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Oh, the irony..

© October 2005 Tony Lawrence

I bet even Bill has to see the humor in this: The "Halo" movie that is based on Microsoft's Xbox game of the same name will be produced using Linux servers.

It's not that anyone would expect to use Windows for this sort of thing. Of course not, this is big box (or big cluster) territory, and not Microsoft's thing at all. But it wouldn't be half so amusing if some big AIX machine or indeed anything but Linux were involved. Linux is the enemy, the second worst boogey man in Bill's closet (the Google monster being the first in recent nightmares, of course).

No doubt this little factoid will get wide circulation and I also bet there has been at least one passionate phone call asking if there is any other way.. ANY other way..

Links: Linux stars in MS movie

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-> Oh, the irony


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Thu Oct 13 13:44:16 2005: 1194   BigDumbDinosaur

Well, it's simply a case of using the right tool for the job. You wouldn't use a little Japanese pickup truck to haul concrete to a road construction site.

Fri Oct 14 05:48:28 2005: 1199   drag

It is funny. People often are suprised to hear that Linux is the most commonly used operating system in high-end movie production, especially when you get into big 3d graphic stuff like the Lord of the Ring (JRR and hobbits and all that) movies. The openness and clustering abilities go well with high end 3d and all the custom in-house applications that Hollywood studios tend to favor.

Tue Oct 25 15:13:07 2005: 1245   taplintoys

After having made home movies in iMovie on an iMac and in both Pinnacle and Premiere Elements on Windows, I wanted to see what Linux could do for me. I understood that there are high-end processing tools way out of my budget and skillset, but for open-source freebies here's what I found:

1. Cinelerra - powerful but unfriendly, hard to install, particular about its dependencies, incompatible with half the distros I tried, does not include the DVD-finishing niceties of the Windows and Mac editors I use, limited support.

2. Kino 0.75 - fast and stable for basic import and editing, once I fiddled with boot files to get firewire up, but transitions were very crude, sound editing was a pain, and output was atrocious: either incompatible with Windows Media Player and Quicktime or bloated, pixelated, and jerky. The closest I came to usable were huge Quicktime files which even then were pixelated. Ugh.

3. For playback, XMMS and other tools... all of which had trouble with codecs used in Windows Media Player and Windows-based editors, so my existing movie files (which play fine on Windows or Mac) would not run. Yes, you can illegally acquire bootleg codecs for some Linux players, but playback was never smooth.

None of the Linux multimedia tools come anywhere close to the maturity or completeness of iMovie or Adobe Premiere Elements. They seemed like half-baked toys by comparison. With Premiere I'll do a hundred edits in a sitting, quickly and easily trimming two hours of home video to ten minutes with cross-fades, custom sound, titles, and DVD chapter markings. Unless you can afford the very high-end goodies stick with a Mac or Windows box for digital video at home.

This was one of my biggest disappointments in Linux and remains one reason I've shifted back towards the "dark side", despite what I know about Windows and security - at least until I can afford a dual-G5. My mid-level eMachines with Windows XP does the job nicely and well.


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