by whh3 ( 450031 )

      And, even better, it's this type of headline/information that I want /. to publish. This is news for nerds.

  • Did they add any kind of authentication to ffserver yet? That's what I'm waiting for.

  • FFMPEG underlies the majority of affordable (and free) video apps, that just seem to wrap a GUI round it. As always though, the power is in the command line.

    Be aware that there is a professional version: FFMBC, for those who need it for serious work.

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