Shop FAQ

So I thought I answer a few of the questions that have popped up accross the web after the shop launch and yesterdays blog entry.

  • Are the EULA’s available online?
  • Yes, they are available under the terms link just before you finalize your order to go to the payment system. I realize a lot of people want to be able to read over the EULA before getting that far so I will put them up somewhere more easily reachable today.

  • What happens when new codecs are added?
  • Often the bundles will grow and people who bought the bundle as it is will be able to download the new bigger bundle for free. However there will also be new bundles made as things progress.

  • What about encoders?
  • We will soon start to offer some encoders too. Our windows media audio encoder is already in the beta program and the windows media video encoder is in final stages of development before hitting the beta program. To begin with these will be just separate download or maybe part of an windows media encoding bundle. As more encoders gets created we probably will offer bigger encoding bundles to, similar to the playback ones.

  • What about supporting other media frameworks/applications?
  • This will not happen. We are still a small company and the cost of supporting even more frameworks in a good way is daunting.

  • Why is only a subset of the plugins available on Linux PPC and Solaris?
  • Because we don’t have them ported yet. To be honest the popularity of the Windows media plugins on Linux PPC and Solaris will determine if we ever do port them in fact. Unless the plugin available for these platforms sell well enough to validate the cost of porting more codecs there will be no further codecs supported on these platforms. That said we are not going to pass judgement on either platform very quickly. For Linux PPC we will let PS3 be out on the market a while before start making assumptions about the viability of that market and for Solaris we will let Sun ship something else than just development versions of Solaris bundled with GStreamer 0.10.

  • Will you ever support Real Media, Quicktime, Flash Video etc.
  • The answer is Yes, to some degree, and maybe. We have a working Real Media decoder plugin, but we will not be able to release that before we have a full Real Media networking stack to use it with, but this is being worked on and shouldn’t be to far away. As for Quicktime we will be able to support AAC and H264 which seems to be the most used Quicktime codecs today and the Quicktime container format is just a tweaked version of the MPEG4 ISO format. So we will be able to offer something that plays most Quicktime trailers, but we might not be able to call it Quicktime support though due to trademark issues and of course not supporting Apple specific codecs such as Sorenson. As for Flash video or VP6 as its also called. Well we are trying to work something out there, but its still quite up in the air what will happen.

    15 thoughts on “Shop FAQ

    1. Thanks for the public clarification on these questions. I have been asked some of these questions this morning and last night, now I have a web page to point people to.

    2. I think it’s a great initiative but I still have some basic questions (sorry if they are answered elsewhere, I didn’t find that place).

      1) Do you write all those plugins from scratch with reverse-engineering ? Have you any agreement with upstream vendor ? (Microsoft, Real, etc…)

      2) Are those plugins legal in all countries ? I mean, if you did some reverse engineering, it might be not legal everywhere. Also, they might be covered by patents.

      3) Under what terms are your plugins licensed ? If I buy them, what could I do and do not ?

      4) What is the advantage of using your mpeg plugin instead of any free mpeg decoder already available for GStreamer or mplayer or xine ?

      BTW, I wish you good luck and thanks for all the work Fluendo is providing to Free Softwares.

    3. Ploum:
      1) the plugins are mostly done using code provided us from 3rd parties. For instance Microsoft gave us the source code we use for Windows Media.
      2)Yes, they are legal in all countries. No reverse-engineering used as we licensed all specs, code etc. properly.
      3) I just added the general license text under the Conditions for Use link on the shop frontpage. You might want to wait a little with reading it though as I sent sent Jaime our webmaster an updated formated version.
      4) Honestly there is not that much tecnical advantage to our plugin compared to the free one. The main advantage is the licensing and us supporting and maintaining it. While there are some short term advantages to some of our properietary plugins like support for Quality of Service and Trick modes over time which you end up using will be mostly a matter of local law/rules etc.

    4. André: there is no source for the most part as these are properietary plugins. There is some source available for the mp3 and mpegdemuxer if you look at the resources item on the homepage. But in general if opensource plugins are what you are looking for I recommend downloading the gst-plugins-ugly, gst-plugins-bad and gst-ffmpeg modules.

    5. Christian, thanks for your answers. It’s much clearer now.

      As I understand, the average Linux user is not concerned. It’s mostly for legal reason. I will buy your plugins if I’m really concerned about the law and that uncertain legality of pitfdll-w32codecs and mad MP3 decoded is a big deal for me.

      I will not bother about your shop if I’m using a cracked WinXP in dual boot with my Linux.

      I think I understand your business model and I really hope that it will be successful.

    6. Ploum: Or you could buy the codecs to support a great company that have contributed a lot to Linux.

      Personally I hope that someday it is possible to buy a box with Elisa and all codecs preinstalled. A box that will kick both Apple and Microsoft ass ;-)

    7. Any chance of commercial Linux distributions like Redhat, Suse, Mandriva, etc. bundling your codecs by default?

      Or maybe some distributions already have proper codec licenses?

      I could actually see paying for a retail version of Linux if it included all of your wonderful codecs! :)

    8. Michael: Yes there is a chance for that. Due to the nature of the thing I can’t really disclose any details on that unfortunatly.

    9. After reading your previous post I went to look at the store. I guess the first thing I did was look at the complete bundle and notice that it wasn’t available for Linux PPC, I didn’t realize that the Windows Media plugins were (I assumed they weren’t). I’m curious if others might be doing the same thing.

      What I’m suggesting is a “Complete Bundle” for Linux PPC that only includes the Windows plugins today. This way I could buy them all today, even though some are in beta.

    10. I do appreicate that fluendo is a small company, however I think you need to rethink your polices concerning non x86 platforms. By not supporting non x86 platforms there still exists a tangible demand for the *free* codecs which undermines the kind of respect for propietary codecs which your company is trying to market.

      Linux users of non x86 platforms are already hurt by the fact that other proprietary firms fail to support them–I would hope that fluendo might be able to be an exception to that rule.

      Remember if you wish for people to respect proprietary codecs, eg the ones you are selling, you need to do more than simply sell them-you need to take away from the legitimacy of the arguments used by those who implement *free* codecs, and the best way to do this is by supporting the major non x86 platforms.

    11. I’m anxiously awaiting the day when I can buy a reasonably priced retail version of Suse which plays MP3s, MPEG4, DVDs, and all of those other damned proprietary formats out of the box thanks to Fluendo!

      While I’m a huge supporter of free and open source software, I think these proprietary codecs, like binary firmware drivers, are just one of many comprises free software platforms have to make in order to succeed in a world dominated by proprietary solutions.

      Thanks for the great products and your contributions to free software!

    12. Karl: We really would like to support as many platforms as possible. Which is why we did take the time and the effort to make sure the Windows Media plugins we sell are available for Linux PPC. If we sell enough Linux PPC copies of the Windows Media to make us believe that essentially having one person dedicated to porting, optimising and shipping plugins on PPC then we will do that. This is the best we can do.

    13. I have just come accross the write up of your new business via Newsforge. Good luck.

      Please excuse if I have missed something, but do your codecs support proprietory (encrypted) DVD’s.

      I understand the 1 purchase 1 machine bit, but as I use Fedora I tend to be upgrading to the new version frequently. I am guessing your lcience would not have a problem with re-instalation in such circumstances.

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