[linux-elitists] Streaming Video solution for Linux

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Thu Mar 13 15:14:54 PST 2003

Quoting Jack Moffitt (jack@xiph.org):

> I thought the issue with quicktime was IP issues with Sorensen, not
> Microsoft.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if both are involved.

After inventing its codec, Sorenson Media sold an exclusive licence
over the covering patent to one Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino,
California.  Therefore, no software implementing the Sorenson codec may
be created without Apple Computer, Inc.'s permission.

And guess what?  Apple has declined to allow anyone else to create
software implementing that codec.  So, the only way to lawfully view
Sorenson-encoded video clips on Linux is to find a way to execute on
Linux one of the two Sorenson implementations that Apple _does_ permit.
You have a choice of two:  (1) a codec binary for MacOS.  (2) a codec
binary for Win32.  (Thus the market for Transgaming's WineX and
Codeweavers's Crossover Plugin.)

There have actually been three successive specs for the Sorenson
codec, designated SVQ1, SVQ2, and SVQ3.  You'll find that movie clips 
available currently are Sorenson SVQ3-encoded.  Despite the patent
threat, mplayer now includes support for all three, yay!

> Is the quicktime server really open source anyway?  I thought it was
> quasi-open under the strange APSL or whatever.

Darwin Streaming Server is indeed APSL.  (The code is called Apple
QuickTime Streaming Server when compiled for PPC and bundled with OS X
Server.  It's called Darwin Streaming Server otherwise.)

Cheers,                    Long ago, there lived a creature with a 
Rick Moen                  voice like a vacuum cleaner.  We know little
rick@linuxmafia.com        about it, but we do know that it ate cats.

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