The latest MPlatform release (184.108.40.206) is full of great features, but before we talk about them, here's some important information.
MPlatform product structure & licensing terms
We are very well aware that confusing product structures are a pain for the customer. When working on the marketing side of MPlatform, our main goal was to make it easy to understand. It was especially important as we had to arrange migrations for dozens of users with licenses for at least 6 different packages.
Several decisions were made based on that:
1) We decided to include vision mixing into the main MPlatform package. This really simplified migrations for customers who had both playout automation and vision mixing products from the previous generation. For new customers it makes the purchase decision easier.
2) Time shifting has also been included into the default package. At first, we thought that it would make sense to have it available with the optional encoding package only, but we found out that for certain customers this could be a serious limitation as sometimes they want to use third-party encoders.
3) The Single Application license has been removed: it doesn't exist any more inside the MPlatform ecosystem. It is either Single Developer or Team.
We are happy to have made these decisions: there's less ping-pong with the customer about what he needs and how it should be licensed. The sales process has become smoother.
Optional components (libs & plugins) and the IMPlugins interface
We had to change the names of our decoding and encoding FFmpeg-based packages. The initial name was very similar to MEncoder, a free command line tool that shares its code base with MPlayer. The new names for these packages are Decoder lib and Encoder lib. Sorry about the confusion.
The term lib may not perfectly reflect the deliverables inside these products, but it does the job. We decided to use it for all future add-ons that somehow expand or improve MPlatform or any part it. For example, the Closed Captions lib is an optional component that adds support for EIA-608, CEA-708 CC playback and output via composite or SDI connection in NTSC. More features can be added to this lib upon request.
Another type of add-ons are plugins. Technically, even the CG feature (available as part of the default MPlatform package) is a plugin. The optional plugins are CG Flash and Chroma Key.
Plugins are different, because they make use of the IMPlugins interface, which can also be used by you to create your own plugins. This is especially good for custom audio/video effects and video analysis use cases: if you have a piece of code that works with a raw stream the way you need, you won't find it difficult to wrap it into a plugin for MPlatform.
A quick list of the most important features that have been made available since the last blog post:
- Vision mixing (available since version 220.127.116.11) with support for transitions and a visual scene editor.
- Encoder Lib (available since version 18.104.22.168), our FFmpeg-based encoding solution.
- MDelay component for broadcast delay and time shifting.
- Playback-while-recording (growing files playback) feature. Requires both Decoder Lib and Encoder Lib.
- New Direct3D approach for preview with better image quality, performance and optional deinterlacing.
- Windows Media Streaming engine for HTTP streaming and WMV capture.*
- RTMP streaming to FMLE and Windows Media Services.*
- Improved performance and 24/7 operation in external process mode.*
- Capture support for files with multiple audio tracks.*
(*) Encoder lib required.
More features are mentioned here (https://old.medialooks.com/mplatform/release_n.../). If you would like to follow MPlatform's releases, please use this link to subscribe (http://rm.medialooks.com/customer/subscribe/106).