Digital Video Camcorders: A Windows and Linux open source programmer's guide

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9780750677615: Digital Video Camcorders: A Windows and Linux open source programmer's guide
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One of the most ubiquitous and popular embedded systems is the digital video camcorder. These devices have a wealth of computing power and capability but there is little to no documentation available for programmers and engineers developing applications and products for camcorders, or who simply want to connect a camcorder to a computer and control it. This in-depth guide to digital video (DV) camcorder programming, written by a DV embedded systems software expert with years of experience, will shed light on a relatively complex subject. For both Windows and open source platforms, the book covers every detail—for example, extracting the time and date from the digital video subcode fields, scene change detection, issuing AV/C commands directly to the camcorder, or even writing out custom audio files such as MP3 or .WAV. Plenty of source code examples are provided that illuminate DV programming at a level never documented to the public before. The book covers fundamentals of digital video camcorder operation, the relevant standards, communication details, DV stream capture details, control techniques, decoding the video data, decoding the audio data, subcode information, transmitting DV frames, and DV file formats. The book is full of open source material, including an extremely useful, complete digital camcorder class library for use in a programmer's own products. All of the computer code is provided on the accompanying CD-ROM.

The book provides important technical documentation not easily located or acquired elsewhere. The open source material in particular will appeal to a wide audience of programmers and embedded systems engineers. The digital video camcorder is one of the least technically understood of the devices that are connected to computers on a routine basis, and this book will remedy that situation. The heart of the book, the open source class library for digital camcorders, will be more than worth the price of the book.

This is a strong, very competent author writing for a well-defined audience on a hot subject with little to no information previously available. This one smells like a winner to me—it reminds me of Video Demystified. Not as broad a topic certainly, but with an installed base of digital video camcorders as large as it is (4 million sold over the last 3 years) and growing by leaps and bounds, the need for technical information of this type is certainly out there. In fact, it's amazing to me that's it doesn't already exist. The open source aspect of the book, with the rapid growth of the open source software movement in embedded systems, just adds fuel to the fire. Both reviewers were generally enthusiastic. I shared their comments and suggestions with the author and he is willing to modify his outline to accommodate most if not all of their suggestions to improve the book.

*Provides important technical documentation not easily located elsewhere

*Includes a complete digital camcorder class library, full of open-source material for use in the reader's own projects

*Accompanying CD-ROM provides all the code from the library and book examples, for convenient reproduction

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Understand the true power of digital video camcorders at a level never before available to the public!

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