[Matroska-general] Real and Microsoft

Christian HJ Wiesner chris at matroska.org
Thu Nov 25 20:42:09 CET 2004

Steve Lhomme schrieb:

> Hi,
> As you all know Real has filled a suit against Microsoft in the EU 
> because of the integration of WMP in Windows. That's one of the famous 
> anti-trust suits... So it's clear that Real's competitor is Microsoft.
> But the status of the technology right now is that it's impossible to 
> use RealVideo out of RealPlayer or in Windows with DirectShow. And 
> this is a real problem for Matroska as lots of files are distributed 
> in RealVideo.
> So I would like to contact Real in the name of Matroska to ask them to 
> allow apps like VLC to be allowed to display RealVideo one way or 
> another (maybe MPlayer too, I don't know if it can and if so probably 
> not on PPC)... The other option would be that they add Matroska 
> support in RealPlayer (which we can code).
> With more than 500,000 downloads of the pack, we can claim a good user 
> base. It might be a good point for Real.
> Opinions ?

Real and matroska are a 100% fit IMO. RM/RMVB is a container targeted 
towards streaming, and it no doubt does a splendid job for this. I 
remember just recently i wanted to see some video from a website, 
offered as RMVB, MOV or WMV. The connection was bad, it was suffering 
from packet loss and interruptions ( WLAN problems ), and the RMVB had 
by far the best performance under these circumstances.

This is probably because RM/RMVB development is focussing 100% on 
streaming, resulting in some compromises with respect to editing or 
storing content on media such as DVD/CDs. Real could achieve 2 things by 
adopting matroska for their purposes :

1. MKV is a clear competitor to AVI and MOV, as a general use container. 
Real Networks tried to cooperate with Apple ( QT/MOV ) recently, but 
Steve Jobs made clear he has no intentions to do so ( resulting in Real 
harmony, an Itunes competitor with perfect IPod playback compatibility 
as we all know ) and their relationship to M$ is well known since years 

2. MKV could perfectly replace RM/RMVB for those purposes where its not 
good at, like mentioned above, giving the Real Netowork developers the 
possibility to fully concentrate on streaming.

3. By adopting another opensource, public domaine container format in 
their players and in Helix they could gain some more recognition and 
credibility from the OSS community, even if they are supporting OGG and 
Theora already right now. Bear in mind, OGG Theora is more or less a 
direct competitor to RM/RMVB with respect to its main usage, i.e. 
content distribution via internet ( streaming ), while MKV is not.

4. If they ever have plans to create a general use codec API on top of 
Helix, like Quicktime and VfW/Dshow are doing already, they NEED a 
general use container for storing this kind of files. MKV would be ideal 
for that.

So yes, i support Steve's idea to contact Real Networks again about MKV 
playback support in Realplayer. Just lets make sure they dont run into 
licensing problems of any kind, be it for the roots of MKV ( XML = Apple 
) or the MKV menue system, taken from the DVD specs ;-) ....


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