With its first release barely a week behind us, MakeMJPEG has been updated to version 0.02 by its developer, Thomas Milius – who notes that the application is now useful standalone, whereas in its original form it needed support built into third party software.
The program is designed to create MJPEG files, a very simple movie format in which each individual frame is a JPEG file – i.e a single bitmap image. Anything that understands the format will play the files back as though they were a movie, displaying one frame (JPEG) after another.
In order to create the files, MakeMJPEG needs each frame to be sent to it by another application – so for an application to do that its own developer would need to add the code necessary to send the information (MakeMJPEG has a documented protocol that Thomas devised for the purpose). Alternatively, a completely separate application could theoretically be written to continually send frames to it, as read from the screen (or an area, or particular window perhaps) – i.e. a screen recorder program.
For this reason, Thomas initially noted that the software is – at the moment – not much use for most people. However, with this update he says that has changed.
The main reason is that the program can now process folders that contain (16 million colour) Sprites or JPEG files. In other words, if you have a folder containing the images needed to make up a movie, you can just point the program at it and it will process those images into a MJPEG file – so no need for a separate program to send the data to MakeMJPEG. This also means that the resulting MJPEG doesn’t necessarily have to be a screen recording – it can be whatever else is depicted in those files. For example, if it’s a series of images taken with a time lapse camera, you can combine those into a MJPEG.
Technically, this would have been true with the original release as well – although my instinct was screen recording, any third party application could have sent any arbitrary images to it.
Other changes in version 0.02 include:
- A default value for frames per second if not specified elsewhere.
- Support of the Wimp message protocol to pass JPEG data to it.
- The addition of Message_MovieCreation_By_Directory to its protocol (so third party applications can support the new approach if its more suitable for them).
- A new MakeMJPEG command.
- The filetype of the newly created movie is correctly set.
- Improved error messages and multi-tasking.
MakeMJPEG can be downloaded from the ‘Computer Activities’ section of Thomas’ website.