[FFmpeg-devel] snow codec development

Luca Barbato lu_zero
Sat Sep 1 12:53:24 CEST 2007

Johannes Schauer wrote:
> hi!
> I just tried out the snow codec and was really impressed!


> since I recommend everybody using the theora codec because it's the only 
> patent free codec I know of I was often accused that I recommend a codec 
> that is technically behind others such as x264 for example - and they 
> are right!

theora is quite fine for low bitrate tasks IMHO.

> so we need something better than theora for a free video distribution 
> around the globe and out of my first impressions I think the snow codec 
> really is better then theora if you compare the quality per bitrate. it 
> may be my imagination but I think I can see a real difference! Am I 
> wrong? Please educate me! :-)

snow (and dirac to a degree) are way more interesting than mdct based
codecs. The problem with snow is that isn't documented that well, the
problem with dirac is that is a bit more complicated than it should be IMHO.

> So if this is really the case and snow is so much better than any other 
> patent free open source codec out there, then I'm asking you:
> How can I help?

- help writing the specifications and help in getting those accepted to
a standardization body (I'd suggest ietf rather than iso and itu since
ietf procedures are way better)
- test it and find cases in which the current implementation leaves
something to desire, nobody is perfect and opensource is better than
closed source mostly because everybody can spot issues and report them
in a timely fashion (and somebody else could fix it w/out having to wait
that much)
- spread the news, ffmpeg people are known for not caring about
marketing nor pr that much and we rely on our users to be known outside ^^

> How can anybody help?

Michael started tweaking snow recently, breaking the simd optimizations
made long ago. Some help (or prodding in my case) to restore them and
maybe cover more places would be quite good.

> I'm just a web developer with only little experience in C - wrote some 
> gtk apps but nothing more. But I'm sure that also people like me can 
> help that snow can get mature!

As I said, testing and spreading the voice is important, more important
is getting a good detailed specification and maybe having it as somewhat
official standard.

> You should not only explain this to me and others in the list but also 
> write it down on the ffmpeg frontpage http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/

as for the code also for the website applies the "patch welcome" meme.

> There I would also put a quick demonstration what snow can do and maybe 
> an explanation how it works. All my current knowledge about snow I have 
> from wikipedia but I think this is not enough to educate people why we 
> need codecs as snow!

If you can come up with a good text please update the wikipage on
wikipedia and wiki.multimedia.cx

> Advertise the codec and get people to know how important your work is!
> And tell them what they can do to help - right on the frontpage!

We are somewhat humble and hardly we advertise something if it isn't



Luca Barbato

Gentoo/linux Gentoo/PPC

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