Brion Vibber at 2014-11-09T02:47:18Z

Fell down a rabbithole researching possible freeish archival video formats thanks to wikivideo-l mailing list.

Couple links of interest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_Exchange_Format
^ MXF container format is apparently A Thing out there in video/film production and archival. Most of the commonly supported codecs for it seem to be variants on MPEG-4 AVC in intraframe mode, though, which is not a happy patent story.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mox-file-format
^ Some folks are trying to make a free-codecs-only profile of MXF called MOX and create plugins for Adobe Premiere etc.

http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/MXF_app_spec.html
^ Library of Congress has been doing JPEG 2000-in-MXF for archival, and the fed government may be standardizing on something in that vein.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/cinemadng.html
^ DNG-in-MXF format that Adobe apparently has been trying to make an openish standardish, but no idea if adoption is good.

In the meantime, the most interoperable pretty-good-quality-but-not-uncompressed-appears-too-be-free format I can find is Motion-JPEG in QuickTime. :P Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, and Pitivi consume it happily and Premiere and Pitivi will produce it easily, but I don't know if it scales to modern quality needs (eg, if you want 10 or 12 bit channels, alpha, or full chroma sampling, I don't think JPEG does it). Of course this is assuming there's no patent issues on the QuickTime container format itself. :P MJPEG will happily live in other container formats, but then you run into interop issues again...

ffmpeg will produce .mov or .mkv files with JPEG 2000 encoding as well but it's hella slow compared to encoding Motion-JPEG. Support apparently recently landed for MXF with JPEG 2000... but it's not in the latest release yet.


Mike Linksvayer likes this.