There exists many MP4 demuxers but only a few MP4 muxers. And most of them are not interoperable.
The MP4 standard is architectured around a core specification called Iso Base Media File Format (ISOBMF, MPEG4 part 12) and several interoperability standards (such as MPEG4 part 15 for H264/AVC integration) and then recommandations. It is a full-time job to keep updated.
GPAC goes even further as it serves as a reference implementation and experimentation platform in the standardization field. We feature MP4Box, our packaging tool, and a full playback infrastructure.
There are both business and legal considerations.
GPAC comes from the industry. Open-source projects sometimes try to get legitimaty by getting into the industry field but GPAC Licensing finally connects us to our roots! You can read more about the project history in the About Us page.
According to SourceForge, our open-source host, the GPAC pages have been hit over 3 300 000 times during the last year. That’s the result of a long-run innovation leadership.
GPAC has already been used by the biggest and most successful companies in the entertainment field, video sharing websites, movie studios, consumer electronics, broadcast encoders, embedded systems, etc.
We have a worldwide recognized experience on the broadcast and rich-media technologies. You’ll find our names on many standards, academic papers, W3C mailing-lists, awards.
GPAC is licensed under the LGPL license of the Free Software Foundation. The GPL-like licenses are known to be business unfriendly. Contrary to permissive BSD/MIT licenses, it asserts you must provide your product users with the same fundamental freedoms you were given: run, study, copy, improve.
If you plan to give GPAC a try and use it internally, you can keep using GPAC without telling anybody. However we encourage you to share your work with us!
The LGPL (the first ‘L’ standing for “Less”) is said to be compatible with a business use as long as you use the LGPL program into a separate module (e.g. dynamic library). It indeed allows a wider distribution and that’s why many programs, including GPAC, VLC, or FFMpeg/Libav, have chosen this license. However the LGPL license has some subtleties:
- You must publicly say you use GPAC every time you distribute your product.
- You cannot forbid reverse-engineering on your EULA.
- Here is a more complete compliance list of the accepted rules in the open-source community. Laws may be different depending on your jurisdiction. This list does not oblige you but we advise you to consult a copyright lawyer if you wish not to follow it.
The GPAC Team provides installers of both the latest stable release and our strongly recommanded nightly builds. If you use a system with a package manager (such as apt or rpm), GPAC is available on most distributions.
You can also compile GPAC on most known systems: Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, and many embedded systems including Set-Top Boxes, car interactive radios, T-DMB Digital Radio receivers, … Find out more.
No, it doesn’t. It is our customers’ responsability to define the intellectual property fees which apply to their products. These fees must be negotiated separately with the holding organizations (such as MPEG-LA).
GPAC is modular and allows you to deactivate some parts of the code. It ensures that you won’t have to pay fees for features you don’t use.
GPAC Licensing has an agreement with the GPAC contributors and copyright holders to make this possible. It provides our industry users with advantages like a more business friendly licensing model.
Our professional users have much to bring to the project: experience, vision, code, money, ideas… This project is a way for everyone of us to build better projects.
GPAC is conducted by professionals in their respective fields. We think the open-source offer may be not enough when you want to build a product based on GPAC.
Whilst we cannot know the exact list of GPAC users or are not allowed to give their names, you can find big companies like YouTube, Sony, … many small companies and startups all around the world, and some of the most used open-source multimedia projects such as x264.
We’ve been reported traces of GPAC all over the world, including mainstream devices and applications, featuring: set-top boxes, phones, radio receivers, video games consoles…