Sound and Moving Image Viewer

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L Snider

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Oct 28, 2014, 5:32:57 PM10/28/14
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Hi Everyone,

I like Quick View Plus for textual documents and graphics files, but my testing of it with sound, moving image and web pages did not go well. It had a hard time (it was built around text and graphics mainly) with those files.

Do any of you use another viewer that can handle all sorts of sound and moving image files? I can download a bunch of players, but it would be nice to have a program like Quick View for just those files.

Thanks!

Cheers

Lisa
Lisa Snider
Archivist
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
All opinions are my own, not my employer.

Simon Spero

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Oct 28, 2014, 5:50:50 PM10/28/14
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VLC has pretty good coverage ; it uses libavcodec for most formats.

The formats most likely to cause problems in practice are proprietary formats like Real Audio / Real Video.

A few versions are supported by the open libraries -  other versions may require transcoding (possibly using emulation).

http://www.videolan.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libavcodec

Simon

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Geoff Froh

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Oct 28, 2014, 10:36:35 PM10/28/14
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VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html) is a free, open-source app that will play just about anything, with clients for Windows, MacOS and various flavors of un*x. Definitely my go-to for multimedia.

Cheers,

Geoff

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Michael Kjörling

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Oct 29, 2014, 11:03:14 AM10/29/14
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On 28 Oct 2014 14:44 -0700, from geoff...@densho.org (Geoff Froh):
> VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html) is a free, open-source app
> that will play just about anything, with clients for Windows, MacOS and
> various flavors of un*x. Definitely my go-to for multimedia.

MPlayer (which comes primarily as a command-line application, but
there are several GUI front-ends available) has also been able to
handle just about everything audiovisual I've thrown at it. It's open
source (forgot exactly which license, though) and is my multimedia
player of choice, but I might have had to go to VLC once or twice.

I think that in between VLC and MPlayer, you should pretty much be
covered for audio and video playback. The MPlayer web site has an
extensive list of supported formats.

http://www.mplayerhq.hu/

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L Snider

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Oct 29, 2014, 8:57:43 PM10/29/14
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Thanks so much for the replies. I knew VLC was used in non archival circles, so looks like it will fit the bill! I hadn't heard about MPlayer, looks great! Plus I love that new project they mention on the news page that allows for two sets of subtitles to show at the same time, very cool!

Thanks again!

Lisa

Andrew Berger

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Oct 30, 2014, 2:18:23 PM10/30/14
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A couple of additional comments: depending on the characteristics of the file, you might find that one player does a better job rendering than the other. The situation may be different now, but a couple of years ago I was part of a project working with born digital video and we tried to open each file in VLC, MPlayer (CLI version) and Totem (default player on the distribution we were using, which I think was Xubuntu 11.04 or 11.10). VLC and MPlayer worked the best, but there were some cases where one would render the audio incorrectly or not at all. I think there may have also been noticeable differences in how they handled errors. 

The other thing to watch out for, if you're using Linux, is sometimes the packaged versions in the default repositories can be out of date. In the same project I was working on, we ended up compiling MPlayer from source and found that some bugs had been fixed in the newest versions that allowed us to play back files that had previously not worked.

Andrew

L Snider

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Oct 30, 2014, 4:59:59 PM10/30/14
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Hi Andrew,

Thanks so much for sharing that information. Good to know about what to watch for, appreciate it.

Cheers

Lisa

Simon Spero

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Oct 30, 2014, 5:55:31 PM10/30/14
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Mplayer requires running libavcodec from prerelease.  I think if trunk is tagged and released, Mplayer cannot be downloaded until at least one change is made :-P

VLC beta is like that too, but additionally threatens to burn down your house and kill your kitten 😿.

Mplayer X for Mac does not include the cli utilities; it checks for availability and downloads them.

Configuring the command lines for ffmpeg and mplayer can be an adventure (especially if you can't find a recipe). Many of the options for ffmpeg can be passed to mplayer with appropriate wrapping.

Not *all* of the option values are magic numbers :)

Also, if you have issues with non ascii media...

http://annasagrera.com/on-ascii-youtube-and-letting-go/?lang=en

Carol Kussmann

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Oct 31, 2014, 9:06:18 AM10/31/14
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If you are just looking for something to open and play files, in addition to VLC I have found that Media Player Classic (MPC-HC) often works well (Windows).  http://mpc-hc.org/  

- Carol 


L Snider

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Oct 31, 2014, 4:48:45 PM10/31/14
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Hi Simon,

I like keeping my pets intact :)

Thanks for that information, appreciate it.

Cheers

Lisa

L Snider

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Oct 31, 2014, 4:49:25 PM10/31/14
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Hi Carol,

Thanks so much. I hadn't seen that one before, so more to play with!

Cheers

Lisa

On Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 8:06 AM, Carol Kussmann <crkus...@gmail.com> wrote:
If you are just looking for something to open and play files, in addition to VLC I have found that Media Player Classic (MPC-HC) often works well (Windows).  http://mpc-hc.org/  

- Carol 


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