Amiga Foreverby Cloanto
 
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Playing Back MPEG-4 Videos

 

TOPIC

Q: How can I play back MPEG-4-encoded videos? Can I also play them back with Windows Media Player?

 

DISCUSSION

A: This article specifically covers the video formats used or considered for use up to Amiga Forever 6.0 (released in 2004). Amiga Forever 2005 and higher use industry-standard video DVDs.

Early test versions of Amiga Forever 6.0 contain videos which are "encoded" (compressed) using MPEG-4 technology to save disk space while trying to preserve as much quality as possible. The videos stored on such Amiga Forever 6 CD-ROM are encoded using either MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP), or MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC, also known as H.264) and are stored in files having names ending in ".mp4".

The .mp4 video files can be played back either using a stand-alone player such as Apple's QuickTime, or by installing a third-party MPEG-4 plug-in codec for Windows Media Player. Microsoft itself favors its own Windows Media 9 format, and does not directly provide an MPEG-4 codec capable of playing back MPEG-4 video files on versions of Windows prior to Windows 7.

The following is a list of MPEG-4 stand-alone players and player plug-ins:

Please note that some players may not support both the ASP and the AVC/H.264 codec. MPEG-4 is one of the formats used to store videos in test versions of Amiga Forever 6.0. Previous versions of Amiga Forever used the MPEG-1 format, and do not require an MPEG-4 capable player.

Because of the severe compromises which were required in order to retain compatibility with different MPEG-4 players, and given the recent availability of WM9/VC-1-compatible player software for Mac OS, and also in consideration of the endorsement of WM9/VC-1 by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the DVD Forum and the Blu-ray Disc Association, the official release version of Amiga Forever 6.0 uses videos encoded with the WM9/VC-1 codec.

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Article Information
Article ID:15-106
Platform:All
Products:All
Additional Keywords:VC-9
Last Update:2008-10-25
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