Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8:50:00 PM
The WebM project announced today that WebM support will be available in IE9
without having to use a browser plugin. While it won't be supported by default, IE9 will support the codec as long as it's available as a Windows system codec.
And just to clarify: This means that this is not just another browser plugin like Flash, but rather allows IE9 to support WebM through the HTML5 <video> element.
The inevitable question here is how this is any better than using a browser plugin, and the answer is this avoids all the limitations of browser plugins. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities, since HTML5 video can be accessed and manipulated by the browser. A browser plugin, on the other hand, is basically a "black box" to the browser. It doesn't offer even a fraction of the flexibility you get with native HTML5 video (video support in the browser itself).
As I explained in a previous blog post
on the subject, this will deal another blow to the closed H.264 codec on the desktop.
So for now, I think we can ignore the hilariously hypocritical
quip about "ideology" in the Microsoft blog post, and congratulate them on doing the right thing instead!
Friday, March 4, 2011 8:51:35 PM
and others are reporting that the US DoJ
has launched an antitrust investigation of industry cartel and patent troll
The investigation apparently seeks to uncover whether the MPEG-LA is attempting to cripple competition, specifically VP8/WebM, by using vague patent threats
to create "legal uncertainty over whether users might violate patents by employing that technology", as the WSJ puts it.
If this is true, it seems that the MPEG-LA will either have to put up or shut up, while at the same time risking an antitrust case against itself for its attempt at crippling competition, and free and open video on the web.
Friday, January 21, 2011 3:10:59 PM
John Gruber seems to be really upset about WebM. Really, really, really upset.
In fact, in his last post, he seems to be trying to ridicule the FSF
for supporting WebM, and allegedly misunderstanding the difference between standards and freedom.
Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:52:17 PM
Earlier this month, it seems that VP8 was submitted as an informational
document to the IETF
:VP8 Data Format and Decoding Guide
By J. Bankoski, P. Wilkins, Y. Xu of Google, Inc.
Naturally, Google's irrevocable, royalty-free license
If you are not familiar with the difference between VP8 and WebM, VP8 is the actual video compression format, while WebM is a multimedia container format based on Matroska, which consists of VP8 for video, Vorbis for audio.
It's important to note that this doesn't necessarily make VP8 a standard (at least yet), since informational IETF documents
can basically be "anything".
Monday, January 17, 2011 1:00:00 PM
The discussion on Google's decision to remove H.264 from Chrome is still raging, and an argument that is brought up a lot is market adoption.
Now, the primary video to serve video on the web today is Flash. It doesn't really matter which codec it's using because it's played through Flash anyway. But what about native HTML5 video support? Which format will have the widest support in the market?
Thursday, January 13, 2011 2:29:34 PM
In a lengthy article at Ars Technica, Peter Bright argues that removing support for a closed standard from Chrome is a step backward for openness
I disagree strongly with this assertion, and will try to somewhat briefly explain why, and what's wrong with the arguments put forth in the article.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:04:55 PM
In news that's almost too good to be true (still waiting for a retraction, but hoping that it won't come), Google just announced
that they will remove support for the patent-encumbered H.264 codec from Chrome:
Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
There are already comments in their blog criticizing the decision, but these people do not seem to realize what great news this is for the open web. After all, the web needs to based on open standards, not patent-encumbered technologies. H.264 was threatening to hold back parts of the web like Internet Explorer did before it.
With Google's powerful and well-oiled advertising machinery backing it and ensuring its growth, Chrome will now contribute to a true open web. Along with Opera and Firefox, we may soon find that the majority of the browser market supports open formats like WebM and Theora, while H.264 supporting browsers will make up a smaller and smaller part of the market.
Great move, Google. Mad props
, as they say.
Thursday, May 20, 2010 1:34:00 PM
The main x264 (H.264 encoder) developer, Jason Garrett-Glaser, has written up an interesting analysis of WebM/VP8
. This analysis has gotten quite a bit of attention online, and a lot of people seem to take it as the final word on the matter.
However, as with most things, there is more than one side to this story.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 4:00:00 PM
Opera, Mozilla and Google have just announced WebM
- high-quality free and open video for the Web!
WebM uses VP8
for video, Vorbis
for audio, and the Matroska
That's right. Google decided to open the On2 VP8 codec, and share it with the rest of the world. They joined forces with Opera and Mozilla to bring it to a browser near you, and now it's ready for testing!
You can grab your copy of Opera with WebM support
, and actually try it out at YouTube
Google is throwing its weight behind WebM, and has countless content, hardware and software partners lined up. This is truly an industry-changing event, as until now the Web seemed to be moving towards lockdown with H.264 looking at complete dominance over online video.
With the world's most popular browsers and the world's most popular video site pushing WebM, it will truly make a difference.