Monthly Archives: May 2012

JPEG2000 thumbnails

I’ve been trying to find software for batch generation of thumbnails for JPEG2000 images. So far this is what I’ve looked at:

Kakadu is commercial software that looked hopeful at first, but the licensing is confusing. The description of the “Non-commercial, Named User Licence” says it “can only be purchased by individuals, Academic Institutions, not-for-profit organizations and libraries which do not gain financially by using this software,” but the license itself doesn’t say anything about licensing to institutions, only individuals. Our attempts to get a clarification have gotten no response. If they ignore us when we want to buy something, that doesn’t bode well for support.

OpenJPEG has its supporters, but it has a command line API which can’t create JPEG, GIF, or PNG, and it can’t create images of a specified size. There are C functions which may or may not be directly callable, but the documentation for them is really scanty.

ImageMagick didn’t seem appealing at first because of its command-line orientation, but it may be the best option. JMagick provides a JNI connection. The documentation indicates it can generate images of a specified size and format, which is what we need.

If anybody reading this has other suggestions, let me know.

The Lib-Ray project

Just last weekend I got my first Blu-Ray disk and found that it came with a warning that if I didn’t have the latest software updates on my player, it might not play. (It did play, being far older than my player.) This annoyed me enough that I’m glad to hear of an open-source, non-DRM alternative to Blu-Ray in the works. Lib-Ray is a project to create a high-definition video standard with “no DRM,” “no region codes,” “no secrets,” and “no limits.” There’s a Kickstarter page looking for funding for the project.

According to the current specification, Lib-Ray uses the Matroska (MKV) container format.

Creating a mass market for Lib-Ray player boxes sounds like a long shot, but it’s easy enough to imagine open-source software being developed and distributed that would let any modern computer play the disks. This could be a boon to anyone who wants to distribute high-quality video discs without DRM.

Some articles on Lib-Ray:

Contributors to JHOVE2

The JHOVE2 project has issued a governance document (PDF) for contributors to the JHOVE2 project. Stephen Abrams writes that “we believe it important to enlist the efforts of the wider user community in future efforts. Working collectively, we can most effectively take advantage of opportunities to enhance and extend the utility of JHOVE2, especially in times of significant constraints on local institutional resources.”

IIIF Image API draft

The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) has put a draft API for the delivery of images via a standard http request. It supports information requests as JSON or XML as well as image requests.

One of my first reactions is that it sticks to the letter of RESTful interfaces while doing things that would be more sensibly be expressed by URL parameters. The following are offered as example URLs:

That’s harder to understand than something like x=80&y=15&w=60&h=75.

A service must specify the level of compliance it provides, which may be different for different images; for instance, JPEG2000 images might be scalable but GIF images not.

If widely adopted, this API could simplify access to images spread across multiple repositories. I’ll be looking at it more carefully as soon as I find the time.