[kwlug-disc] Codecs for Video Archiving

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Thu Feb 4 22:49:40 EST 2010

I know nothing of codecs or video, but in the best tradition of the 
Internet that won't stop me from replying...

Theora isn't just favourable for streaming. It makes a perfectly 
adequate file format for regular video files. Both higher compression 
and  better resolution than Mpeg, I understand...  VLC 
http://videolan.fr plays it all very nicely, on both Linux and Windows 
(and maybe Macs too).  VLC does a bangup job of transcoding from one 
format to another as well, although I've had some problems converting 
online streams to video files.

I believe Ogg is the "media container" file format, which contains 
either Theora video or Vorbis audio (or maybe both).

There is also another FaiF video codec called Dirac, apparently used in 
some corners of the BBC.  Don't know how it compares to Theora.

Denver Gingerich http://ossguy.com is the guy to ask about codecs, 
openness and freedom.  You still on the list, Denver?


FaiF == Free as in Freedom

Bob Jonkman <bjonkman at sobac.com>         http://sobac.com/sobac/
SOBAC Microcomputer Services              Voice: +1-519-669-0388
6 James Street, Elmira ON  Canada  N3B 1L5  Cel: +1-519-635-9413
Software   ---   Office & Business Automation   ---   Consulting

Chris Irwin wrote:
> I've been following a bit of the issue regarding <video> in HTML5, and the
> drama on codec selection. Personally I favour Mozilla's stance on Theora.
> This article (which I read. Twice. Honest :) outlines some serious licensing
> limitations of h264, even if you have an actual licensed encoder to produce
> your videos.
> http://bemasc.net/wordpress/2010/02/02/no-you-cant-do-that-with-h264/
> But that brings me to another topic: Theora may be favourable for streaming,
> but what about archival? I have about 40GB of video filmed by my Uncle on a
> digital video camera. It has many issues (Interlaced and fairly poor
> compression ratio) and I was looking to reencode that. Obviously I am
> targeting long-term storage rather than bandwidth-friendly streaming, and I
> want to have decent-quality videos I can still watch down the road.
> Are there any codec recommendations for this purpose? What about sharing
> them with non-linux relatives? This brings up other digital media issues as
> well: Do I have to re-encode in another ten years to escape then-abandoned
> codecs for new ones? What about ten years after that? What are we supposed
> to do to preserve this footage?
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