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Firefogg: Transcoding videos to open web standards with Mozilla Firefox

Feb 12, 2010, 19:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary Richmond)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"GNU/Linux has never been short of audio and video players, but they live in a world of multiple codecs, chief culprit amongst them being MP3, AAC, WMA and (Adobe) Flash. I say "culprits" because they are not free and open codecs. They are encumbered by patents; most websites with embedded audio/video use them and most of the people who view them are also using other patented software: Windows. GNU/Linux is a good alternative and all distros come bundled with free and open multimedia alternatives too: Ogg. You would not be surprised that these players can handle Ogg but what if I told you that Mozilla's Firefox browser could not only handle this codec but could be used also to transcode videos to that format? Interested? Read on. Firefox, thy name is versatile

"One of the constant bugbears about viewing multimedia content on the web is the need for third-party plugins, especially for proprietary plugins like (Adobe) Flash. The free software community has responded with a non-patent version called Gnash, with limited success. It's still a plugin though, free or not; besides, the number of websites hosting Ogg as the basis for their streaming software can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. It goes without saying that the Ogg codec has the unconditional support of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation — but wanting doesn't get. For example, I own an ageing iRiver MP3 player. It is one of the few that also supports Ogg but that seems a little superfluous given that so few sites offer it."

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