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Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:19 am
by GlowInTheDark
I have an old (over 10 years old) digital camera, that I use to make videos (MP4 files) with. It works fine.

The videos play just fine with omxplayer in Jessie. Most of my Pis are running Jessie, so this is all good.

However, the videos created on the camera do not work on Buster. When I try to play the video file (one that works just fine in Jessie) in Buster, omxplayer just exits immediately (with the usual "Have a nice day") and exits with status 1.

Other videos (stuff downloaded from YouTube, mostly) work fine in Buster.

What is missing/broken in the Buster version of omxplayer?

(Is there some missing codec or something?)

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:48 am
by gkreidl
Post the output of mediainfo for one of these videos.

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:35 am
by GlowInTheDark
gkreidl wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:48 am
Post the output of mediainfo for one of these videos.
What is "mediainfo"? If that is supposed to be a command, it is a command not found.

Also note: The video plays fine in VLC on Buster and also in VLC under Windows. This is, of course, not at all surprising. But it would be good to get it to work with omxplayer.

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:54 am
by jamesh
Is this on a Pi4?

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:24 am
by GlowInTheDark
Yes.

And I do recall, when I originally posted, that there was something weird about omxplayer on the Pi4.
I can't remember now what that weirdness was.

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:24 am
by gkreidl
mediainfo is a tool for checking details of media files. You can install it with
sudo apt install mediainfo

It will show us, which codec is used in your video files.

I suppose it uses either MPEG2 or H263 (xvid etc.). These hardware codecs are missing on the RPi 4 and explain why omxplayer, which is restricted to HW codecs), cannot play the files.

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:48 pm
by GlowInTheDark
Interesting.

So, it really is a hardware limitation of the Pi4?

I can live with that. As is usual in these kinds of threads, it actually has nothing to do with version of OS or version of omxplayer, then?

Kids - don't throw your old PIs away...

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:13 pm
by rpdom
GlowInTheDark wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:48 pm
So, it really is a hardware limitation of the Pi4?
If you mean "Are those codecs no longer supported by a hardware decoder on the Pi 4?", Yes. The Pi 4B CPUs are plenty fast enough to decode those in software without a problem. omxplayer only uses the hardware decodes. VLC should have no trouble.

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:49 pm
by andrum99
GlowInTheDark wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:48 pm
So, it really is a hardware limitation of the Pi4?
Not really. omxplayer is purely a tool to allow you to play videos using the built-in video codecs in the GPU. If the codec for the particular type of video you are trying to play is not enabled, it won't work. As has been stated already, some codecs are disabled on Pi 4 because the ARMs are now fast enough to do the decode in software. (And presumably it would have added to the cost-per-device to ship them with those hardware codecs enabled, due to licensing costs). Obviously this means some videos will play using omxplayer on Pi 0 to 3 that will not play using omxplayer on Pi 4.

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:07 pm
by gkreidl
Just for comparison:

HW codecs on my RPi 4:
H264 VP8 VP6 VORB THRA MJPG FLAC PCM

On my RPi 3B:
H264 H263 WVC1 MPG4 MPG2 VP8 VP6 VORB THRA MJPG FLAC PCM

Re: Problem with omxplayer in Buster OS

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:41 pm
by GlowInTheDark
Really. omxplayer is purely a tool to allow you to play videos using the built-in video codecs in the GPU. If the codec for the particular type of video you are trying to play is not enabled, it won't work. This is a hardware limitation of the PI4 model. As has been stated already, some codecs are disabled on Pi 4 because the ARMs are now fast enough to do the decode in software, but, as you've noticed, this breaks omxplayer on the Pi4. Presumably, it would have added to the cost-per-device to ship them with those hardware codecs enabled, due to licensing costs. Obviously this means some videos will play using omxplayer on Pi 0 to 3 that will not play using omxplayer on Pi 4.

As with many things in life, you win some, you lose some.
There. That's much better.