Build your own Perian

Perian 1.1.1 came out today, with fixes for flash video playback and a number of other things. This gives me a good chance to mention something we do when using Perian with Media Mill.

Because Perian doesn’t always play nice with other codecs on your system, I was long hesitant to add it to the codec pack we use for the media mill cluster. But, a few months back I realized I could do a custom build of perian that just had the codecs I wanted. It’s not very hard at all. Here’s the deal.

First, get Xcode 3.1 – you’ll need to sign up for a free apple developer account.

Next, open up your terminal, move to a directory you want to work in, and type “svn co” which will give you the most recent Perian source.

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Next, browse to that folder in Finder and double click the xcode project file. Find the FFusionCodec.r file and double click it.

It’s a fairly readable file, with sections for each codec. Just comment out or delete the codecs you don’t want. In my case, I kept just a few.

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When you’re done, hit the project setting dropdown and switch to deployment, then press the big ‘build and go’ button. A while later, it’ll finish, and you can find the “build” folder in the same place you found the xcode project. In there, find the deployment folder, and in there, find your nice shiny new Perian.component. Drop it in your /Library/Quicktime folder and you’re done.

If you want to double check that you’ve gotten rid of the codecs you don’t want, grab a copy of Fiendishthngs and run it before and after installing.

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