"Our computers today are not simple devices. We require many
things of them - the ability to play sound, display images, connect
to networks, and spell check our romantic letters to loved ones.
Although recently my word processor has not been exposed to the
amorous words I would like it to have been, I have had recently the
task of working out how the heck video works under Linux - your
common and garden variety MPEGs, Quicktime, and Real Video
"I anticipated disaster - setting up XFree86 can be a hassle
in itself, and the lack of video players that come with today's
Linux distributions did not lend me hope that I would be successful
in my endeavor. Perhaps I would be better off writing love
letters after all. However this was not to be."
"Although stored video is of course important, a growing trend
with the availability of high speed access to the Internet, is
streamed video, in which a video file is sent bit by bit,
compressed and optimized for transmission over the Internet, to a
person's home computer. The actual download of the video file is
still completing while the video starts playing."
"There are three formats which are currently dominating the
online world in terms of streaming videos. Real Networks provides a
free player for their Real formats, including the popular Real
Audio and Real Video formats. Apple provides content through it's
Quicktime format, and Microsoft has also been developing it's own
Windows Media Player to the extent where many media portals are
streaming their moving pictures through the Windows Media Player
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