Video Codecs and the Free World
The fact is, and will remain, that open-source tools are the saving grace of video professionals and system administrators working in a multiplatform multimedia world. FFmpeg and VLC Player have both been trusted playback, video-analyzing and video-conversion programs in my video toolkit for years, and they solve postproduction problems that proprietary, overpriced editing packages introduce with exclusive codec licenses and incompatibility.
Here are two contrasting examples:
A recent update to Final Cut Suite, Apple's premier video production suite, dropped support for a number of codecs while adding support for Apple's proprietary ones. Being a closed system, there is no solution to this problem, only the work-around of transcoding the source material.
The open-source application Blender supports any codec that its host system supports, and updates can be requested of programmers on Blender's IRC channel, often resulting in a patch within days. Final Cut Studio is well over a thousand dollars per client license. Blender, of course, is free.
As long as the primary market for codecs are the companies that continue to desire to protect their digital content, new codecs will continue to be developed that will require a separate license to use. This will result in myriad codecs on the Web and in the video production world. And, as long as licenses are required to use proprietary codecs, the more divided and convoluted the delivery methods will become.
Utilize free codecs fearlessly and unify video production as well as delivery. The Open Source movement is stronger than ever, and the Creative Commons ideals in the art world are getting serious press for encouraging freely distributed works by big-name acts like Radiohead and Prince, adventurous independents like the movie Rune, bountiful pod-safe music, the Internet Archive and so on. The climate is such that free codecs have the unique opportunity to become the popular choice for maximized compatibility and end-user freedom.
Seth Kenlon is a film and video editor, systems consultant and software trainer. Concurrently with all of that, he is a Linux user, supporter and promoter.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide