[kwlug-disc] Codecs for Video Archiving

R. Brent Clements rbclemen at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 20:06:35 EST 2010

The paranoid response would be to pick a codec that you can include in
the archive (if not the source for the entire player) so that the data
should have the best opportunity to be played back in the future
regardless of what happens between now and then.


On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 10:49 PM, Bob Jonkman <bjonkman at sobac.com> wrote:
> 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?
> --Bob.
> 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
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> 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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