September 12, 2007
Perian Does FLV, MPEG-2, +!
Perian 1.0 is a free and open source QuickTime component that adds additional format support on Macs running OS X.4.7 or later. Perian is especially cool and notable in my book for two of the supported codecs: FLV and MPEG-2, both for which until Perian's release were available only as commercial products.
So why might you be interested in these particular formats?
FLV is the native video format used by the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player, and MPEG-2 is the format used in digital TV and DVD video. If you or your team work with either of these formats, you'll appreciate having native support in OS X, especially in the file system; column view's integrated QuickTime playback makes short work out of identifying video clips.
Converting FLV to other formats is possible and sometimes handy (check Perian's short video tutorial on converting YouTube video), though you are generally better off starting from the original source material. Great for converting videos for your iPod or iTunes collection, though.
Speaking of video collections, Perian is also part of the Participatory Culture Foundation's open source democratic internet TV platform recently renamed Miro. Worth checking out if you are a content producer and/or video junky.