Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Meet FMJ, opensource version of JMF

Even though I've just released a library using Sun's JMF hours ago, I didn't actually explain too well the fact of it being a fairly dead technology, last updated in 2004. On the other hand JMF did have huge potential as framework, especially for streaming, mixing and (re)encoding timebased media.

The whole situation reminds me of Macrodobe Director. There's a great product with huge potential being killed off slowly, slowly, very slowly due to corporate internal politics. To their defence, at least Director still is receiving updates, with doubtful new features, though, instead of improving keyfeatures like the 3D engine, which hasn't been updated since sometime around 2001(?). Both products still have quite an active development community. Unlike in Lingoland, some members in the JMF camp started taking things into their own hands and started re-implementing JMF from scratch as opensource initiative. Their project is called Freedom for Media in Java (FMJ) and its first release has just been announced.

Quoting from Ken Larson's announcement this morning, this looks very promising:

1. Video capture on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux
2. Audio and Video playback on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. DirectShow and Quicktime are wrapped used by FMJ on Windows and Mac OS X, respectively. Linux video playback currently requires JMF for demux/codec.

Audio Formats supported:
WAV, AU, AIFF, MP3, OGG. Some WAV formats may not work yet, as WAV is a container format with many internal formats.

Video Formats supported:
On Windows and Mac OS X: any format supported by the native system (DirectShow/Quicktime).

Way to go! I'll testdrive if I can get my stuff to work with this asap...