The Avidemux failure

With the recent release of v2.4, Avidemux could have been one of the few apps that could support pulldown removal for PF24. I have been emailing its developers the past 6 months for over 10 times to fix two important bugs, but they ignored me. The bugs are:
1. If you use audio shifting of -222msec while you use pulldown removal filters for the video, the audio ends up being 220% longer than the video.
2. The h.264/AAC .mp4 files created by Avidemux don’t playback on Quicktime.

For the first bug, they ignored me because obviously it’s simply a hard engineering problem. They just don’t seem to want to work hard. They probably have a fucked up architecture, and they don’t want to touch it and potentially make it worse.

For the second bug, they replied “it’s Quicktime’s problem”, failing to understand that iTunes/QT has 80% of the market and it does not matter whose problem it is. If you can’t playback your videos what’s the fucking point of using Avidemux to encode them? The irony is that they could easily fix that on their end, they just don’t want to (apparently the bug is in their implementation of the MP4 container).

These open source guys really need to get a clue sometimes. I like and endorse the open source ideals for the benefit of the user, it’s just that I HATE its development model.

11 Comments »

Cesar wrote on January 3rd, 2008 at 7:52 PM PST:

But why use Quicktime? It sucks!

Try VLC, it’s open-source multi-plataform and has many advanced features.


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Eugenia wrote on January 3rd, 2008 at 8:38 PM PST:

VLC is as shitty as Quicktime in speed if you want to know, and 100 times worse in usability. Personally, I use none of the two, I use MPC. But people I sent videos to, they use quicktime, so I need my videos to work in it.


RandomGuy wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 3:33 AM PST:

“I like and endorse the open source ideals for the benefit of the user, it’s just that I HATE its development model.”
I think “open source” _only_ refers to the development model. The idealistic part of the whole thing would be “free software” imo.

I don’t think the open source model is necessarily broken.
It would work better, though, if there was a simple way for users to say “I want this fixed and I’ll pay $x to anybody who fixes it.”
We’d then need some concept of trust or user rating.
Developers need a way to know how likely a certain user is to pay. Or one could create an organization to decide if a bug has been fixed or if a feature has been implemented.


Luis wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 5:43 AM PST:

While I understand what you mean, I think you shouldn’t use the term “open source development model” to refer to it. It’s not accurate and it’s not fair.

What you specifically don’t like is the development model where developers work just for fun, because they don’t get paid, and so they do what they want and they don’t do what they don’t want. If they develop an open source app or a closed source one is irrelevant. In fact, it would be much worse if it was closed source, since no one would be able to fix it on their own.

Yes, many open source projects use this model, but that’s just an unfortunate reality.

The essence of Open Source development model is that everyone can contribute to it and take advantage of it, being companies or individuals, professionals or amateurs. And when this model works, it’s unbeatable. The best example is the Linux Kernel, where many professionals from many companies contribute to it and all take advantage of it. Also many non professionals (students, aficionados,…) contribute to it and use it. And the result is the best general purpose kernel in the planet. To achieve something similar with closed source development model, you would need lots and lots and lots of money. But then Microsoft has even more money than that and they have a worse kernel, so it seems no amount of money can compete with the Open Source model.

So when you complain about what you are complaining in this post, I think you should better use a different term. Something like “amateur development model” or “for fun development model”. The fact that the project is also Open Source is not the root of the problem. It alleviates the problem a bit, in fact.


Cesar wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 8:05 AM PST:

I’m not against Apple (I really like their products and I own a macbook with linux inside) but quicktime is a ***. It’s okay if you just want to watch a movie (w/o subs), but you can’t play with advanced features such as output drivers, audio/video decoder settings and so on (i.e. if you’re a geek).

And no, VLC is one of the fastest player I’ve played with. Although I’m a big fan of mplayer (and use it 95% of the time on my linux box) VLC is still the best to replace Windows Media and Quicktime (IMHO).

But in one thing we do agree, if we want to share our videos it’s important people use compatible encoders/decoders. And the reason Quicktime does not play Avidemux encoded h264 files is that the default options (some 8×8 transformations and P/B frame search) is not implemented by Quicktime (I read that in… can’t remember where, sorry!).


Richard wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 9:54 AM PST:

The libquicktime project is trying to make sure that its files are compatible with the Apple Quicktime Player. 😉 Just for the record, that there are devs that care.

Maybe we can lure the avidemux devs into adding a libquicktime backend.

Cheers
-Richard


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Eugenia wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 11:51 AM PST:

The problem is not libquicktime, it is not needed here. The problem is that they use the x264 encoder in a way that’s incompatible.


Richard wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 2:09 PM PST:

Do you have any more details on that issue? Discussions on Mailinglists for Example?


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Eugenia wrote on January 4th, 2008 at 4:41 PM PST:

No, our discussions were between me and the two main devs via email.


l3v1 wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 5:46 AM PST:

“I HATE its development model”

Well, you hate the model until they don’t do what you demand. You see, slavery is gone where we happen to live, and Christmas is just once a year, so well, get used to how different people working in their free time get things done. You don’t have to like it, but you seem to make a sport out of stating every now and then how you detest the whole thing. I think we all got it by now.


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Eugenia wrote on January 7th, 2008 at 12:13 PM PST:

I never said they were slaves. But they publicly release a software application, an application that many times I was rubbed in the face with because “I should be using it because it’s Free Software”. Well, Free Software my ass crack. If an application does not do what it’s supposed to, and it has bugs, then they will get CRITICIZED, Free or Not. Get a clue. I am not going to give them a free ride and not mention their shortcomings just because they are “open source”.

On their latest version they even mentioned that they now support .m2ts AVCHD files, and everyone who tried their AVCHD files they didn’t work. So much for testing.


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