[Foundation-l] [Wikitech-l] Why don't we re-encode proprietary formats as Ogg?

Michael Dale mdale at wikimedia.org
Mon Jun 8 20:28:19 UTC 2009

I am definitely not opposed to adding in that functionality as I have 
mentioned in the past:
see thread: 

You should take a look at the work Mike Baynton did back in summer of 
code 07.

The issue that we have is both the Bottlenecks you mentioned. Where 
possible we want to crowd source the transcoding costs and we have a 
working firefogg support which we can more aggressively push out once 
firefox 3.5 lands.

Essentially wikimedia commons is not designed to support hosting the raw 
footage. Other like-minded organizations like archive.org that have 
peta-bytes of storage across thousands of storage nodes are better 
positioned to act as a host for raw footage and its derivatives. 
Additional commons is a "strict" archive where files not licensed 
properly often get removed where archive.org can act as a more permanent 
storage space while license issues are sorted out.

Since wikimedia projects will shortly be supporting linline searching 
time segment grabbing from archive.org material its maybe not so 
critical that we create and host the transcoding infrastructure ourselves.

Although as you mention it would be nice to support transocoding on 
wikimedias servers for uploading short clips from cell-phone type cases.


David Gerard wrote:
> [cc'd back to wikitech-l]
> 2009/6/8 Tim Starling <tstarling at wikimedia.org>:
>> It's been discussed since OggHandler was invented in 2007, and I've
>> always been in favour of it. But the code hasn't materialised, despite
>> a Google Summer of Code project come and gone that was meant to
>> implement a transcoding queue. The transcoding queue project was meant
>> to allow transformations in quality and size, but it would also allow
>> format changes without much trouble.
> Ahhh, that's fantastic, so it is just a Simple Matter of Programming :-D
> (I'm tempted to bodge something together myself, despite my low
> opinion of my own coding abilities ;-) )
> Start simple. "Upload your phone and camera video files! We'll
> transcode them into Theora and store them." Pick suitable (tweakable)
> defaults. Get it doing that one job. Then we can think about
> size/quality transformations later. Sound like a vague plan?
> Bottlenecks: 1. CPU to transcode with. 2. Disk space for queued video.
> - d.
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