[Icecast-dev] Streaming AAC with libshout?

"Thomas B. Rücker" thomas at ruecker.fi
Tue Jun 25 11:36:52 PDT 2013

On 06/24/2013 06:27 PM, Thomas Rücker wrote:
> Just going to drop my 0,02€ here too.
> On 24 June 2013 16:47, Daniel James <daniel.james at sourcefabric.org> wrote:
>> Hi Greg,
>>> The open source AAC/HE-AAC encoders offer pretty poor audio quality.
>>> Sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and this is a perfect example.
>> An alternative explanation might be that open source developers were not
>> particularly motivated to work on improving AAC encoders, because of
>> difficulties experienced when trying to distribute patent-encumbered code.
> This is at least the explanation why the earlier sent patch by Paul is
> unlikely to get merged in mainline libshout, as helpful and valuable
> it might be for some people. We encourage open and patent-problem-free
> formats.

My opinion remains unchanged on this topic, but to help defuse this
matter here is my diplomatic proposal of a possible way forward:

Patches that directly, openly target problematic formats, codecs, etc.
will still be unlikely to be merged (not a categoric no, very well
justified exceptions may be made, e.g. to ensure backwards
compatibility, but certainly not a blanket approval).

Generic patches supplied by the community that target the 'pass through'
legacy functionality of Icecast will be merged pending usual review. In
the causa at hand, think 'allow a mime-type to be passed to libshout'
this would also address codec extensions: 'audio/ogg; codecs=opus' and
be generally useful.

We focus our development efforts on matters aligned with the Xiph
mission statement: "media technology that is open and free for anyone to
use". When it comes to legacy functionality we do our best not to break
things, but we expect and welcome the interested community to report
problems AND supply patches where necessary.

I would like to further elaborate why I think such a direction is
necessary. We are carried by many downstream projects, including Debian,
Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. Some of which have quite strict policies when it
comes to copyrights, patents and various definitions of 'free'. We have
so far had no significant problems with regard to that, as opposed to
other projects that were, removed, patched or otherwise affected.
Also being agnostic of problematic technologies minimizes possible legal
attack surface against each and every contributor to our projects.



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