gstreamer-ffmpeg package - incorrect description

Jan Claeys lists at
Fri Mar 9 20:41:11 GMT 2007

On vr, 2007-03-09 at 08:02 +0100, Jakub Misak wrote:
> There's incorrect description displayed for the gstreamer-ffmpeg package 
> (FFmpeg plugin for GSstreamer). It says it can be used for encoding/decoding 
> the DivX format (or even "play divx"). This is wrong, and in case you don't 
> know why (most people don't understand what DivX is, there's a lot of 
> confusion and intentional misinformation about this topic), I'd like to 
> explain it in more detail.
> Now, this common confusion stems from the fact that most people don't
> know that DivX is not a format - the DivX codec (which is what most
> people call "DivX", along with video encoded with this piece of
> software) is a proprietary software product that encodes and decodes
> standard MPEG-4 ASP video. That is, video encoded with this codec is
> not "DivX video" or "DivX", it is standard MPEG-4 ASP video.

Actually, FFmpeg can also decode "DivX 3.11 ;-)" videos that have been
encoded by a hacked version of Microsoft pre-standard MPEG4 codec, which
is _not_ (100% identical to) "MPEG-4 ASP video".  This codec and its
"nickname" predate the commercial DivX company/trademark/codec.

> Another confusion is that while the MPEG-4 ASP video must be stored in a 
> container format (usually AVI or MP4),

What you mean by "the MP4 container format" is based on QuickTime (a
subset of it is the MPEG-4 standard's container format IIRC).  AVI is
not a standardised container format for MPEG-4 and in fact, Microsoft
dropped MPEG-4 support because they were pissed about losing from
Apple--they proposed the WindowsMedia container instead of QuickTime.

> So, there is no way the description could be considered correct. FFmeg has 
> nothing to do with DivX. That's why I would like to ask you to correct it, 
> because wrong descriptions like that confuse a lot of people, make a lot of 
> damage (even to FFmpeg itself) and the trademark issue itself is quite clear. 

I can't see how any company can claim the "DivX" trademark, considering
that _at least_ two other video products used the same name before them,
and they didn't buy the rights from those people...

Jan Claeys

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