rev. 10 April 2009

Compression and Conversion

VirtualDubVirtualDub
License: Open Source
Description: (from the author) VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters. VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images. A 64-bit version is also available
MeGUI
License: Open Source
Description: MeGUI is a graphical frontend to a variety of open-source video tools and encoders, written in .NET 2.0. It allows for the flexible encoding of a variety of input files.
MediaCoderMediaCoder
License: Open Source
Description: MediaCoder is an all-in-one video transcoding tool with support for a wide variety of formats. It’s a handy little Swiss army knife of video encoding, and it doesn’t require an extra framework like MeGUI.
AviDemuxAviDemux
License: Open Source
Description: AviDemux is a general video converter and editor for Linux, Windows, and OS X. Besides being a great tool, it comes in Qt4 or Gtk+ flavors, so you can choose whichever you prefer.
GraphStudioGraphStudio
License: Open Source
Description: GraphStudio is an open source clone of the famous GraphEdit, a Microsoft tool bundled with the DirectX SDK. It’s not a compression tool per se, but it’s used to test rendering pipelines and gather data about AV files. Can be very useful for troubleshooting.

Compression Codecs

XviDXviD
License: Open Source
Description: XviD is an MPEG-4 video codec, the primary FOSS competitor to DivX. Like LAME, XviD does not provide binaries, but they are available for Windows here.
x264x264
License: Open Source
Description: x264 is an open-source encoder for H.264 video streams. It is still in development, but one of the most advanced H264 encoders available. Windows builds can be found here.
Quicktime AlternativeQuicktime Alternative
License: Freeware
Description: Unfortunately, some people are just stupid, and insist on using Apple’s obnoxious Quicktime format, which means that if you want to view Quicktime files online, you have to install their bulky, preference hijacking client. Well, until Quicktime Alternative, anyway. This program is a minimal set of files needed for Windows Media Player Classic (a stripped-down player, included in the installation) to play Quicktime files. Includes a plugin option for Opera and Mozilla-based browsers.
RealPlayerReal Alternative
License: Freeware
Description: Unfortunately, some people are just stupid, and insist on using Real’s obnoxious RealPlayer format, which means that if you want to view RealPlayer files online, you have to install their bulky, preference hijacking client. Well, until Real Alternative, anyway. This program is a minimal set of files needed for Windows Media Player Classic (a stripped-down player, included in the installation) to play RealPlayer files. Includes a plugin option for Opera and Mozilla-based browsers.
K-Lite Mega Codec Pack
License: Freeware
Description: This download contains every major codec that you would ever need to play popular media, such as DivX, XviD, OGG, MP4, etc etc etc, and optional installation of extra utilities and such. It includes the aforemention RealPlayer and Quicktime codecs, as well as the option of either Media Player Classic or BSPlayer.

All Things DVD

DVD Flick /><a href=DVD Flick
License: Open Source
Description:DVD Flick is a simple program that allows you to turn video files into a proper DVD encoding and layout—ready to be burned with any DVD burner. It uses FFMPEG to convert supplied video files, and then you can adjust chapters, menus, and &c. Its features are relatively basic, but it’s quite good for what it does.
DVDShrinkDVDShrink
License: Freeware
Description: DVDShrink is a program that enables the copying of DVD files to a hard drive. The interesting feature of DVDShrink is that it allows for the recompression or select exclusion of portions of the DVD so that a DVD-9 can be backed up to a DVD-5 disc.
DVD Decrypter
License: Freeware
Description: Although development halted in 2005, after a nasty legal incident, DVD Decrypter remains one of the best tools to decrypt and copy DVDs. Note that this program does no conversion: it merely copies the DVD’s contents to a hard drive, so that they can be manipulated by one of the abovementioned tools (specifically meGUI is good at this).
avi.NET
License: Open Source
Description: avi.NET is a C# application (along with its companion program, pgc.NET) used to simplify the conversion of a DVD to an MPEG-4 video file. It doesn’t have a lot of options (x264 isn’t available, for instance), but it’s extraordinarily good at what it does.
HandbrakeHandbrake
License: Open Source
Description: Handbrake is a multi-platform GUI frontend to various compressors and muxers. Give it a DVD source or any video file and either choose a preset or create your own configuration, press start, and it will produce your file. My one (big) problem with Handbrake is its approach to subtitles: it only created “burned-in” subtitles—that is, permanently part of the video—and doesn’t have the ability to create external or optional subtitles.

Content Creation

BlenderBlender
License: Open Source
Description: Blender is “open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for Windows, Linux, Irix, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD or Mac OS X.”
JakshakaJahshaka
License: Open Source
Description: “JAHSHAKA is the worlds first OpenSource Realtime Editing and Effects System. Jahshaka takes advantage of the power of OpenGL and OpenML to give its users exceptional levels of performance. We currently support Linux, OsX, Irix and Windows, and Solaris is on the way! Jahshaka is licenced to the public under the GNU GPL agreement.”
OpenFX
License: Open Source
Description: “OpenFX is an Open-Source 3D modeling, animation and rendering suite created by Dr. Stuart Ferguson. He made the decision to release the source code to the public in the middle of 1999, and the product formerly named SoftF/X was renamed to OpenFX. It has now been released under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence.”
§1432 · By · October 10, 2006 ·


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