Have you ever wondered why there is no title or description in your AVI files just like you expect it to be there in your MP3 files? Well AVI does not really support these things. However the Moving Pictures Expert Group has defined the MP4 container format for audiovisual information (which is very much like the MOV container) and did not forget about metadata: They defined a way to put it in there. However as it always comes with standards, where a whole lot of people talk and try to find common ground, there is not one simple way (like ID3), but several complicated ways to choose from. Therefore applications like VLC or Winamp do not support MP4 metadata out of the box. Due to the string relation to the MOV format however iTunes supports MP4 metadata.
Thanks to Markus Waltl I got some links for tools reading and manipulating MP4 metadata. They all have in common that they are rather slow:
- AtomicParsley – A command line tool for reading and setting metadata in MPEG-4 files. Has also a good explanation of the MP4 atoms here.
- Yamb – A GUI tool using MP4box and AtomicParsley.
- mp4tag – Part of mpeg4ip, a framework for handling mp4 files.
From Sept. 6th to Sept. 8th 2006 I’ve been at the 6th I-Know conference in Graz, Austria. There also the 5th Multimedia Community Workshop, where a lot of interesting topics have been discussed. The program can be found here, presentations and papers will be put online.
Within the internal workshop on Friday 8th of Sept. following presentations were given:
- Java-Media Programming on Mobile Devices (by Horst Eidenberger)
- Visualisation Ideas for the MISTRAL Meeting Explorer (by Vedran Sabol)
- The DANAE project and future perspectives (by Christian Timmerer)
- Formalizing semantics of MPEG-7 descriptions (by Werner Bailer)
All presentations will be put online on the community portal along with additional material.
The IBM alphaWorks toolkit for MPEG-4 has been updated. With this toolkit an API for handling MPEG-4 video and AAC as well as MP3 Audio is provided. It also includes 5 sample applications for decoding and encoding MPEG-4 (and MP3 and AAC) streams.
Looking great on the first view the IBM MPEG-4 toolkit has one major drawback: For using it a license has to be purchased.This is a feature, which disqualifies the toolkit for usage in a GPL application.
Other options, besides the Java Media Framework, for integrating multimedia capabilities in Java applications are for instance:
A review of above libraries and toolkits will follow.