What is the roadmap for codec support?

I acknowledge and respect that as things stand, Clear Linux does not host software in its repositories that are encumbered by non-free licenses. But I have to question what this means for the future with regards to being able to view content that uses proprietary codecs.

These codecs are unfortunately necessary to view different kinds of content on the web and desktop. Having followed the guide found here on the forums to to setup h.264 support I can now watch Youtube videos. This is great, but requires compiling. I have already had to recompile twice since setting up after updates. And various other sites’ content just doesn’t work; I am unable to watch videos on Twitch or Twitter, for example.

This obviously isn’t an ideal scenario for users. Other distros have dealt with this by hosting these codecs in repositories based in countries where the laws protecting the codecs are loosely enforced, as was the case with Mint, once. Otherwise, some distros users depend on third parties to supply the functionality as is the case with Fedora and RPMFusion. I certainly don’t expect the Clear Linux project to go the former route. I also do not see a third party fulfilling the latter any time soon (if there already is this kind of solution, please point me in the right direction).

So my question is, what does the future hold with regards to this issue for Clear Linux?

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There are still a lot of issues with the current implementation that is supposed to use HW decode for some of these codecs. We are going to be working on eliminating the issues with that stack since it’s somewhat experimental still. Hopefully that means that we can, at some point, eliminate some of these user issues entirely without the need for users to install 3rd party software or compile something locally.

This is a bit of a long game - I don’t expect things to get better in 2-3 days, but over time it will drastically change the number of available applications and reduce the number of problem cases. All in all it will be worth it - even if it means that users might have to convert their media to a different format (e.g. not AAC).

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