Multimedia Services V3.4 for Compaq Tru64 UNIX Release Notes

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Release Notes
for
Multimedia Services V3.4
for Compaq Tru64 UNIX


March 2002
Copyright 1993, 200 by Digital Equipment Corporation
All Rights Reserved
DIGITAL
Digital Equipment Corporation
Maynard, Massachusetts


Preface

This document contains the release notes for Multimedia Services V3.4 for Compaq Tru64 UNIX (MMS).

This document contains information which became available too late to be included in the official product documentation. Please read these release notes thoroughly before attempting to install or use MMS V3.4.

Associated Documents

If you have the subsets listed below installed, the HTML links should take you to the referenced documents while viewing the HTML version of this file from a browser.

You can also reference the HTML files from a single reference point if you have installed any of the MMEDOC, MMEDOCDEV, or MMERELNOTES subsets and the MMERT subset. There is a /usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/MultimediaServices.html file and if you have installed the MMERTCDE subset there is a MultimediaServices.html icon in the Multimedia Services program group in the application manager.

If you have installed the MMERELNOTES304 subset
Cover Letter /usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/cover_letter.html
Release Notes /usr/opt/MME304/ascii_docs/release_notes.txt
/usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/release_notes.html
Software Product Description /usr/opt/MME304/ascii_docs/spd.txt
If you have installed the MMEDOC304 subset
Installation Guide /usr/opt/MME304/ascii_docs/install_guide.txt
/usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/install_guide.html
Application User's Guide /usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/runtime_guide.html
If you have installed the MMEDOCDEV304 subset
Programmer's Guide /usr/opt/MME304/ps_docs/prog_guide.ps.Z

How to Read HTML Documents

An HTML version of this document can be read as follows:
Using netscape Using Mosaic
  1. Select File from the menu
  2. Select Open File... from the File menu
  3. Enter in the box labeled
    Selection
    /usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/release_notes.html
  4. Select OK in the dialog
  1. Select File from the menu
  2. Select Open Local... from the File menu
  3. Enter in the box labeled
    Name of local document to open
    /usr/opt/MME304/html_docs/release_notes.html
  4. Select OK in the dialog

Table of Contents

Product Summary
About This Release
New Features in this Release
Problems Fixed/Changed in This Release
Known Problems
General Problems and Restrictions
Installation Notes
CDE Problems and Restrictions
Waveform Audio Problems and Restrictions
Software H.261 Codec Problems and Restrictions
AlphaVCR Problems and Restrictions
Transcode Problems and Restrictions
Further Information
Trademarks

Product Summary

MMS V3.4 contains support for the following operating systems:

  • Compaq Tru64 UNIX version V5.1, V5.1A and V5.1B.

Information about the supported hardware platforms for MMS V3.4 can be found in the SPDs included with the kit.

About This Release

The MMS product is provided as a runtime kit and a development kit. The kits provide support for the

  • Software MPEG compressor/decompressor (codec),
  • Software JPEG compressor/decompressor (codec),
  • Software Indeo® compressor/decompressor (codec),
  • Software H.261 compressor/decompressor (codec),
  • Software IMA ADPCM compressor/decompressor (codec),
  • Personal Workstation Audio (ES1999/7) device on machines with a PCI, EISA, or ISA bus,
  • Ensoniq Audio device on machines with a PCI, EISA, or ISA bus, and
  • Microsoft Sound Board (MSB) audio device on machines with a PCI, EISA, or ISA bus.

Runtime Kit

The runtime kit is available
  • On the Associated Products CD-ROM shipped with Compaq Tru64 UNIX V5.1B
  • On the internet, at http://www.service.digital.com/open3d
The runtime kit provides:
  • Runtime support for:
    • Audio Record and Playback services
    • Audio Codec (Compression and Decompression) services
    • Video Capture and Playback services
    • Video Codec services
    • Multimedia File I/O services
  • CDE Multimedia Group, Icons, and Actions
  • Utility client applications (in executable form only)
    • compaqsound - an audio record, playback, and edit utility
    • alphavcr - AlphaVCR is a video and audio record and playback utility
    • transcode - Transcode is a command line AVI to MPEG file conversion utility
    • audiocontrol - Audio Control is a utility to control volume and port selection for all audio devices
    • audioplay - a command line only audio playback utility
    • audiorecord - a command line only audio record utility
    • audioselectport - a command line only audio port selection utility
    • audiodevices - a command line only audio device information utility
  • Sample audio and video data
  • Installation Verification Procedure
  • Man pages for runtime components
  • Copies of the Multimedia Services for DIGITAL UNIX Installation Guide and Multimedia Services for DIGITAL UNIX Application User's Guide in HTML and Postscript formats.

Development Kit

The development kit is available
  • On the Compaq Tru64 UNIX Associated Products CD-ROM shipped with Tru64 UNIX V5.1B
  • On the internet, at http://www.service.digital.com/open3d
The development kit includes the runtime kit and also provides:
  • Header files needed to develop applications and products
  • Sample application programs (in source form)
  • Man pages for programming interface
  • Copy of the Multimedia Services for DIGITAL UNIX Programmer's Guide in Postscript format.

New Features in this Release

This updated version of MMS was built to work on Compaq Tru64 UNIX V5.1B.

Problems Fixed/Changed in This Release

There were no problems fixed in this release.

Known Problems

This section lists the known problems with this release of MMS.

General Problems and Restrictions

  • The ZLX-E* graphics device X server libraries can experience a segmentation fault under some conditions. One such condition is from using the following sample code and command line arguments:
  •     vidstreamin -framesize fullframe -standard pal -fieldmode both
    

    For large windows on a ZLX-E* devices, DIGITAL UNIX V3.3C and Open3D V3.0 or later are required for a fix.

  • The multimedia functions of the PowerStorm graphics boards are no longer supported.

Installation Problems and Restrictions

This section lists the known problems with the installation for this release of MMS.
  • If you install the MMEDRVMMSESS subset, and then do not reboot the kernel prior to starting MMS, then the system may crash with the panic string "BAD SYSMAP VALUE". A message is displayed during installation to warn the user of this problem.
  • It is possible that an installation of MMS for a diskless system (DMS) may not work.

CDE Problems and Restrictions

This section lists the known problems with the MMERTCDE subset and the CDE desktop for this release of MMS.
  • If the CDE desktop does not have enough free available colors when you install the MMERTCDE subset, the newly available multimedia icons on the desktop may not be visible.
    It has been noted that color rich applications, such as Netscape, exhaust a large number of colormap resources. This results in problems with other graphical applications.
    For example, the user may notice that icons normally displayed by the CDE Application Manager are not displayed when a color rich application is currently running on the system.
    The simplest solution is to exit the color rich application. There are several alternate actions:
    1. This is a visual problem and it may not be necessary to take any corrective actions.
      For example, the CDE icon labels can be used in the same manner as the icon for actions such as drag-and-drop, single and double click.
    2. Use the CDE Style Manager Color application to select the Number of Colors used by the desktop or an application.
    3. If supported, set an application resource to limit color usage or start the application with a flag that controls color map installation. Refer to the application documentation for further details.
      In the case of Netscape two work-arounds are available.
      1. Use Netscape's maxImageColors resource to limit the number of colors that Netscape uses. A suggested limit is 96. You can do this by placing the following line in the $HOME/.Xdefaults file:
        Netscape*maxImageColors: 96
      2. start Netscape with the -install flag, which specifies that Netscape should install its own colormap. Although this is supported, there are side affects such as:
        1. Noticable application and background color changes when focus is moved in and out of the Netscape window.
        2. Inability to clearly view the contents of the Netscape window when focus is moved out of the Netscape window.

Waveform Audio Problems and Restrictions

This section describes problems and restrictions in the waveform audio services along with work-arounds for the problems where known.

  • The volume reported through the waveIn/OutGetVolume is slightly less than the volume set through the waveIn/OutSetVolume for the Personal Workstation Audio and the MSB.
  • When recording audio, ensure that the recording volume is set at an optimal level because if the input volume is high (either due to a setting or due to the input source), the recording might be distorted. Use the VU Meter in Audio Control to check if input volumes exceed the amplitude levels that the device is capable of handling without distortion.
  • When recording data, if applications do not queue buffers to the mmeserver before the data is available for recording, the audio devices must handle the data in some manner. The different audio devices do not handle this condition in the same way.

    Personal Workstation Audio and MSB
    These devices will discard data if there are no application buffers available for recording, always keeping the data returned current.

Software H.261 Codec Problems and Restrictions

This section describes problems and restrictions in the video codec services for the Software H.261 codec along with work-arounds for the problems where known.

  • The H.261 compressor generates some artifacts for video input which has a border within the image frame data (i.e. letterbox movie clips). The motion estimation algorithm is optimized for live clips with no border present in frames. We recommend that you increase the motion vector threshold to the maximum possible to reduce artifacts with this type of input.

AlphaVCR Problems and Restrictions

This section describes problems and restrictions in the AlphaVCR applet along with work-arounds for the problems where known.
  • While selecting an audio format on the Audio pane (of the Options/Preferences screen), all formats will not be shown if Alphavcr currently has a file open. Only formats compatible with the current audio format in use will be displayed. It is recommended that you select an audio format before opening or displaying files, since Alphavcr will usually keep open the last file used.
  • While using the Audio pane (of the Options/Preferences screen), the "Format" line may become blank. Reselecting the "Device" selection pulldown button will redisplay the "Format" line.
  • While recording, you may receive the message: "Audio chunk of ... bytes too big for buffer of ... bytes." The cause of this message has not yet been determined. You will need to re-record your file.
  • When stepping backwards while playing an MPEG file, the correct frame may not be displayed.
  • Some noise may be played at the end of an MPEG file.
  • AlphaVCR does not support recording without an audio device.
  • The audio and video may not be synchronized properly when in Live mode, recording a file, and while playing MPEG files.
  • After long periods (30 minutes) of using Live Video with the Baseboard Audio Device, the audio output may go silent.
  • When playing an Indeo format file, incorrect frames may be displayed.
  • Saving frames of a file while playing to the video output device will not save the correct frames. Save the frames while playing to the screen instead.
  • When saving frames from a YUV or 24-bit Ximage file, the display image size must be "Default" or the saved image will be bad.
  • Frames saved while using the "Full Screen" display image size will be incorrect.
  • Saving frames while recording a mono JPEG file, or while playing an 8-bit Ximage file with a private colormap, the image saved will be all black.
  • When using a private colormap with AlphaVCR, the colormap is not always loaded when the video window has focus causing incorrect colors in the video image.
  • Changing the CDE desktop colors while running AlphaVCR may change the colors in the video window. If so, you must restart AlphaVCR to correct the colors.
  • AlphaVCR may hang when a file is continuously played for long periods of time. The buttons on the GUI can still be pressed, but nothing will happen. If you then try to open another file, the application will hang and you'll need to kill the process.
  • When using AlphaVCR to convert files (Save As), AlphaVCR will remain locked until the conversion is complete. While AlphaVCR may appear to be hung, it will return to user control when conversion completes.
  • Selecting Video Out & Screen from the Playback options while playing a file will not take effect until the next file is played.
  • AlphaVCR V2.2 and V2.3 consume slightly more CPU cycles than previous versions. On machines where 100% of the CPU was being used, slower frame rates may be observed.

Transcode Problems and Restrictions

This section describes problems and restrictions in the Transcode applet along with work-arounds for the problems where known.
  • Although all MPEG files generated by the Transcode application can be played with AlphaVCR, there are other MPEG decoders which may not support MPEG Systems data streams (which contain both audio and video) and will not be able to play the Systems format files generated by Transcode. Specify MPEG Video format (-noaudio) as the output format for Transcode when interfacing with these decoders.

Further Information

A mailing list has been set up by a customer for discussion of MMS and the J300 module. This mailing list is not managed by DIGITAL, but we believe it serves as a useful medium for questions and discussion about our product. In addition, if anyone would like to set up mailing lists for other topics of discussion, we would be happy to mention them in our release notes in future releases.

The following is the message posted on the InterNet about the mailing list.

DEC Multimedia Services and J300 Mailing List

The purpose of this mailing list is to discuss all aspects concerning the DEC Multimedia Services and the J300 Multimedia TURBOchannel module.

All mail to this list must be in direct relation to the DEC Multimedia Services and/or the J300 TURBOchannel module.

The mailing list will be open and un-moderated. We will however keep an eye on it :-) . We hope that the following topics will be discussed:

  • news about PD software using the J300 and/or DEC Multimedia
  • programming hints
  • discussion of problems, bugs etc.

We hope to be able to provide in the future more services such as an anonymous ftp site for software, and, if possible, FAQ's etc.

How to subscribe:

send an email to: majordomo@foto.chemie.unibas.ch, containing the line
subscribe j300

If the subscription succeeded, the user will be notified. After notification, email to j300@foto.chemie.unibas.ch will be distributed to all members of the mailing list.

Trademarks

The following are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation:

the DIGITAL logo
AXP, Alpha AXP, DEC, PowerStorm

The following are third-party trademarks:

PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems, Incorporated.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation
Indeo is a registered trademark of Intel
UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries license exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.
Netscape is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation