Tomorrow I will be heading off to attend the GStreamer Application Porting Hackfest in Malaga, Spain. I think we have managed to pull together an absolutely incredible group of people for this event and I have great hopes that by next weekend we will have squashed a ton of bugs in GStreamer 0.11/1.0 and also have initial ports of a long range of important applications and bindings. This is the first time in GStreamer history that we are trying to hold a hackfest focused on application developers, but hopefully it will be the first of many and that they can become a good way for the core GStreamer community and the application development community to interact and collaborate more closely.
Also want to say a special thanks to the community members attending the event on their own and also to the companies sending their employees to the hackfest; Collabora, Fluendo, Flumotion and Igalia and finally a special thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring some of the attendees.
Hopefully I will be able to post some screenshots of a fully functional GStreamer 1.0 Transmageddon next weekend
After updating GStreamer and doing a couple of small fixes I managed to make Transmageddon work with the GTK3 and the 0.11 branch of GStreamer. Obligatory screenshot below. As you might guess from looking at the screenshot there are still some issues that needs solving, but
I am happy that I managed to get this far.
I hope the remainder of the porting effort will be relatively simple as I would love to get back to working on real features instead of just updating old functionality to use a new backend to do the same. Having had a need for Transmageddon for a couple of work related tasks recently a couple of items, like batch job programming has moved up my priorities list.
We are trying to put together a hackfest to help developers using GStreamer to port their applications to GStreamer 1.0. The GStreamer Hackfest/Code Sprint 2012 will take place in Malaga, Spain, between 25th to 27th of January (3 full days). I would ask all developers out there interested in attending to add your name to the wiki as quickly as possible, just so we can estimate interest. If you are interested, but don’t know for sure if you can make it there, it would still be good if you added your name with maybe a comment mentioning that you need to verify before you are certain.
We will be offering some travel sponsorship, so even if you are short on cash we hope to have you attend, more details on the hackfest&codesprint wiki page.
For those wondering why we choose Malaga, well the reason is that Wim Taymans, the GStreamer 1.0 designer and lead developer lives there, and at a previous hackfest we tried to do in Oslo he ended up in Helsinki instead. So this time we are taking no risks, but instead we are taking the hackfest to him
So I did a bit of work last week to convert the Collabora website to HTML5. The actual porting was quite simple, mostly replacing the DOCTYPE tag to the new HTML5 one. Found a few other issues through the W3C validator, but nothing major. Today I took the next (small) step in the process by actual adding some real HTML5 content to the site. Actually I only sort of did. Instead of hosting the video locally and using the new video tag I ended up uploading it to youtube and embedding the WebM video in our page. The small video clip I added is demonstrating the HTML5 video editing demo we released recently. (For those of you who missed it I recommend the HTML5 video editing blog entry by Mateu Batle, which explains the whole thing in detail and also links to the code).
As a sidenote, to make this I actually relied on the GNOME 3 built in screen capture support, which I have to say worked like a charm Always felt screen casting to be a pain before, but this time it worked very well for me.
This time we are talking with Youness Alaoui who is one of the maintainers of Farstream, the audio and video conferencing framework built on top of GStreamer. We also cover another of Youness Alaoui projects, libnice, the NAT traversal library. So if you want to know what is happening with audio and video conferencing on Linux be sure to read the full interview with Youness Alaoui here.
The Ubicast recording system is really impressive (and uses GStreamer :). If you look at the talks they recorded at the GStreamer Conference 2011 you can get an impression of how nice their system is, capturing both the slides and the speakers with a high resolution camera and automatically cropping and mixing them together. A big thanks to Florent and Anthony for their hard work during the conference.
So after a very long 1 year development cycle I finally managed to push a new release of Transmageddon. The main reason for it haven taken this long was because I decided to port to the brand new discoverer and encodebin elements, to greatly simplify the code and improve functionality. The thing was that Edward Hervey when he wrote those elements took the conscious decision to make them assume that all needed GStreamer plugins worked as they should to be perfect GStreamer citizens. As you might imagine, since many of the plugins had never been tested for all such behaviour a lot of things did not work after the port. But over the last Months I have filed bug reports and most of them are now fixed. And with todays new python-gstreamer release (0.10.22) the fix for the binding bug for encodebin is fixed and thus I decided it was time to put out a new release.
I am quite happy with my new feature list:
Port to new plugins-base discoverer and encodebin
Replace radiobutton lists with a combobox instead
add support for audio only transcoding
add support for outputting audio only from video+audio files
Support container free audio formats such as FLAC, mp3 and AAC
Add HTML5 and Nokia 900 profile
add support for video only transcoding
add support for mpeg1 video and mpeg2 audio
The new user interface should solve the problems people with small screens used to have with Transmageddon, like many netbook users. Transmageddon now also automatically deinterlaces deinterlaced video clips, I want to improve this feature in a later release, but making it optional to deinterlace and also use Robert Swains new elements that can help detect interlaced files that have been encoded as progressive files (as shown in his presentation in Prague).
Another major feature of this release is that audio only files are now officially supported, and you can also use Transmageddon to easily output just the audio from a audio+video clip.
I also added a HTML5 webm profile, so output to that should be easier than ever. In fact I used that profile when I transcoded 100GB of video that we had recorded at an internal session at Collabora.
My next goal is to port to GStreamer 1.0 and GTK3. That said if there turns out to be some brown paper bag issues in this release I will try to fix them and make a new release, but my guess is that most bugs people might encounter will be because there are issues that are only fixed in GStreamer git yet, so until they are all released not everything works 100% and until those releases are out there might be some small regressions from the previous release.
Anyway, I hope you head over to the Transmageddon website and grab the latest release for a test run. I will try to follow-up on bug reports, but might be a bit slow the next week as I am flying down to Lahore to celebrate my sister-in-laws wedding and also see my beautiful wife again after almost a Month apart.
Had an absolute blast and I am really happy the GStreamer Conference again turned out to be a big success. A big thanks to the platinum sponsor Collabora, and the two silver sponsors Fluendo and Google who made it all possible. Also a big thanks to Ubicast who was there onsite recording all talks. They aim to have all the talks online within a Month.
While I had to run a bit back and forth to make sure things was running smoothly, I did get to some very interesting talks, like Monty Montgomery from Xiph.org talking about the new Opus audio codec they are working on with the IETF and the strategies they are working on to fend of bogus patent claims.
On a related note I saw that Apple released their lossless audio codec ALAC as free software under the Apache license. Always nice to see such things even if ALAC for the most part has failed to make any headway against the already free FLAC codec. If Apple now would join the effort around WebM things would really start looking great in the codec space.
We did a Collabora booth during the LinuxCon and Embedded Linux days that followed the GStreamer Conference. Our demos showcasing a HTML5 video editing UI using GStreamer and the GStreamer Editing Services and video conferencing using Telepathy through HTML5 was a great success and our big screen TV running the Media Explorer media center combined with Telepathy based video conferencing provided us with a steady stream of people to our booth. For those who missed the conference all the tech demos can be grabbed from this Prague-demo Ubuntu PPA.
So as you might imagine I was quite tired by the time Friday was almost done, but thanks to Tim Bird and Sony I got a really nice end to the week as I won a Sony Tablet S through the Elinux Wiki editing competition. The tablet is really nice and it was the first tablet I ever wanted, so winning one was really great. The feature set is really nice with built in DLNA support, it can function as a TV remote and it has support for certain Playstation 1 titles. The ‘folded magazine’ shape makes it really nice to hold and I am going to try to use it as an e-book reader as I fly off to Lahore tomorrow morning for my sister-in-laws wedding.
I am really excited about this years GStreamer Conference as we have a lot of ongoing efforts about to come to fruits. From Collabora we got Wim Taymans will be talking about GStreamer 1.0 effort, which we expect to have out before years end and Tim-Philipp Müller will speak about a lot of the other incredible advances we made over the last year. Being in the middle of it I think its easy to go a bit blind due to the gradual process, but things like the new parsing libraries that Thibault Saunier have been working on, which will enable much quicker and better support for things like libva and vdpau plugins in GStreamer. Or the new baseclasses that Mark Nauwelaerts have ported most of our plugins over to now, which in one fell swoop improved our plugin quality by leaps and bounds. And of course there are things like the GStreamer Editing services (GES), discoverer and encodebin which Edward Hervey created, which will make applications like Transmageddon video transcoder and remuxer and the PiTiVi video editor a lot easier to develop.
We will also be doing some real cool demonstrations of stuff we have been working on at Collabora at the Linux Con Showcase on Thursday. Thanks to GES we have a great demo of a mobile editing solution using either QML or HTML5. We have HTML5 video calling using Telepathy and we have Video calling using Telepathy from the Media explorer media center solution.
Another talk that I will be sure not to miss is Jan Schmidt who will be talking about Blu-Ray playback with GStreamer. In addition to being technically interesting Jans talks are always fun, like last year he did his presentation using GStreamer instead of something like LibreOffice, having created his slides as a DVD menu through a small program he wrote to turn SVG files into DVD menus
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