Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

The Tree with a broken bark

Dear Windows and Mac users,

I don't understand how you can deal with the video players on your platforms. They play such a limited variety of video formats, which is why all the major sites have at least three(!) different formats for people to download things in. What's the deal? I just spent a good amount of time (at work and home) trying to rip bits off of a DVD into a single video format Mac and Windows people can use without installing any extra stuff on their system. I failed. I can make mpegs that Quicktime can play, with a fairly large incantation for mencoder, although neither audio nor video are playable on Windows Media Player. If I aim specifically for WMP, I can make things that have good audio but no video, or things that have spotty video and no audio (different formats), neither of these playable by Quicktime. Of course, Mplayer, on Linux, happily plays these files (and is portable to both of your platforms), and plays them more smoothly than Quicktime or WMP do. MPlayer is, sadly, only useful when installed with tons of copyright/license violations, but it's an insanely great player. Quicktime and WMP really, really suck. All the licensing junk that stops MPlayer from taking over the world sucks too.

Dear Google,

Thanks for offering to rescue me from my failure. I hope the video I need to share for work will easily be handled by your site so people can view it using whatever platform. As disinclined as I am to not have my data running on my own servers, I like most of your products. You're still pretty uncool in your dealings with China though.

Dear readers,

Sorry for breaking the fouth wall. I am trying to decide if and when I should throw another Ceilidh, in particular, how late in this year can I get away with it before some of you leave town, how should it be organised (given my smaller apartment), etc etc.


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