Video Production Made Easy
Ubuntu recognizes a variety of video formats. The formats created by the MPEG group, Apple, and Microsoft dominate, however. At the heart of video formats are the codecs the encoders and decoders of the video and audio information. These codecs are typically proprietary, but free codecs do exist. Here is a list of the most common video formats and their associated file extensions . .mpeg The MPEG video format also known as .mpg . .qt The QuickTime video format from Apple . .mov Another QuickTime video format
The Totem movie player (www.gnome.org projects totem) comes with the GNOME desktop environment. In most GNOME desktops, Totem can play video in Theora format with Ogg audio. Totem uses the GStreamer framework (http gstreamer.freedesktop.org) so it can take advantage of any video codes that work with GStreamer. In particular, free and fee-based codecs that you can purchase from www.fluendo.com for playing a variety of commercial audio video formats work with Totem.
The idea of a patent is to allow someone to control the rights regarding who can make, sell, offer to sell, use, or import an invention that the patent applicant dreamed up. As it relates to multimedia software in particular, the encoding and decoding of audio and video content for many commercially released music and video formats are covered by patents. So, even if open source developers write every piece of code from scratch to encode and decode content, it may not be legal to distribute it without paying a royalty to the patent owner.
You can control video playback using the play pause, fast forward, and rewind buttons at the bottom left. In addition, provided a compatible video format is being played, you can use the Time bar to move backward and forward within the video file. You can switch to full-screen playback by clicking View Fullscreen. To switch back, simply press the Esc key. If you're watching a program that has been ripped from TV, you might want to use the Deinterlace feature on the View menu to remove any interference patterns.
There are also third-party packages built for SUSE of the very capable mplayer multimedia application, which is capable of playing .avi, .wmv, .mov (QuickTime), MPEG, and other formats. With the addition of plug-ins for the various codecs, the mplayer package can cope with most formats. It can also use Windows dynamic link libraries (DLLs) for additional codecs. You can find SUSE packages for mplayer and the associated codecs at http packman.links2linux.org (a useful source of many additional packages for SUSE). In practice, using the mplayer package from here together with the add-on codecs is probably the best way to get support for the widest variety of video formats on SUSE Linux.
GStreamer (www.gstreamer.net) is a pipeline-based multimedia framework that can be used by applications to process the data between when it is read from ALSA drivers and before it is output, either directly or through a sound server. GStreamer uses a plug-in-based architecture that makes it easy to extend GStreamer to support new audio or video formats. Though originally developed for use on GNOME-based systems, GStreamer was designed to be platform-independent and is thus used on platforms that include Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Solaris. The GStreamer framework is also being used by the KDE 4 Phonon project.
Under SUSE Linux, the player applications and multimedia frameworks are installed by default. However, to play back common video formats, such as Windows Media and QuickTime, you need to install additional codecs. These are normally downloaded from third-party web sites.
Like the other multimedia software provided with Ubuntu, its video playback application, Totem Movie Player, is basic but effective and does the job well. However, because of patenting issues, Totem doesn't support all video formats out of the box. In fact, it supports very few of those you might be used to using under Windows or Macintosh. If you wish to play back the most common video files, such as those listed in Table 19-1, you must install additional software.
The most common example of a situation in which you will want to access repository components other than the main and restricted components is when working with audio and video applications. The wide variety of CODECs (compressor decompressor modules) used to encode digital audio and video, the platform-specific roots of many of these CODECs, and the hoops that many media companies make you jump through in order to actually play many digital audio and video formats on an Ubuntu Linux system make it necessary to push the boundaries of free software licensing.
The chapter also covers playing live video from TV cards and Webcams in the sections on tvtime and Ekiga, respectively. Finally, the chapter describes how the xine player can be used to play a variety of video formats and explored the gtkam window for downloading images from a digital camera. If your computer has a CD burner, use the descriptions in this chapter to create your own music CDs and CD labels.
In actual fact, Mplayer is a command-line program but it's nearly always installed with a GUI front-end, and that's how most people use it. To install it, just search Synaptic for mplayer. To make Mplayer the default application for browser-based audio video playback, you should also install mozilla-mplayer. Once installed, Mplayer can handle just about any kind of mainstream audio or video format, including Windows Media, Real, DivX, and others. You'll find it on the Applications Sound & VLC and Mplayer are very similar because both are self-contained applications that playback multimedia files, although VLC hasn't yet got 100 support for playback of the RealPlayer audio video format. However, VLC has a trick up its sleeve streaming and file format conversion (the latter is commonly-known as transcoding). For example, if you download a WMV (Windows Media) movie file and would like to convert it to DivX, VLC will be able to help. Or you could download a file on one computer and stream...
Don't be discouraged by my tone in that last sentence, though. You should have no trouble downloading video from your camera to your computer, editing those video files, and adding effects and even subtitles. To be honest, there are still some problems, especially in the area of file format conversions, but, as with all things Linux, it will only be a matter of time until the wrinkles are ironed out. There are also a couple of cool video editing apps that, while not quite ready for prime time, seem promising and are well worth keeping an eye on PiTiVi and Diva.
A complete Linux system package is called a distribution. Many different Linux distributions are available to meet almost any computing requirement you have. Most distributions are customized for a specific user group, such as business users, multimedia enthusiasts, software developers, or normal home users. Each customized distribution includes the software packages required to support specialized functions, such as audio and video editing software for multimedia enthusiasts, or compilers and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for software developers.
Communities also gather around specific software projects and Linux distributions. SourceForge (http sourceforge.net ) is home to thousands of open source software projects. Go to the SourceForge.net site and try keyword searches for topics that interest you (for example, image gallery or video editing). Each project provides links to project home pages, forums, and software download sites. There are always projects looking for people to help write code or documentation or just participate in discussions.
Real Producer Basic is available for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows. It takes live video or audio and converts it to Real Media format. This can then be streamed or downloaded and played with the Real Player. Real Producer Plus has additional features that allow better optimization of Real Media files. There is also Real Producer Pro, which allows the conversion of other audio and video formats into Real format. Unfortunately, Real Producer Pro is only available for Windows. The price of Real Producer Basic is free, and the Pro version sells for up to 499. Real Player Basic is available for both Linux and Windows. It allows the end-user to view Real Media files and streams. It also supports many other audio and video formats, including MP3. There is also a Plus version for 29 that has extra features such as a graphic equalizer and the ability to record streams. The 49 Real Player Pro also has the ability to create slide shows with video and audio.
Another interesting video viewer application is MPlayer (not provided by Ubuntu), a movie player for Linux. MPlayer can use Win32 codecs and it supports a wider range of video formats than Xine, including Divx and some RealMedia files. MPlayer also uses some special display drivers that support Matrox, 3Dfx, and Radeon cards and can make use of some hardware MPEG decoder boards for better MPEG decoding. Look for Ubuntu packages at http www.mplayerhq.hu a Win32 codec package is also available, as well as other codec packages and a GUI interface.
Video recording (encoding) and playback (decoding) remain among the most contentious areas of potential litigation in open source software. On one hand you have patent holders of complex video formats that might ask for royalties for open source codecs (even when the software was written from scratch). On the other, you have the movie industry that has taken
Another interesting video viewer application is MPlayer, a movie player for Linux. MPlayer can use Win32 codecs and it supports a wider range of video formats than Xine, including DivX and some RealMedia files. MPlayer also uses some special display drivers that support Matrox, 3Dfx, and Radeon cards and can make use of some hardware MPEG decoder boards for better MPEG decoding. Look for Ubuntu packages at http www.MPlayerHQ.hu homepage a Win32 codec package is also available, as well as other codec packages and a GUI interface.
While looking at your plugs-ins list, you might notice that one popular video format is missing Macromedia Flash (also called Shockwave Flash). This video format is popular with video-streaming sites, such as YouTube and Metacafe. If you want to use these sites, you'll need to install Flash in Firefox. Here are the steps to install it using the Ubuntu Synaptic Package Manager
Along with the popularity of digital cameras that can record video comes the popularity of video-editing software packages. Unfortunately, Ubuntu doesn't install a video-editing package by default. However, if your workstation is connected to the Internet, it's a snap to install a basic editing package. The Kino video-editing package is the most popular video editor for the Linux platform. It uses a subtractive method of video editing, meaning that you add video clips to a library then remove the pieces that you don't want to use in your final video. This is a little more basic than what some advanced video editors allow you to do, but it should work just fine for most home-video enthusiasts. This section describes how to install and use the Kino video-editing software in Ubuntu.
The field of Linux movie-editing software is still young, and only a handful of programs are available for the nonprofessional user. One of the best is Kino (www.kinodv.org), which is installed by default under SUSE Linux on both the GNOME and KDE desktops. Although far from being a professional-level program, Kino allows competent users to import and edit videos, apply effects, and then output in either MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format.
Video editing in Linux can be hell, but a handful of programs are showing the way forward to a better world. dan sawyer wrote an extensive article surveying the state of the art in video production software on Linux. At the time, there were a lot of new players, some brought into the field from the first Google Summer of Code, and very few of them were serviceable all the way around. Video editing on Linux always has been curiously bifurcated. On the one hand, there are glorious high-end finishing packages, such as Discreet Smoke, that are used routinely on big-budget productions, but the price tag for a single Smoke system runs into the tens of thousands of dollars, so it's not particularly budget-friendly. On the other hand, there are excellent low-end packages, such as Kino, which handles DV with grace, speed and polish. The middle ground between them is littered with half-finished projects, failed projects and Cinelerra, a behemoth that is both finished and polished but can be...
Pioneered by Jason Wood and now maintained by a team of developers, KDENLIVE is a Qt-based editor that uses FFmpeg as its decoding engine and Dan Dennedy's MLT as its frameserver and EDL backbone. It's a powerful combination, putting it into a position to handle HD as easily as garden-variety DV, and opening up its importable profile to include pretty much any video format you can watch on a Linux box.
The cross-platform player, VLC Media Player, is another player with a significant following. It is noted for handling a number of video formats well, and for having a simple and easy-to-use interface. You can get it via Automatix (click Media Players and Editors in the left pane, click VLC Media Player in the right pane, and then click Start).
The Ubuntu Studio edition is officially recognized by Canonical, but the company doesn't support it. The operating system consists of regular Ubuntu with the addition of audio, graphics, and video editing capabilities, such as the Kino video editor shown in Figure 15-10. Figure 15-10. The Kino video editing program Figure 15-10. The Kino video editing program
New in the SAS space is AMCC's 3ware 9690SA Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) RAID Controller whose sales proposition includes the flexibility offered by its three PCI Express low-profile controller choices eight internal ports, eight external ports or four internal four external ports. The 3ware 9690SA provides 2-24 ports of SATA connectivity and maximized SAS expandability for up to 128 devices per controller. The SAS controllers include AMCC's unified RAID management interface and software suite, enabling a simplified configuration experience irrespective of its storage interface. The product is destined for data-center environments needing expanded connectivity and high levels of read and write performance. Targeted applications include databases, NAS storage, Web servers, cluster servers, supercomputing, near-line backup and archival, security systems and pro audio and video editing appliances.
When it comes to video editing, Ubuntu also comes up with the goods, and one of the best applications is the PiTiVi program, which is not installed by default (but see the section What's New in 10.04 on page 396). However, you can easily install it by entering pitivi into the search field of the Ubuntu Software Center. Starting with version 10.04 of Ubuntu, PiTiVi is now installed by default, and so you will not need to install it from the Software Center. This is a good decision because video editing is becoming ever more popular, and PiTiVi is one of the easiest and fastest programs of its type out there.
How To Create Your Own Video Product
Now YOU Can Finally Learn All the ins and outs of Creating Your Own Video awhile about creating your own video products.