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The problem with WMV

I’m a Windows user, so why don’t I post Winmedia video files instead of MP4s?

There are several good reasons. MP4 is a committee standard, WMV is exclusively patended by Microsoft. What does this means is well explained here.

Point two: as you should know, my reference player is not Winmedia player, nor Quicktime. QT for Windows sucks, and I guess so does WMP for Mac. Both of them are not available on Linux and BSD and other minor OSs.

So I refer to VideoLan: which, being based on FFMPEG, has an excellent playback of MP4 files. It also supports Winvideo up to version 9, but at the present moment, the playback is very sloppy at high resolutions.

Point three: the Quicktime MOV format is an industry standard. MP4 is based on MOV, so it’s very easy to switch between these formats.

As for WMV: I don’t know of any good free encoder to convert clips in this format. Even converting from this format is very difficult.

This is it. Feel free to share your thoughts and any informations you may have on the matter.

Da utente Windows, come mai non posto file in formato Winmedia invece che MP4?

Per diverse buone ragioni. MP4 è uno standard di comitato, WMV è proprietà esclusiva di Microsoft. Cosa questo significhi è ben spiegato qui.

Punto due: come saprete, il mio player di riferimento non è Winmedia player, e nemmeno Quicktime. QT per Windows è una merda, e immagino WMP per Mac sia lo stesso. Entrambi poi non esistono su Linux, BSD ed OS minori.

Per cui mi rivolgo a VideoLan: basato su FFMPEG, ha una riproduzione degli MP4 eccellente. Supporta anche Winvideo fino alla versione 9, ma al momento, alle alte risoluzioni, è decisamente troppo scattoso.

Punto tre: il formato MOV di Quicktime è uno standard de facto. MP4 si basa su MOV, così il passaggio fra i due formati è molto semplice.

Per WMV: non conosco encoder liberi decenti per convertire clip in questo formato. Anche convertire da WMV è complesso.

E chest’è. Esprimete pure liberamente le vostre idee e le informazioni che avete in merito.

{ 4 } Comments

  1. bill g. | 30 June 2007 at 07:09 | Permalink

    I have been encoding all videos I download from ‘No Fat Clips!’into WMV, for the main reason of including metadata in it. The other formats don’t support that, as far as I know, so you can’t have info about each clip embedded in the file itself, in order to better organize it.

    I understand the legal and copyright matters about WMV, and MP4 is the best alternative. However, Microsoft offers the Windows Media 9 Encoder for free to everyone on this site:

    Windows Media 9 Encoder

    and the legal agreements are here:
    Windows Media Licensing Fees and Royalties (look in the Windows Media Encoder row)

    Basically, if you only want it to conert the files yourself, you only have to agree to the agreement, like all programs. You can distribut the WMV files just like you can with any other clip on your blog.

    Do whatever is most convenient to you, but since you do convert many of the files into MP4, you could consider WMV as well, mostly for the metadata inclusion. And as for MacOS, Linux and other non-Microsoft systems, the codecs can be downloaded, just like ffdshow and others. But I guess it’s your choice (you’d save me a lot of trouble, though ;) )

    Keep bringing us great videos!

  2. DeK - Delirium et Kaos | 30 June 2007 at 07:55 | Permalink

    MPEG-4 obviously supports tagging. Atomic Parsley is a command line application that reads and sets metadata into MPEG-4 files.
    The page lists several graphical apps based on it.

    Another simple application to tag MP4 files is MP4Tags.

    I’m downloading the Winmedia Encoder.

  3. nozap | 30 June 2007 at 09:42 | Permalink

    as a mac-afficiado it is nice to see that there are still other intelligent people around. Working in digital television I can confirm that mp4 will become the standard. So, for those who still run on windows this seems to be the best choice.

    I, myself will stick to .mov (quicktime.)
    - because it is an edit standard (avid, FCP,etc…)
    - you can choose your codec’s depending on the platform
    - with HD coming you can go uncompressed. (still the best:-)
    - and most of all, I use “only” my quicktime pro player and can export whatever movie I like.
    .mp4 and avi; no problem
    .wmv; use flip for mac (worth its price) and your windows movies play perfectly in quicktime.
    .flv; use the perian codec and export them directly to mp4 or quicktime.

  4. DeK - Delirium et Kaos | 30 June 2007 at 10:49 | Permalink

    > wmv; use flip for mac (worth its price) and your windows movies play perfectly in quicktime.

    On a Mac. No way to play ‘em on a PC.

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