[gst-devel] Matroska open source A/V container format officially released

Christian HJ Wiesner chris at matroska.org
Wed Apr 30 16:47:07 CEST 2003


i have the big pleasure to officially announce that the matroska 
multimedia container project has finally left alpha status and turned 
into public beta status last night. By following the links below you 
will be able to obtain various tools to create, edit and play matroska 
audio and video files on your computers. Supported Operating Systems are 
currently Windows and Linux, but it seems at least playback is working 
for Mac OSX and OpenBeOS also.

The beta release of these tools is the last and maybe most important of 
the three initial steps to make matroska a living reality in the 
opensource community. After almost 18 months of development, always in 
contact with developers from various other opensource projects in the 
multimedia environment, we were able to come up with a working 
specification for the container end of 2002. From this spec our chief 
developer and project administrator, Steve 'robux4' Lhomme, could code a 
working basic I/O library called 'libmatroska', which was released in 
alpha version to interested OSS developers beginning of this year. Since 
then all efforts were undertaken to make file creation and playback 
possible, and in the meantime the main library was steadily developed 
further to its actual status.

The matroska container is mainly aiming to replace the good old AVI , 
but it is also ment to be a powerful and open alternative to other, 
mainly proprietary, containers such as ASF, MP4, MOV, RM, MPX annd even 
MPEG. It uses the extensions  .mkv  for video and  .mka for audio only 
files .

Here the main features of matroska :

- opensource, open standard, GPL and QPL licensed main library
- supports arbitrary file sizes, ideal for PCM audio and prepared for HDTV
- allows arbitrary number of audio, video and subtitles streams in one file
- attempting to support every existing audio and video codec under the sun
- extensible by using EBML as underlying framework, a binary structure 
based on XML
- enhanced container features such as menues, chapters, tags, file 
- perfect sync thanks to timestamps for data blocks
- x-platform design approach right from the start

Links :

The release page ( constantly updated ) : !!!! 
http://www.matroska.org/announce.html !!!!
matroska's homepage : http://www.matroska.org
The project page : http://corecodec.org/projects/matroska
CVS tree : https://corecodec.org/scm/?group_id=20

Here a listing of the tools that are released today :


All existing tools, as well for matroska file creation as well as for 
playback, were made by Moritz 'mosu' Bunkus, the author of the well 
known 'Ogmtools' . He was implementing playback support into mplayer for 
Linux, and the matroska support code was commited to mplayer CVS a few 
hours ago. His file creation tools, and this includes the sources, can 
be found here : http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/ . The 
program, in its current status, will allow you to transmux every AVI, 
OGM or matroska  file into a new matroska file, plus to add several 
external audio streams from either WAV or Ogg sources ( Vorbis ) as well 
as AC3 and MP3 audio, and SRT subtitles.

Currently Supported codecs :

Video : all VfW/VCM codecs ( DivX, XviD, etc. )  ;  Audio : Vorbis, MP2, 
MP3, AC3, PCM  ;  Subtitles : SRT


File creation : The VirtualdubMod Team around Julien 'Cyrius' Coloos and 
Tobias 'Belgabor' Minnich have implemented matroska reading, editing and 
writing support in such a professional way that Windows users will not 
have to suffer from any major drawbacks compared to the well established 
AVI format. The program is released from its usual place on 
http://sf.net/projects/virtualdubmod .
Supported codecs are all : VfW/VCM codecs ( DivX, XviD, WMV9 VCM, 
ON2VP3, HuffYuf, H.264, 3ivx, MPEG4V3/2, etc. )  ;  Audio : all ACM 
codecs , Vorbis, MP2, MP3, AC3, PCM

Playback, DirectShow parser : Our core developer Jan 'myFUN' Schlenker 
created the basis, and the great development team from 'The Core Media 
Player' , mainly Ludovic 'BlackSun' Vialle and Christophe 'Toff' Paris, 
were pushing it to the actual release status. Please note that there is 
currently work done on the implementation of seeking as well as subtitle 
support ( to follow soon ). Occasionally the player may freeze if the 
pause/stop button is pressed. The file can be downloaded here : 
http://matroska.sourceforge.net/downloads/kaxdemux-v0.3.0.zip ; unzip it 
into any directory and run regsvr32 x:\path\kaxdemux.dll from a command 
line .

Playback : The Core Media Player Team have made a special release of 
their feature pumped DirectShow player, the TCMP RC4 'matroska release 
edition' , to be downloaded here : http://www.corecoded.com . Its coming 
with the latest parser filter and will install it automatically, plus it 
can easily be registered to playback matroska files.

MPA2MKA and WAV2MKA : Both programs allow the user to transmux PCM or 
MP2/3 audio file into matroska audio files and were developed by John 
'spyder' Cannon and Jory 'jcsston' Stone . Link : 
http://matroska.sourceforge.net/downloads/mpa2mka.zip and 
http://matroska.sourceforge.net/downloads/wav2mka.zip .

Future Features/Codecs ( still to come ):

- Menues
- Chapters
- MPEG 1/2 video support
- special mode 2 form 2 burning with ECC/EDC
- Image Subtitles ( BMP and PNG )
- Gstreamer plugin
- Vegas video plugin
- Xine playback patch
- AAC audio support
- Theora support
- streaming server ( UDP and HTTP )
- file attachements ( lyrics, cover images, etc. )
- p2p plugins including file ID
- Nero plugin
- winamp plugin

We hope you will find the container useful and are looking forward to 
your feedback. Please adress all feedback either to the mailing list  
matroska-general at freelists dot org , join us on IRC.CORECODEC.COM 
#matroska or turn to the forum here : 

Thank you very much for your interest and my apologies to those who may 
feel bothered by the long email

Christian Wiesner

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