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FAQ about the Multimedia support of jBEAM

At this section we would like to answer some important questions about the Multimedia support of jBEAM.

Which Multimedia types are supported by jBEAM?

jBEAM currently supports a huge number of image files, audio files and video files. It is possible to use image files as static elements in your layout using the “ImageGraph” component (Menu “Graph Editor”->“Multi Media”->“Image”).

What types of images can be loaded?

Because jBEAM uses the facilities of Java to load image files, the exact list of all supported image types depends on your Java installation and also on your Operating System.
Generally jBEAM supports these image file types:

  • Bitmap images (with suffix *.bmp)
  • JPEG images (with suffix *.jpg or *.jpeg)
  • PNG images (with suffix *.png)
  • and GIF images (with suffix *.gif)

What types of video files can be loaded?

jBEAMuses several Java specific technologies to support the most of the current video types. If you load a video file,  jBEAM is trying to determine the video type and tries to load the video with each technology. The first technology that can handle the video format is used to display the video.
Currently jBEAM uses these video technologies to display video files:

  • QuickTime (therefore you need to install QuickTime® onto your system and to integrate the required libraries into the jBEAM folder)-supports 32-Bit only!
  • Java Media Framework JMF (therefore you also need to install the JMF® onto your system)
  • DSJ (DirectShow for Java by Humatic, uses all system video codecs to decode and play your video files, supports most common formats)

If you need additional information on how to integrate external libraries into your jBEAM please read on here. The most preferrable solution is DSJ as this technology supports the biggest number of video codecs. Basically it is possible play use any video in jBEAM which can be played using the Microsoft Windows Media Player®, because this program also uses the native system video codecs.
Test have shown that jBEAM can handle most up-to-date video formats like:

  • H264/AVC (*.mov files)
  • DivX/Xvid (*.avi files)
  • MotionJPEG (*.mjpeg files)
  • VP8 (*.webm files)

To play videos that are encoded by any of the mentioned technologies you need to install the required video codec for this video format onto your system. Today there is a number of codec packages available for free that support all required video formats out-of-the-box (click here for more information).

Are there any problems using a 64 bit Java runtime?

Unfortunately yes. Most older video codecs are written for 32 bit only and are not supported anymore. So you will not get any 64 bit version of these codecs which means that they will not be supported by jBEAM started on a 64 bit Java runtime. If you need to play these video formats in jBEAM you can start jBEAM using a 32 bit Java runtime (even on a 64 bit Operating System) or you may try to convert all videos into a up-to-date video format (you can use the free software SUPER(r) to do so).

Can jBEAM handle HD video material?

Yes, jBEAM can play HD video material in Full-HD-resolution (1920×1080) smoothly on newer hardware (Tested on Core i5 Notebooks, 2GB RAM, Internal Graphics adapter).

Are there limitations for videos on Macintosh computers?

Yes, on Mac you can only use Quicktime (32-Bit) and Java Media Framework (32/64-Bit). The usable codecs are limited by this technologies. DSJ-technology supports only Windows systems.

What video format would you prefer for use in jBEAM?

Because this decision depends on your system and your requirements we cannot make any suggestion here. But we tested the current standard video formats with the following test results:
Tests have shown that jBEAM can handle up to 2 instances of Full-HD video files which are encoded in the OGV (Ogg Theora) video format, up to X instances in H264 format and up to X instances in classic DivX format.
Test environment:

  • Codec Pack: K-Lite codec pack standard (both 32 bit and 64 bit versions installed)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 64 bit
  • Java runtime: Oracle Java 1.6_31 64 bit
  • Hardware: Core i5 laptop, 4GB RAM, ATI graphics card

What kind of audio files can be loaded into jBEAM?

Currently jBEAM supports the following audio formats:

  • WAV (uncompressed PCM audio, *.wav files)
  • MP3 (compressed using the MPEG Layer 3 audio compression technology, *.mp3 files)

Other audio formats may be supported on demand.

FAQ » FAQ about the Multimedia support of jBEAM
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