User: Password:
|
|
Subscribe / Log in / New account

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 9, 2010 19:25 UTC (Fri) by gmaxwell (guest, #30048)
In reply to: Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle by Daiz
Parent article: Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

"They might want an index (because of faster seeking), but do not require it. For example, playing an index-less MKV in MPC-HC will result in no index being created until you seek." I don't know about MPC-HC, but in mplayer for example— it's unable to seek without scanning the whole file to build an index. Even deferring this, scanning the entire file to build an index when the user seeks is the kind of unacceptable half-solution that was trying to be avoided. I'm not saying that MKV is doing anything wrong, — it is what it is and the tools could be better.

The most frequent argument I hear regarding Ogg not having an index is that the lack of one makes seeking more complicated. But as you said, " if you want to support Matroska you need to support index-less Matroska files too". In any case, looks like it's going to be the same story for Ogg nowish.

As far as live streams go— I have no idea, and can't find any information on how you'd build a scalable MKV streaming infrastructure to support a couple of thousand users, or even a hundred or so. This might just be a documentation issue. For Ogg you simply use icecast and can scale to any number of users by adding servers and an interior relay layer (and you can purchase icecast distribution services commercially). The same (icecast based) services that work for Vorbis also work for Theora.

There are some live Ogg/Theora / Vorbis streams in the icecast directory, but a lot of usage is private. Other recent examples include the students for free culture conference or the lessig wireside chat.

(FWIW, I've never been able to get VLC to produce an HTTP stream with MKV/Vorbis+Theora— it just throws "invalid chain" and "no suitable sout mux module for `http/mkv". The same configuration, switching MKV with Ogg works fine. Though if you say it works I don't doubt that my configuration is wrong)

I would propose that 99% of the group X is using MKV is related to codec support and not especially related to the container. There are no useful and mature tools for things like H264+AAC in Ogg. There certainly could be— but why bother?

I'd offer that adding more encumbered formats is utterly poisonous to everything that made the web so successful.... But in any case— thats really a separate argument from the containers issue. But if you really think that H.264/AAC is a reason to pick a container than MP4 is the absolutely unambiguous choice there simply due to device compatibility.

My own view, and it's one that Monty has disagreed with in the past, is that that the lack of tools for putting encumbered codecs in Ogg is an _advantage_. It's an advantage because avoiding licensed formats is important to you, you don't have to be a media rocket scientist to figure out if your files are 'pure' or not. Simply check the extension: If it says "Ogg" (or Oga, Ogv) you're likely good to go.

Containers really don't contribute much to anything most users ultimately cares about. Of course, tool support for Ogg with this formats could be written but there are two acceptable formats for the AAC+H264 mix, arguably thats already one too many.

... and "mature support for encumbered codecs" is most of your feature list.

Considering the rest— we do have subtitle support in the Ogg toolset (In the form of the Kate codec, which supersets SRT as far as I know...), but it's not part of Ogg itself.

Ogg does miss out on the chapter support. You can use chaining as chapters, of course. But there really isn't application support for this, so it's a largely theoretical use case. I've never seen an MKV file using chapters myself, but I don't doubt that it's an important feature in the movie "backup" market.

Whatwg has been really conservative about adding features to video the API. It's far from exposing all the things it could expose already, I honestly don't think it's likely that it ever would expose chapters even if implementers were shipping MKV support today. I think this is unfortunate, but it is what it is— that community would rather you implement fancy features using HTML+CSS+JS rather than putting it into the video files themselves.

Don't get me wrong, I'd certainly be happy to see more MKV support. But the benefits are not clear to me.... and the embedded developers/browser vendors are incredibly conservative about dependencies. The LGPL licensing on libmatroska and libebml the 'optional' dependencies on things like bzip2,lzo, and zlib (which are really not optional if you want to handle anything a user might throw at it) are considered to be real hurdles in the browser and embedded space— which will probably require more justification than "Support for H.264/AAC but less compatible than MP4" and good support for chapters/subtitles.

Cheers.


(Log in to post comments)

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 9, 2010 20:25 UTC (Fri) by Daiz (guest, #65138) [Link]

>In the form of the Kate codec, which supersets SRT as far as I know...

On a theoretical level, yes, on actual technical level, no. In that aspect it's about on par with SRT, except a lot less supported.

>... and "mature support for encumbered codecs" is most of your feature list.

For your average user backing up their DVDs or encoding their shortfilms or doing whatever it is quite important, since more often than not these people want to get the best quality they can get, in which case for video they turn to x264, the best video encoder in the world.

My main argument against Ogg in the web is that it separates content to web and non-web. I'd rather have Theora+Vorbis in MKV than Theora+Vorbis in Ogg, though more preferrably I'd use H.264+Vorbis in MKV for my web video needs if HTML5 <video> supported that properly in major browsers. I'm quite sure many people would be delighted about this too, since it'd basically mean that their personal copy and the web copy can be the exact same file without compromising quality.

>I've never seen an MKV file using chapters myself

And I've seen thousands and made hundreds. Quite literally. And I gotta say that I love chapters. I backup plenty of TV series I own and with chapter support I can easily skip for example the opening and ending themes of a show. With segment linking, I can even have the opening and ending in separate files and seamlessly link them to the episode files, which saves space.

In general I hate how ignorant the whole media industry seems to be of subtitles. Subtitles in DVDs look atrocious, even Blu-ray subtitles are more limited than they could be, MP4's subtitle support is a joke... it seems like no-one in the industry cares at all, which isn't a surprise considering it's mostly based in the US where subtitles are a rarity. Around my part of the world everything that's not for very little kids and is in a foreign language is subtitled. This is the case in quite many countries, and for people living in those countries, subtitles matter as well. Subtitle support needs to be taken more seriously!

How about you Xiph guys rather spend your time trying to kill software patents completely? I bet you'd manage to get that done faster than improving Theora encoders to the point that they beat x264, and then we'd have no need to argue about whether something is patent encumbered or not anymore.

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 9, 2010 21:34 UTC (Fri) by xiphmont (guest, #58693) [Link]

> My main argument against Ogg in the web is that it separates
> content to web and non-web.

Hmm, OK, I see that concern. But I already need to do that in that I
record and edit at high bitrate and have to reencode for reasonable web
rates anyway. I'm not going to stream at 25Mbit.

> I'd rather have Theora+Vorbis in MKV
> than Theora+Vorbis in Ogg, though more preferrably I'd use
> H.264+Vorbis in MKV for my web video needs if HTML5 <video>
> supported that properly in major browsers.

...but only if you don't have to pay for it! Ahhh.... somebody
does. Even in France.

> I'm quite sure many
> people would be delighted about this too, since it'd basically
> mean that their personal copy and the web copy can be the exact
> same file without compromising quality.

The day that MPEG-LA renounces its h264 patents, I'll dance in
the streets. The argument will be over, and everyone including
99.99% of businesses will have won. But I expect that not only
will MPEG find a way to keep milking it way past 2028, but by
then the entire patent pool will be pushing its new thing and
you'll be here arguing that we're not right in the head for
thinking Ogg NextGen can stand up against h265, and h265 isn't
really that much money, and everyone is using h265 anyway and you
can put h265 in MKV and not Ogg so Ogg sucks.

> How about you Xiph guys rather spend your time trying to kill
> software patents completely?

We'll get right on that.

> I bet you'd manage to get that done faster than improving Theora
> encoders to the point that they beat x264, and then we'd have no
> need to argue about whether something is patent encumbered or not
> anymore.

Ah, so I was being trolled all along. Oh well.

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 10, 2010 12:20 UTC (Sat) by Daiz (guest, #65138) [Link]

>Ah, so I was being trolled all along. Oh well.

I wasn't trolling even one bit. Are you seriously implying that Xiph (or anyone else) could ever make libtheora beat x264 in speed and quality? If you are, get real. Honestly. That's just silly. Even if x264 development stopped completely right now, it still wouldn't ever happen.

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 10, 2010 15:46 UTC (Sat) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Your previous comments had some merit but this one sounds like pure troll. The only point you make is that nobody could make libtheora beat x264, then you fail to support your position even a little bit? Textbook definition of fanboi troll. Very disappointing.

> it still wouldn't ever happen.

Dude, ever is a very long time. Speaking of getting real...

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 11, 2010 9:03 UTC (Sun) by Daiz (guest, #65138) [Link]

Look. Video compression is a field that is patented to hell and back. As long as Theora aims to remain patent unencumbered, it has to avoid so many things that could make it better that its utterly ridiculous. x264 developers have to care about absolutely none of these.

Also, as it is, x264 development is a lot more active than libtheora development is. From the beginning of 2009, Theora has received about 42 updates. In the same time, x264 has had 440 revisions.

The only way libtheora could ever beat x264 pretty much requires that software patents stop existing, and at that point we wouldn't even need it anymore.

Thus, libtheora will never beat x264 in quality in speed.

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 11, 2010 10:03 UTC (Sun) by gmaxwell (guest, #30048) [Link]

As far as I can tell you're arguing, quite ferociously I might add, with yourself.


Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 11, 2010 14:06 UTC (Sun) by Daiz (guest, #65138) [Link]

Yeah, because xiphmont and bronson are totally me, right?

Seeking in a live stream

Posted Apr 11, 2010 15:12 UTC (Sun) by kleptog (subscriber, #1183) [Link]

That's something I find quite baffling actually. I've got a Tivo here that has no trouble seeking within a live stream and did this 10 years ago. Pause/Fast-Forward/Rewind all within a moving window.

I have yet to see this on a PC however. Are there any media players which support this mode of operation?

Ogg and the multimedia container format struggle

Posted Apr 13, 2010 13:15 UTC (Tue) by robux4 (guest, #65101) [Link]

> I'd offer that adding more encumbered formats is utterly poisonous to
> everything that made the web so successful...

Well, this is like saying HTML should have never evolved from version 1 or that the javascript and CSS extensions are poisoning the web. AFAIK not all browsers are passing the Acid3 test and still people don't consider that their web experience is broken because of that. Not all browsers are going to add support for all Matroska support all at once, nor will they with Ogg. That doesn't mean it's not the way to go.


Copyright © 2018, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds