[vlc-devel] Re: Google Video Viewer released

Ross Finlayson finlayson at live.com
Tue Jun 28 03:11:23 CEST 2005

>There is not much new functionality (in fact, they cripple VLC a bit)

FYI, here is the "configure" line that they appear to use (for some odd 
reason, it's embedded as a string in the "googlevlc.exe" binary):

configure --disable-sdl --disable-gtk --enable-nls --disable-smb 
--disable-theora --with-freetype-config-path=/usr/win32/bin 
--with-fribidi-config-path=/usr/win32/bin --disable-livedotcom 
--disable-caca --with-xml2-config-path=/usr/win32/bin --disable-dvdnav 
--disable-dvdread --disable-cdda --disable-cddax --disable-vcd 
--disable-vcdx --disable-goom --disable-toolame --disable-mkv 
--disable-httpd --disable-screen --disable-quicktime --disable-libmpeg2 
--disable-vorbis --disable-speex --disable-png --disable-x264 
--disable-cmml --disable-x11 --disable-xvideo --disable-glx 
--disable-freetype --disable-fribidi --disable-libxml2 --disable-alsa 
--disable-waveout --disable-joystick --disable-skins2 --disable-dts 
--disable-mod --disable-faad --disable-flac --disable-smb --disable-dvbpsi 
--disable-libcdio --disable-libcddb --disable-ogg --disable-a52 
--without-a52 --enable-optimizations --enable-wxwindows 
--with-wx-config-path=/usr/win32/bin --enable-mozilla 
--with-mozilla-sdk-path=/cygdrive/d/gecko-sdk.1.7.6 --disable-debug 
--enable-release --disable-sout --enable-ffmpeg --disable-mad

Some comments:
- They don't include the LIVE.COM RTSP client code :-(, so apparently the 
client is intended to receive streams over HTTP only.  (This is a pity, 
because it will prevent their viewer from being used to play (e.g.) 3GPP 
and ISMA streams.)
- They omit many third-party codecs - in particular mpeg-2, faad, ogg, and a52
- However, they *include* FFMPEG, which gives them MPEG-4 video.  (I'm not 
sure what their audio is - perhaps MP3?)

This raises the big question: What has Google done about the (presumably 
numerous) patents covered by the FFMPEG code?  Google's a US company, so 
they can't ignore software patents.  Have they bought a license from 
MPEG-LA (covering the MPEG-4 video patents implemented by FFMPEG)?  If so, 
this is the first time I've heard of GPL MPEG codec software being legally 

Can anyone tell us what the deal is here?


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