helixplayer in gentoo

I’ve been crazy busy lately with things, and to top it off I got addicted to an MMORPG. Big mistake. I got a comment on my blog pinging me though on why HelixPlayer wasn’t in the tree for Gentoo, since I was cleaning up RealPlayer support anyway (part one, two). Well, there’s three main reasons: nobody really cares apparently, it’s hard to build and maintain, and it doesn’t give us 64 bit codecs anyway.

I guess I shouldn’t say nobody cares. I care. I would like it in there. It really is a bit of a hassle to maintain though. Just download it yourself and try to build it manually. It’s a bit of a pain. Helix Player, though appreciated, is one of those ebuilds that everyone says “I don’t wanna deal with it, you fix it.” If you don’t believe me, just look at the last ebuild that was in the tree. Eek.

Personally, I don’t have anything against having the program in the tree, but I’m not up to the level of fun or expertise that it would require to maintain it, and since Real Player does pretty much the exact same thing, let’s just stick with that happy alternative.

Interestingly enough, Helix Player is still in active development. At least, I think so. Their website says they are working on a 2.0 release. Very cool. I wish them the best. I hope it’s a bit easier to build. :)

The last thing is that it doesn’t give us 64-bit codecs anyway, they still come with 32-bit codecs. In fact, there is no 64-bit version of Helix Player at all, so amd64 wouldn’t get any bonuses from using it either. I’m actually a bit surprised we haven’t seen more media codecs rebuilt for 64-bit machines (Windows and Macintosh), but since OS X is still 32-bit compiled (I believe) it’ll probably be that way for a while. Who knows.

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