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Should Roku add more formats to the SoundBridge?

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Topic Author
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Roku has additional codecs for HD1000 - W H E N for SB?

Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:54 am

Roku has posted in their forums, links to a slew of additional codecs for the HD1000. These include:

- Apple Lossless (ALAC)
- The True Audio (TTA)

and many more.

They've also so much as explicitly said "It uses the same frameworks as the SoundBridge" and "The frameworks have been in the SoundBridge for a year, so it's stable".

The question then, becomes:

What is the HONEST, OFFICIAL stance from Roku on why these codecs are not supported in the SoundBridge, and WHEN are they going to be?

Alternately, if Roku themselves are not going to support it, even though they've stated it's entirely possible, *and* posted the code, what can/will Roku do to allow 3rd parties to compile add-ons to the Roku so we can support these ourselves?

I'm looking for a straight reply, and looking forward to it!

David Szego
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Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:46 pm

Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:57 pm

interesting... i took a look a through the photobridge forums and didn't see any such announcements. are the codecs on the client side (roku hardware) or server based (trancode before send)?
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Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:08 pm

You've spun this is little oddly. Roku didn't supply the codecs... they supply a codec SDK for PhotoBridge. Users are free to attempt to implement based on existing code out there.

PhotoBridge is a different beast on multiple levels... see RokuDon's post here:

"Unfortunately GPL or LGPL won't work for SoundBridge as there is no way for users on SoundBridge to rebuild the code - we have to do it. And even if there was, our code is bound together with proprietary licensed third party code. So at least for the time being, no GPL or LGPL codecs can be distributed on SoundBridge. However, that is perfectly fair game for the HD1000 so have at it."
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No [L]GPL - Ask permission!

Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:03 pm

What's to stop Roku from asking the authors (Dave Hammerton (sp?) etc.) of the codecs if they can use the code?

The GPL allows for the code to be re-released, even to only specific parties, as non-GPL. It doesn't invalidate the GPL-ness of the GPL releases.

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It's not just about code, it's about contracts...

Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:48 pm

Read some of this thread re: usage licensing & Roku's current relationship with Apple...

And that doesn't even cover work to actually support it. :D
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Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:13 pm

I am looking forward to some sort of response from Roku on this.
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Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:57 pm

I don't really understand the licensing issues but would have expected Roku to have been able to include FLAC codec - under whatever public license. It would be "just" a coding issue for them wouldn't it?
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Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:07 pm

Just to clarify one point, the codecs that are available in the 3rd party applications section (and the source code for those codecs in the Cascade development forum) for the HD1000 were not provided by Roku.

The FLAC codec was developed using the reference libraries (under the Xiph license). No GPL or LGPL code was used in the HD1000 FLAC codec.

The ALAC codec is also completely open source - however I can understand Roku wishing to wait for an official license from Apple.

The WavPack codec is open source and could be used with no licensing problems on the SoundBridge (and the codec is much smaller than the FLAC codec).

But, for example, the Shorten codec does have licensing requirements.

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