H.264 playback and encoding on Linux

Mark Smith xorp at 020602005a5b40404e4440475758417a.nosense.org
Wed Jun 29 02:36:56 CST 2005

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 11:36:39 +0930
Andrew Reid <andrew.reid at plug.cx> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 29, 2005 at 11:13:22AM +0930, Mark Smith wrote:
> > > How does one play and encode H.264 on Linux? It's a standard feature  
> > > of OS X 10.4, but Apple are the only mob making huge amounts of noise  
> > > about the codec. There is vague mumblings on http://www.xvid.org/  
> > > about it, but I've not been able to find anything of much substance  
> > > anywhere else.
> > 
> > All these different codecs and container formats is getting very
> > confusing. Is H.264 sort of what's known as MPEG-4 ? If so, I think
> > mplayer can play it.
> H.264 is part of the MPEG-4 standard, yeah, but it's only really
> emerging into commonplace use now. QuickTime 7 can play and encode
> H.264, but I haven't seen anything to do even playback on Linux.
> Apple have a pretty good run-down on the whole thing on the QuickTime
> website. See http://www.apple.com/quicktime/technologies/h264/
>    - andrew

Depending on what your requirements may be, Ogg Theora (theora.org)
might be shaping up as an alternative to look into. At least it will be
pretty much guaranteed that video codecs for it will be availalbe on all
OSes, rather the issues with various MacOS and Windows oriented /
endorsed codecs.

Apparently the bitstream format has been formalised, and if you're
running the latest version of mplayer, you already can play them.


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