LinuxPower.com: Putting together a complete multimedia architecture for Unix

“During November of last year, I visited the Annual
Linux Conference in Oakland, California. I spent a lot of time
there talking with Erik Walthinsen, one of the lead developers of
the GStreamer multimedia architecture, about what is needed to get
really good multimedia support under both GNOME and Unix in
general. At this conference, Erik and I also talked about these
issues with a lot of other people in the Linux and Unix Multimedia
field and have continued that debate later by mail.

This article spotlights the technical issues involved and
presents the different efforts underway trying to solve these
issues. It is also my hope that this article will help to bring
more focus on these issues and get more developers interested in
helping to solve them. While the article title talks about Unix,
the article has a clear focus on Linux but every attempt will be
made to make sure that any solutions that are discussed for Linux
can be applied to other Unices.

If we are to become a competitive platform for both developers
and users of multimedia applications, we need to make sure our
infrastructure can provide even the most demanding user what they
need. In areas where this is simply not possible, we need to at
least plan making our libraries and driver interfaces flexible
enough to be able to take advantage of new hardware as it becomes
available. This is true both for something as a simple media player
to a more advanced application; for example an integrated suite for
creating machinima. So, when examining this, let us start at the
top and work our way down into the system. In this way, we can ask
questions from the perspective of the developers, who are wondering
if Linux and Unix can give them what they need of tools to develop
their application. “


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