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Archive for February, 2008

Digitising records and tapes with Audacity

February 5, 2008 Leave a comment

Linux.com has an interesting How-To article regarding digitising records and tapes with Audacity. If you’re not aware of the software, Audacity is an open source, cross platform, recording and sound editing tool.

The Linux.com article goes through the basic process of digitising old records and tapes, although only touches on some of the technical mountains to climb when connecting a turntable to your sound card line-in. If you require more details about how to connect a turntable to your computer, in conjunction with a phono pre-amp, then the Audacity tutorial for transferring tapes and records to a computer is what you need to read.

While the Linux.com article was squarely aimed at the consumer, desiring to transfer their older music collection to a digital file format, focusing on Ogg and MP3 creation, I was more intrigued about the possibility of using Audacity in a more archival function. As of version 1.3.3, Audacity supports full export of the open source FLAC lossless audio format. FLAC supports metadata tags containing information such as title and artist and generates filesizes roughly 50% less than other popular lossless formats, such as WAV. FLAC and Audacity could make a good solution for a professional audio archival project.

Categories: Audacity, Audio, Codecs Tags: ,

Videos from linux.conf.au 2008

February 5, 2008 1 comment

The organisers of linux.conf.au have done a fantastic job in making all presentations and tutorials available to watch online – in Ogg Theora format naturally. If you were disappointed to miss out on linux.conf.au, this is the next best thing to being there.

For readers of Stream #0 the following items from the main conference may be of most interest:

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

For a full list of videos from the main conference presentations, go to the main presentation page on the linux.conf.au site and the find the presentation you’re most insterested in.

In parallel to the main linux.conf.au, there was also a Multimedia Mini-conf and the good news is, videos are available online for these presentations too!

  • Foundations of Open Media Software workshop summary [OGG]
    [SPX]
  • Dirac Video Compression System [OGG]
    [SPX]
  • FOSS Codecs for Online Video: Usability, Uptake and Development [OGG]
    [SPX]
  • Lightning Talks [OGG]
    [SPX]
  • Survivor Melanesia – Ethnomusicologist vs Annodex [OGG]
    [SPX]
  • Adventures in Consumer Electronics with GStreamer [OGG]
    [SPX]
  • Ingex – tapeless television production using Linux. [OGG]
    [SPX]

A full listing from all Mini-confs is also available.

There goes the rest of your day!

Open Movie Editor – New Release Feb 3rd

February 3, 2008 Leave a comment

The Open Movie Editor project has just released a new version of this Linux based non-linear video editing tool.

Amongst the highlights of this new version are the following items:

  • Addition of Gnome menu item, so that the application doesn’t always need to be started from the command line.
  • Split clips now retain effect information
  • Glitches removed from Timeline cursor for an enhanced editing experience
  • Improved clip zooming
  • Bug fixed where OME would crash if a clip was resized during playback of the timeline.
  • Other critical clip modifications now disabled during playback, for improved stability.

Full release notes are available on Sourceforge.

Download the new version of Open Movie Editor.

Another FOSS Video Editor Round Up

February 2, 2008 Leave a comment

Over at the BOHOL Blog, they’ve written a review covering a number of open source video editing software. Touched on in this article are Jashaka, Avidemux, Cinelerra, Kino and LiVES. The article is much more of an overview than a hands on review of the capabilities of each application.

Jashaka seems to receive the most attention. “Once finished, it would be in the same market space as Newtek’s Video
Toaster and Pinnacle Liquid Edition. With all promised features it
would be a rival to Adobe’s After Effects or Autodesk’s Combustion – in
fact the GUI is heavily based upon Combustion.” Big goals and high aims for Jashaka!

Recently Jah Shaka, the founder and lead for this project, says the “project has been liberated from its evil benefactors and is now free to
get back to its roots and start building the high end visual effects
tools it set out to deliver!”

Perhaps liberation from evil will result in the project moving forward again. Good luck to them.

Categories: Video Tags: , , , ,

The Grumpy Editor’s Video Journey

February 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Looking for decent reviews of many available Linux video editors? Well, besides having the audacity to think my review of Open Movie Editor is decent, someone else has taken quite a lot of time to try out other open source video editing software.

The Grumpy Editor’s Video Journey begins with capturing content from his DV camera and finally creating a DVD from it. While both these articles are worth reading, the middle part interested me most, where he expounds upon Avidemux, Kino, Cinelerra, KDEnlive, LiVES and PiTiVi.

While it’s not news to many, this set of reviews is really just someone else affirming that Linux Video Editing is not yet at a very advanced level. We can all do something about this! Get involved with a project. Devote some time and energy to helping build the video editing tool you need.

Options for Video and Audio Codecs in Linux

February 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Red Devil’s Tech Blog has a good article reviewing how four different major Linux distributions deal with making video and audio codecs available.

Fedora, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu are all covered, with Vector Linux getting a brief tongue in cheek mention at the end.

It seems that Fedora is moving away from their strictly no non-free software approach, to one encouraging end users to install Fluendo’s commercial codecs, of which new versions have just been released. Mandriva is doing something similar with their paid for 2008 Power Pack.

Personally, I applaud this approach. While I wholeheartedly support free and open source software, I also don’t mind the concept of paying a small amount for something essential, like video and audio codecs. If this is what it takes, to avoid even the sniff of legal problems for a Linux distribution, I’m fine with it.

Tip of the iceberg you say? I can understand that response too. What I don’t see at this time is a valid alternative, besides installing, what is in some jurisdictions, legally questionable software.

I’d be much more concerned about Sun purchasing MySQL and Novell/SUSE cosying up to Microsoft, than paying £20 for some very useful codecs. Perhaps an organisation like Fluendo deserves support, just to keep yourself personally in the clear.

I wonder why Ubuntu doesn’t follow this lead.

Ultimately though, I think the decision has to be up to the end user. Linux is about choice. And I’m quite the hypocrite anyway, not about to purchase Fluendo’s codecs. All the decoding functionality I need is done with libavcodec, which is a core dependency for FFmpeg.

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