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Old 05-13-2006, 02:18 AM   #1
drkstr
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why does Linux struggle so much with WMV video


Hello,

I have been running into a lot of issues with WMV files in Linux and was wondering if this is a common issue, or am I just inept.

From what I have seen, there seems to be very little support for WMV files in Linux. The MPlayer codecs seems to be as good as it gets, which isn't that good unfortunately. I have not been able to find any video editing/joining software that works with this type of format. I tried using mencoder to convert to an easier to edit format like avi but if it encodes at all, the quality loss is extremely significant. I am also running into problems with WMV playback in MPlayer itself. For instance, a lot of my WMV files will lag quite a bit complaining about "to many video packets in the buffer". From what I have read online, this is the result of a slow computer. I'm having trouble accepting this as an answer since I am running a 2.8GHz P4 w/ 1GB of RAM. If this is not enough to run a damn video file then god help us all.

I have not run a gui in Linux until recently so I am still learning a lot about this kind of stuff. Are there any tips/suggestions any one can give for better WMV playback, or for video editing/encoding with this video type? There seems to be a great deal of options in MPlayer/mencoder dealing with the technical aspects of video playback but I am by no means an expert on video codecs and their technical specifications. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information online for the topic either.

Any information you are willing to share would be greatly appreciated.

thanks for your time!
...drkstr
 
Old 05-13-2006, 02:43 AM   #2
reddazz
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The mplayer codecs have always worked fine for me and on several occassions I have used mencoder to successfully join wmvs or convert them to other formats. For playback, I use kaffeine or totem with the xine backend and everything works fine.
 
Old 05-13-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
drkstr
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Quote:
The mplayer codecs have always worked fine for me
not me The problem is usually with newer wv8/9 codecs, and while I can play some of these fine, others lag up quite a bit. Is it possible that the video file itself is encoded poorly? Or are the setting for the playback to high (fps and what not)?

This is displayed when I try and play one of the files:

Linux RTC init error in ioctl (rtc_irqp_set 1024): Invalid argument
Try adding "echo 1024 > /proc/sys/dev/rtc/max-user-freq" to your system startup scripts.

unfortunatly, '/proc/sys/dev/rtc/max-user-freq' does not exist on my system. Any ideias?
Quote:
I have used mencoder to successfully join wmvs or convert them to other formats.
I didn't know you could join files w/ mencoder. I will have to play with that a bit, thanks for the tip.


Thanks!
...drkstr
 
Old 05-13-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
reddazz
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I did a google search for "Linux RTC init error in ioctl (rtc_irqp_set 1024): Invalid argument" and there are lots of hits. Maybe some of the results contain a solution to your problem.
 
Old 05-13-2006, 11:28 AM   #5
xtknight
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On SUSE 64-bit OSes, I've had lots of trouble getting 'WMV3' (denotes Windows media video 9 codec?) files to play. I'm pretty sure it was fine on the 32-bit distributions I've tried on the same PC (Athlon 64).
 
Old 05-13-2006, 11:40 AM   #6
kencaz
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The problem is the "W" within the .wmv. It's like trying to steal the codebook from the opposing team. They "MS" is probably doctering the released code purposely so MS will look better in the eye's of most Computer Illiterate Peoples.

Mplayer play's moste .wmv's fine for me but my browser plugin seems to have trouble with only .wmv and I usually have to D/L the file to play it. But it's not really that big a deal for me if I can't play a .wmv file anyway...

Just a thought

KC
 
Old 05-13-2006, 03:21 PM   #7
Komakino
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Yes, I have some advice: Don't use horrible, closed-source, proprietry video formats.
 
Old 05-13-2006, 04:30 PM   #8
jlo_sandog
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I agree with Komakino.
Mplayer play wmv files just fine, except for one specific website I noticed a significant audio/video lag. If you are dropping pakets (drkstr) then you need to increase the cache. The ideal thing to do is to avoid using this and any other closed format. That means dont but media from msn, lycos, and a whole bunch I cant think rigth now.
 
Old 05-13-2006, 05:05 PM   #9
cathectic
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As has been mentioned before, WMV, especially the latest version, is a locked up and closed format (there's now some more information available on it, and ffmpeg are working on creating a decoder. IIRC, it's one of their Google Summer of Code projects for a student this year).

For 32 bit distributions, chances are, you are using the binary codecs from Windows to play the newer WMV files - this is a less than ideal solution, and hence the limitations on what you can do (basically, no native support for the newer WMV, just a wrapper around the Windows codec). Under 64 bit distros, this doesn't work, as 32 bit codecs are incompatible with 64 bit applications (unless you go the rather hackish route of installing 32 bit versions of your favourite media playing application).
 
Old 05-13-2006, 07:02 PM   #10
drkstr
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thank you everyone for your replies.

Quote:
originally quoted by reddazz;
did a google search for "Linux RTC init error in ioctl (rtc_irqp_set 1024): Invalid argument" and there are lots of hits. Maybe some of the results contain a solution to your problem.
not quite, but thank you for the reminder to "STFW!" After a little bit more searching, I found that I had to enable "Enhanced RTC" instead of "Generic RTC" in my kernel. I am now able to change the max-user-freq, but unfortunatly that did not solve the lag problem.

Quote:
originally quoted by Komakino;
Yes, I have some advice: Don't use horrible, closed-source, proprietry video formats.
Belive me, I take no pleasure in using window's crap-codecs. In an ideal world I could make every website use the codecs I want them to, but unfortunatly that's not the case.

Quote:
originally quoted by cathectic;
For 32 bit distributions, chances are, you are using the binary codecs from Windows to play the newer WMV files - this is a less than ideal solution, and hence the limitations on what you can do (basically, no native support for the newer WMV, just a wrapper around the Windows codec).
I guess I am SOL then for video editing with wmv. I originally tried encoding to DIVx w/ mencoder to edit this way, but file quality loss was to significant to be practical. I will keep looking for better ways to encode this format with out quality loss (if there is one).


Well with that said, I was finally able to solve the lag problem after hours and hours of searching. I was suprised this info was not easier to find since I found a lot of people were asking the same question, but with no correct answer. Well here it is if anyone is interested:

add '-afm dmo' as a command line argument when running mplayer. This will change the audio codec to "Win32/DMO decoders" when playing the file. The default ffwma is aparently quite buggy. I found this little blurb when going though mplayer mailing list archives (this is the first time I've been let down by google)

Well thanks again to everyone who replied. Hopefully other people that are having this problem will be able to find it here.

regards,
...drkstr

**edit**
Here is the output MPlayer gives when when wmv files lag. I'm adding it on here to make this easier to search for when other people have the same problem.

Too many video packets in the buffer: (1993 in 8389692 bytes).
**edit**

Last edited by drkstr; 05-13-2006 at 07:21 PM.
 
  


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