Image Processing Reference
Portability Across Platforms
If you want to run the same software across different platforms (e.g., Mac OS and
Windows), then select Discreet Cleaner or Sorenson Squeeze. Beware, however, that you
will not necessarily have the same range of codecs available across the different platforms.
Will I Get the Same Output Regardless of Platform Choice?
If you invoke the same codec on Mac OS as on a Windows platform, the output will likely
not be identical. It will be somewhat similar, but because the standards processes only
describe the decoding of the video, the encoders have a lot of scope for adding features
that yield better compression factors and still remain compliant with the decoder specifi-
cation. So apart from minor differences due to software development issues (bugs), there
may be differences due to implementation features. If you are using a proprietary codec,
it is more likely that a consistent file would be created.
As they say, “Your mileage may vary,” and if you end up doing more than a casual and
occasional video-compression job, you will develop some skill at selecting the best encoder
and settings for the job regardless of the platform or toolset you happen to be using that day.
There are very few mainstream video editors, FX tools, or compressors available for Linux
other than the Real Networks Producer tools. This may change as the market share of
Linux desktop systems improves. On the other hand, Linux is well served by open-source
alternatives to proprietary tools and there are many codecs supported on the Linux plat-
form. Linux is also a good platform on which to build automated systems.
Open-source and shareware resources are not free. Put back what you get
out of the relationship. Someone donated a lot of time; reciprocate somehow.
As an alternative to Linux, the Darwin open-source project also provides a way to
build a streaming server on top of an open-source, kernel-based operating system. This is
the basis of the Mac OS operating system, and while its users lack some of the fine points
of the user interface and the higher-level tool kits such as QuickTime, this might be a use-
ful foundation on which to build video-processing server engines. More details can be
found at the Darwin web site.