Software

FFmpeg and FFmplay performance improvements

New versions of FFmpeg and FFplay have been made available by Christopher Martin, bringing them up to version 1.21, along with another update to the Digital Renderer (DRenderer) module, bringing it to version 0.55.

FFmpeg is a versatile, open-source, multi-platform video and audio converter, described on its home site as “the leading multimedia framework, able to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter and play pretty much anything that humans and machines have created.” FFmpeg makes it possible to process a large number of movie formats for which there are no high-performance RISC OS players.

FFplay is a simple media player built from FFmpeg and SDL by the FFmpeg development team as a testbed for the various FFmpeg APIs. As such, the player is not intended as a high quality, high-performance player, but it fills a gap on the RISC OS platform until MPlayer improves sufficiently.

According to Christopher, this update to FFmpeg and FFplay offers minor performance improvements on StrongARM based computers, and modest performance improvements on ARMv5 and newer systems, such as IYONIX and BeagleBoard – though on ARMv7 systems alignment exceptions may need to be turned off when working with some formats, including MP3.

The DRenderer module that is normally supplied with the SharedUnixLibrary is currently version 0.52 which may play audio at the wrong speed and also contains a few bugs that, while unlikely to be triggered, could crash your computer if they are. The latest version of the module can be downloaded from the same location as FFmpeg and FFplay, and Christopher expects this to replace the version supplied with SharedUnixLibrary at some point.