Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th May 2010 12:52 UTC, submitted by mrsteveman1
Internet & Networking Mozilla, sticking to its ideals of the open web, decided long ago that support for the patent-encumbered H264 codec would not be included in any of its products. Not only is H264 wholly incompatible with the open web and Free software, it is also incredibly expensive. Mozilla could use one of the open source implementations, but those are not licensed, and the MPEG-LA has been quite clear in that it will sue those who encode or decode H264 content without a license. Software patents, however, are only valid in some parts of the world, so an enterprising developer has started a project that was sure to come eventually: Firefox builds with H264 support.
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I still content that using a set of existing decoders is a lot simpler than writing your own.

Even if you use some existing cross platform decoding library, you still need to tie the out to the windowing system, which is different on OSX, Windows, and X11.

Fine, direct show is being phased out, like I said, I have not been forced to use Windows in a long time, but I'm still assuming that MS gives you a pretty easy way of decoding video. I do know thats it pretty easy to decode a video stream with either the CoreAnimation or QuickTime frameworks, its about 20 - 30 LOC (lines of code) to decode with QuickTime.

Its probably more effort to tie the 3rd party decoder to the native windowing system than it is to use the native decoder. You are also probably shortchanging your users by using a 3rd party decoder as the build in decoders are pretty dammed optimized by Apple and MS. You also have to build, package and deliver any 3rd party libs. On the linux side, just use a package manager to make sure that the existing decoders are installed.

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