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Flumotion streaming VP8 in Ogg and WebM

Filed under: Flumotion — Thomas @ 2:12 pm

2:12 pm

For personal reasons, I haven’t been blogging lately, but lights are starting to prick through the clouds.

The past week however was a very interesting week in multimedialand as I’m sure most of you already know. In a nutshell, Google bought On2, a codec company (responsible for VP3, the seed for Theora, and VP6, used in Flash). Then they released VP8, their latest codec, as an open source codec.

Read all of the other posts for the nitty gritty about patent issues, code and codec quality. But it was amazing to see the community active, patches show up everywhere for programs, and rallying to make open source do what it does best.

Meanwhile, back at the farm (our little streaming company), a bunch of our hackers got excited too and executed on the match made in heaven. Zaheer’s blog has all the details, and yesterday all I did was check out a bunch of code and run this simple Flumotion launch line:

PYTHONPATH=`pwd` FLU_DEBUG=4 bin/flumotion-launch videotest-producer ! vp8-encoder ! webm-muxer ! http-streamer

And it Just Worked in the WebM Firefox build.

The part I like best about this ? I didn’t have to do a single thing, or say a single thing, or ask a single thing, to get our guys excited and hacking and delivering. Just as well, because again for personal reasons, I wouldn’t have had much time or energy to help them out.

It makes me proud to be a CTO of this company. A big thanks to Zaheer, Andoni, and Xavier, and anyone else I may have missed because I wasn’t paying attention.

Twisted training

Filed under: Flumotion,Hacking,Twisted — Thomas @ 11:58 am

11:58 am

Today is an exciting day at the office!

Jean-Paul Calderone (exarkun from Twisted arrived in our office this morning to give our development team an in-depth training on Twisted.

For now, the schedule is two days of Twisted training, one day of code sprinting on Twisted, and two days of consulting on our platform and various issues and projects we have.

For us it’s exciting to get a training from one of the top hackers in Twisted, and I hope it is exciting for him to see a commercially successful use of the project he worked on.

But mainly I’m looking forward to a bunch of days of high-level technology talk.

Time to get started!


Filed under: Flumotion,General,Travel — Thomas @ 1:42 am

1:42 am

As we are deluding ourselves here into thinking it’s snowing in Barcelona, I thought it appropriate to post some videos from the past few snowboarding trips.

Coincidentally, this is my first foray into the HTML5 video world – more on that later.

Let’s start with my favorite, the one where I show off how years of gymnastics in my youth help me keep my body in one piece:


(Also notice the cool new orange snowboard pants that I settled on. Snowboard fashion was really boring this year, mostly grey and black only, with some ugly flashy colours as exceptions. I leave it to you to judge whether orange is one of them).

We spent eight full days in Tignes, France, with only about three days of sunny weather, and the rest filled with clouds and snow.

My goal this year was to learn how to do a 180. With the help of an instructor, that’s exactly what I did! Here’s an admittedly simple one – all the good ones are not caught on video.


Here’s a more aggressive one with a bad ending:

A few weeks before our snowboard trip, we also had a business planning weekend which included one day of skiing. Xavier risked life and limb following me around with his iPhone to record this. It’s not the most exciting descent in the world, and he ended up missing my one fall in it, but I was surprised to see how short the whole descent really is if you don’t take any time to stop!


And here are Xavi and me relaxing over cheese fondue and raclette the day before the skiing:

Some notes about the HTML5 video part:

  • there is an enormous difference in colour between playing Ogg in Firefox, MP4 in Safari, and MP4 in Quicktime, on the same MacBook. My pants range from a soft orange to a bright red. Something is obviously up!
  • To learn about HTML5, I started with Dive into HTML5 Video, then learned about Video for Everybody, some web code that handles all of the stuff I don’t know how to do for me and just makes sure the video can play on Firefox/Chrome/Safari/iPhone/…
  • Then I looked for WordPress integration, and found a plugin with a long name that implemented most of Video for Everybody. I modified it a little to do something more sensible for the poster image in case it’s external, and to accept .mp4 as an extension instead of .m4v (which is not suggested by Dive into HTML)
  • I configured our transcoding platform to generate the three types of output file needed to support HTML5: the thumbnail, Ogg/Theora/Vorbis, and .mp4 with H264 and AAC.

The embedded video should work fine in Firefox/Safari/Chrome/iPhone/Opera (except in Aitor’s “I plug mplayer into Opera” case), and work fine in Explorer too where it falls back to Flash.

I couldn’t get this to work in Android. 2.0 is rumoured to support the video tag, but so far no dice, and I couldn’t find a single HTML5 video page online that the Android phones over here can play. If you can see these videos embedded in Android, or know what I should to fix them, please do let me know!

Our little platform is streaming the big Lawrence Lessig tonight

Filed under: Flumotion — Thomas @ 4:51 pm

4:51 pm

I’ve seen other people blog about it as well, so I shouldn’t stay behind – obviously it’s noteworthy.

In a good seven hours, our platform will be streaming a talk by the eminent Mr. Lessig from Harvard. Apparently the stream is going to be projected in various locations around the world as well where people will gather to follow the speech. While we’re only the technological medium and hence a small piece in making this possible, it still makes me proud to be part of this chain. It’s moments like these participating in a chain of openness that make me think business and technology can be used for the greater good.

For more info, see our blog. I’ll be tuning in after landing in Brussels at midnight tonight!

Flumotion streaming Slamdance’s Filmmaker Summit

Filed under: Conference,Flumotion,movies — Thomas @ 6:34 pm

6:34 pm

As a collaboration between Mozilla, OpenVideoAlliance, and Flumotion, we’re streaming the Slamdance Filmmaker summit.

The stream is in Ogg/Vorbis/Theora, and I’m happy to see an event like this being streamed with an open codec, using our open source technology, on our platform.

Go read the full press release.

And I owe Javier from our support team some Champagne Truffles for setting up the stream between the cracks of our usual process – Javier, the box of chocolates is next to the big pinguin’s feet at work!

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