[theora] Additional encoding options for theora

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 09:04:19 PST 2009

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 11:45 AM, Bernard Jungen
<bjung50169 at euphonynet.be> wrote:
> Simplicity is a good philosophy, and more so if one is to reach the widest
> audience possible IMO. Theora and Vorbis are great in that respect. I remember
> trying to tweak x264 encoding parameters for hours without success.

Even some x264 developers have expressed some regret about the degree
of controls current exposed.

More knobs result in additional code that must be maintained,
additional things which can be broken, additional things which need
performance optimization, and additional knobs that applications using
the encoder *will* set stupidly.

Even worse than 'tweaking for hours without success' is when you
manage to find some setting which looks great on the 10 seconds of
clip that you're looking at in your test but makes everything else
look like crud. You spend days transcoding only to later notice that
the overall result looks much worse.

Getting good results from codec tweaking requires a commitment of
time, both to thoroughly explore the changes and to understand the
changes being made.  If you're willing to make that investment then
rebuilding libtheora shouldn't be *too* much of a hurdle.  Nothing is
being done to make it more hard or less fun— but no code has been
added to make it look easier than it really is, either.

I find that libvorbis tweaking is moderately more complicated than
libtheora tweaking, FWIW.

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