Heiko Recktenwald on Sat, 23 Nov 2002 13:41:02 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> streaming media software for arts released

> > > media player. If you watch a WindowsMedia file, it opens in the
> > > WindowsMedia player, a Real file opens within the Real Player and so on.
> > > Users must open and close a number of players in order to view different
> > > streaming media formats. This can be disruptive to the continuity of the
> > > experience.
> >
> > If you offer your content embeded in a webpage, you dont see much
> > differences in design anymore. Most content is presented today in this way
> > and you dont see anymore which plugin is acting.
> Isnt this a good thing? I am not sure what your point is here, maybe it is

Yepp, it could look like many TVs in the room, all tuned to different
programs. I dont mind the minimal differences between different vendors
design. As long as it looks simple overall. There is no new software
necessary for that. Maybe we disagree here.

Lets imagine a multi vendor environement with mp4. I come from movies on
floppies. macs, pcs. So I am traditionaly, Berkeley etc, keen on MPEG.
(The DRM stuff in MPEG 4, should we care, or is this just another case of
The problem would be how to do multivendor embeding. To have an embed tag,
however it is wrapped today into internet explorer pages, that is open,
not just the quicktime plugin with special quicktime tags

> important to you to see the codec of the content but I am not sure why. In
> terms of developing content this might be useful (the codec used can
> always be known by looking at the source of the html) but I am pretty sure
> most users don't care what codec content is made in until they discover
> they dont have the right codecs installed.
> However the point of this software system - the Frequency Clock - (A point
> you touch on below) is
> that we should be very much aware that most audio and video content on the
> web is encoded by proprietary codecs. WindowsMedia, Real, QuickTime all
> use proprietary codecs including MP3. This means that almost all content

Yepp. But see the gif case.

> encoded for artistic, cultural or independent media purposes is encrypted.


> Encrypted in the sense that the content has been converted to a closed file format which can only be 'decrypted' by media players
> that have the requisite licenced algorithms. Hence the owners of these
> algorithms (Thompson and Fraunhofer, Microsoft, Real Networks etc) own the
> key, its not a public key, its a closed proprietry key. You, the content

In theory. 

> producer, cannot unlock this encrypted file unless you do
> so with the appropriate media player software usually  created by the
> software house that owns the codec.

Sounds maybe unnecessaryly mystic.

I really see the difference. Ogg is the case. Yepp, lets support it in
mp4s. Inside of mp4s, there are many problenms that are IMHO more
important than gifs and ogg. For example mp3s in mp4s. We have to
reencode content, if we want to add a timeline to existing mp3s. This
trashes a welth of music.

Those are the "keys" that matter. Apple and Cisco, Ciscos mp4s are
possible with mp3s and ogg. See Oliver Frommel mail on mp4s here.
(Well, there is also an Oliver Fromme.)

> This may seem ok now. As Heiko says later
> "mp3s are patented etcpp, this was and is no problem in reality.". However
> is it enough to trust that all will always be ok. Not discounting that

I dont trust, I know I am much more powerfull than any company, in the
sense of the gif case.

> closed codecs might cause problems in the very near future, just consider
> if you have encoded (encrypted) some video content with a closed codec
> (lets tajke RealNetworks audio and video codecs for this example).

This is a one way and so shitty anyway. But this junk is used in the most
popular and expensive modem live streaming environement.
mencoder seems to read some old codecs now.

> For now you might have the key (algorithm) to 'unlock' the content and
> replay it in a media player (in this case the RealPlayer). However we can easily imagine
> a situation in X years time where Real has crashed and burned and are no
> longer a technology provider. Where is your content now? Your content

Yes ;-)

Dont use Real on floppies. (When you think the movie is the file, mpeg
movies are more beautifull.)

> could well be in a encrypted file format with no licenced keys to open it.

Well, I just want to repeat: Not all theoretical problems are problems in

Very best, thanks for the discussion, maybe we can discuss about content
and organisation of content too.

There is one problem, DRM in MPEG 4. But as with REAL real encryption,
we dont have to use it. I learned from Thomax to open http for rtsp in
Real. You could make the apache document root in /usr/local/movies.
The industry has no key to close this down.


> The codec may have gone down with the company and you may be left begging
> users to download the older players that you have found in some arcane
> archive somewhere on the net, and who is to say the legal remains of (in
> this case) RealNetworks won't stop you from doing even that?. Distributing

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