[MEncoder-users] theora, where is the love?

RC cooleyr at gmail.com
Sat Sep 13 04:25:51 CEST 2008

On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 21:38:56 +0200
"Martin Matusiak" <numerodix at gmail.com> wrote:

> To get sane seeking in the file I have to transcode it. Why is that?

Because Ogg is a complex mess, and apparently no developers (either
MPlayer or ffmpeg) that care to put that much effort into doing all that
work, for one unpopular codec.

> Mencoder supports a ridiculous amount of video codecs for encoding,
> but theora isn't one of them. Again, why?

MEncoder doesn't support that many codecs, itself.  What it does do is
support using libavcodec (ffmpeg), which continually includes more
codecs.  Other than lavc, it's just xvid and x264 (also vfw on x86).

> It would seem that ogm+theora+vorbis is the safest format choice in
> terms of freedom and legal liability. But it's so infrequently used,
> and when it is the videos don't even play correctly.

MPlayer isn't a US-based project.  Most developers don't live in
countries that enforce software patents, so all formats are "safe".

In the US:  MJPEG and H.261 would be much safer.  MPEG-1 is probably
in the clear by now, too.  I wouldn't be surprised if MPEG-1
outperforms VP3/Theora at low bitrates, and even MJPEG might at very
high bitrates.  They also aren't remotely as CPU-intensive VP3/Theora.

> Why does noone seem to like theora?

Very poorly designed (can't be muxed in most containers).
Terrible performance.
Almost a decade behind schedule.
Still very poor quality.

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