The President's Message
by Tony Butka
Just when I start to get caught up in the ho-hum attitude of 'been there done that', along comes something to remind me how little I really know. At our June meeting, Jordan Fox and Jerry Rash conspired to make me feel stupid, yes they did. You see, it all has to do with multimedia under OS/2. Long ago I gave up on OS/2 for anything much more than that annoying startup sound that lets you know that you have successfully booted the system. I do make sure to install sound on the operating system and make sure to use a mobo or audio card that is supported, but this is the extent of playing around with audio. Truth is, I use windows or Linux for my audio needs, because there are some fairly robust tools to mess around. I even have one partition with sound turned off, truth to tell. As to video, after having no luck in playing some of my video clips, I simply gave up and wrote the whole thing off. And as to DVD, well..... you can guess.
So, as I was running around ignoring multimedia software, our Russian colleagues were busy developing WarpVision, an OS/2 Multimedia Player that is designed to handle modern video codecs like DivX, MP4, and various flavors of AVI. There is also a companion (read for fee) program called Warp Overlay that cleans up many of the synch issues between the video and audio pieces of multimedia.
Jordan's demo included an example by example look at which video codecs and files work with which versions of WarpVision (there are at least 4 major revisions). What I really learned from the demo is that not everything is comparable in the video world, and just because a file has the extension of .mpg doesn't mean that this has a lot to do with the codec used to create the file. It also (of course) doesn't mean that your Player will in fact play the file, either.
One of the very cool things I discovered is that if you create a PlayList with WarpVision, it will give you a display of the filename extension, and then the codec that was actually used to create the file! Very, very cool. I'm hoping to get some updates from Jordan for SCOUG on all of this.
Also demonstrated was the streaming mp3 player for OS/2, Z!. Z! Will either run as a helper app under Netscape or Mozilla, or you can run it from a command line as a semi-gui DOS program.
Just to really finish things up, Jerry Rash gave us a preview of SCOUG programs to come. A few hints:
- DVD's under OS/2
- New multimedia goodies in eCS 1.2 (yes, it's almost there!)
- EmperoarTV under OS/2
- Running USB stuff under OS/2, and maybe digital photography under OS/2 which heavily uses USB
Not too bad for our favorite 'dead' operating system, eh?
If you have comments or other suggestions, email Tony at
email@example.com. See you at the next meeting!
The Southern California OS/2 User Group
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Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA
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