As you probably know, the iPhone and iPod Touch make terrific video players--but they're limited in terms of the video formats they support. If you've got, say, Divx or MKV files you want to watch, you're out of luck unless you run them through a converter first--a time-consuming hassle, to say the least. If you're lucky enough to own an iPad, the VLC Media Player app enables you to work around this limitation by playing virtually all video formats, no conversion required. Even better news: it's now available for iPhone and iPod Touch as well. (… Read more
StarCodec is a free pack of media codecs optimized for a wide range of media players and formats, packaged together with a single installer. It offers stable, high-quality video and audio playback from a variety of sources, including files, disks, and Web sites, and numerous configuration settings to optimize media compatibility and playback.
Installing the StarCodec pack involves choices like post-processing and file associations; we chose the defaults, but they're easy to change later. Clicking Finish opened StarCodec's locally downloaded HTML product page in our browser. StarCodec's Start Menu entry includes DivX playback controls and a DivX … Read more
Google has released the first significant update to its WebM video software, bringing better performance and adding a duck-related code name.
The new software, called Aylesbury after the domesticated duck breed, is better at both encoding and faster at decoding WebM videos, said John Luther, Google's WebM product manager, in a blog post last week. Luther plans to detail Aylesbury this week at the Streaming Media West conference, which will include a detailed status report and a discussion of how it fits into the new HTML5 standard for Web pages.
More specifically, Aylesbury is between 20 percent and 40 … Read more
As you probably know, the iPhone and iPod Touch make terrific video players--but they're limited in terms of the video formats they support. If you've got, say, Divx or MKV files you want to watch, you're out of luck unless you run them through a converter first--a time-consuming hassle, to say the least.
Last month, the VLC Media Player app for iPad enabled users to work around this limitation by playing virtually all video formats, no conversion required.
If you were excited last month by the arrival of CineXPlayer, which lets you view Xvid-formatted videos on your iPad, you'll love this: uber-popular open-source video player VLC is now available for iPad as well, meaning you can now watch just about any video in any format.
Indeed, as the developer's fractured-English description notes, "It comes with support for nearly all codec there is." And based on the dozen or so sample videos I threw at it--Divx, MKV, Xvid, etc.--that seems to be the case.
As with CineXPlayer, you copy videos to VLC by way … Read more
One month after releasing its open-source, royalty-free VP8 video compression technology, the company already is working on significant revisions to the technology.
VP8, combined with the Vorbis audio technology, form the WebM codec with which Google is trying to unfetter Web video from the patent and royalty encumbrances of rival codec H.264. To make WebM a stronger competitor, Google is beginning work not just on ways to speed up encoding and decoding of the VP8, but also deeper changes to the format itself.
"Like every codec, WebM is not immune to change; the difference in our project is … Read more
The developer's build of Google's Chrome browser now includes WebM, the open-source and royalty-free video technology that allows browsers to use cutting-edge streaming-video features without publishers paying a dime.
The developer's build of Chrome is now the third major browser to support WebM, along with versions of Firefox and Opera that are still in development. Chromium, the open-source fountainhead of Chrome, added rudimentary support in mid-May. Google has yet to indicate … Read more
Google has begun answering concerns that VP8, the compression technology it hopes will invigorate and liberate Web video, isn't as good as a rival.
Nobody questions that VP8 is superior to Theora, the encoding-decoding "codec" that also has been available without royalties. But some have concluded that it's not as good as H.264, aka AVC, today's dominant but definitely not royalty-free codec.
VP8, combined with the Vorbis audio codec, form the guts of the open-source, royalty-free WebM project Google launched two weeks ago. Google attracted many allies for the project, but it's got … Read more
We have synthetic life! Craig Venter's new bacterium is alive and is blue... because that's what it's programmed to be. Also, Google says Happy 30th Birthday Pacman by putting a playable game into the Google banner. Tech support calls ensue.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Apparently, Australian border guards can now search your laptops for porn when you enter the country. Um. Ok. As a protest, we suggest everyone flying there just declare that they have porn. Why not? Also, tons of news coming from Google I/O, including the very interesting Google TV and the latest on Android 2.2. Let the waiting begin.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more