Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Jan 2011 22:21 UTC, submitted by Kroc
Google The WebM project - a VP8 video stream and a Vorbis audio stream wrapped in a Matroska container re-branded as a WebM container - launched by Google, openly supported by every major chip maker, is going to be the major codec for Google's Chrome web browser. Yes, Google is dropping H264 support from the Chrome web browser.
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Not that happy
by vaette on Tue 11th Jan 2011 22:38 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Well, I think I'll be a bit alone with this opinion in this forum, so lets get it out of the way:

Not that happy about this. WebM is still very inferior to h264 quality-wise. h264 is also better supported by devices by far, and the licensing changes the WebM announcement forced on the MPEG LA kind of resolved most issues the way I see them. Sure WebM is a more "pure" alternative. However, I can't imagine that Google has any chance of killing the widespread use of h264 either way, so this really just brings a lot of fragmentation that I am not at all looking forward to living through. A headache in the making for both techies and users.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not that happy
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 11th Jan 2011 22:42 UTC in reply to "Not that happy"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd rather have a headache now and get it over with, than having the MPEG-LA (a confirmed patent troll, I might add) explore my anus a few years from now.

I am very much in favour of keeping my anus unexplored, so I'm VERY happy with this move.

Reply Score: 30

RE[2]: Not that happy
by Lennie on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I'm with you, like the analogy too :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not that happy
by kaiwai on Wed 12th Jan 2011 02:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd rather have a headache now and get it over with, than having the MPEG-LA (a confirmed patent troll, I might add) explore my anus a few years from now.

I am very much in favour of keeping my anus unexplored, so I'm VERY happy with this move.


But it is all very nice to have the ability to play back but if it is like pulling teeth when it comes to encoding then the whole exercise is a giant waste of time. There needs to be a 'Media Foundation' and 'QuickTime' plugin so that encoding can be as easy as choosing from a drop down menu rather than using some fuglified application from some random developer on some random website that Joe Sixpack would never think of visiting.

For me, I'd like to see WebM make inroads but if it requires me to jump through 1000 hoops just to get my video encoded then bugger that for a joke I'll stick with the built in h264 encoder that comes standard with Mac OS X and call it a day.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not that happy
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Complain to Apple. I'm sure Google will make an easy to install encoder regardless.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Not that happy
by kaiwai on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not that happy"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Complain to Apple. I'm sure Google will make an easy to install encoder regardless.


It isn't Apple's responsibility to add support for something that a third party wants in its operating system - if the WebM proponents want more people to use their technology then it is up to them, not the operating system vendor, to provide the necessary CODEC.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Not that happy
by TheGZeus on Thu 13th Jan 2011 06:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not that happy"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

mencoder.
Now shut up.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Not that happy
by kaiwai on Thu 13th Jan 2011 09:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not that happy"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

mencoder.
Now shut up.


Amazing how there is no easy to use binary for Mac.

Now shut the f--k up and go back to what ever hole you pulled yourself out of.

Edited 2011-01-13 09:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Not that happy
by TheGZeus on Thu 13th Jan 2011 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not that happy"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

MacPorts, or are you afraid of reading a howto _once_?

I was already in my basement when I posted that, lazybones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Not that happy
by Icaria on Thu 13th Jan 2011 06:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not that happy"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

It isn't Apple's responsibility to add support for something that a third party wants in its operating system
That's... not what segedunum suggested at all:
Complain to Apple.
As in you, Apple's customer, complain.

if the WebM proponents want more people to use their technology then it is up to them
Right, by pressuring vendors to support their codec of choice. What's the disagreement, here?

Edited 2011-01-13 06:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Not that happy
by kaiwai on Thu 13th Jan 2011 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not that happy"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

That's... not what segedunum suggested at all:

Complain to Apple.

As in you, Apple's customer, complain.


Why should I? I gain nothing out of moving to WebM - I get the encoder on my computer when I purchase Mac OS X, I don't pay anything when I upload a video since I don't charge for people to watch it so where is the incentive for me to jump through hoops to pressure Apple to support something that gives me personally no material benefit what so ever?

Right, by pressuring vendors to support their codec of choice. What's the disagreement, here?


No, CODEC creator should be providing the necessary CODEC for the said operating systems in question just as Real Networks provided a Real Player to support their format, or Flash provides a plugin for their particular piece of technology. If you promote a piece of technology it is up to you as the technology creator to provide the necessary plugin or CODEC for end users to install so that encoding and decoding can take place with minimal fuss and bother.

Edited 2011-01-13 09:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Not that happy
by Icaria on Thu 13th Jan 2011 09:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not that happy"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Why should I?
Besides altruism? There's of course the advantage of not having to install a codec just to playback others' WebM content. There's the possibility that your circumstances may change and you may have to do more than just letting Youtube handle all the grown-up details of hosting and licensing. There's always the benefits that come with being a net user who helps to ensure that the net is an optimal ecosystem for the delivery of the content you consume, effecting quality, quantity and any price tags potentially attached.

for me to jump through hoops to pressure Apple
Oh. that's right. Apple...

for end users to install ... minimal fuss and bother
Minimal fuss and bother would be the OS dev/distributor providing such tools out-of-the-box. Have you used the internet over the last 15 years? We're only just leaving the age of plugin hell.

Amazing to think that the same person who wrote the above, also wrote:
There needs to be a 'Media Foundation' and 'QuickTime' plugin so that encoding can be as easy as choosing from a drop down menu rather than using some fuglified application from some random developer on some random website that Joe Sixpack would never think of visiting

You don't want it out-of-the-box but you also don't want to have to install it. Hmm...

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Not that happy
by TheGZeus on Thu 13th Jan 2011 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not that happy"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

They provided a BSD-licensed encoder and decoder.
Thus allowing other OS vendors to incorporate it into their proprietary software at no charge whatsoever.

Apple chose not to do so, because...?


Your whole arguments seems to consist of "I DON'T WANNA! THAT'S WORK!! CHANGE HURTS! AAAAAAAAA!"

Edited 2011-01-13 14:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Not that happy
by lemur2 on Fri 14th Jan 2011 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not that happy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

No, CODEC creator should be providing the necessary CODEC for the said operating systems in question just as Real Networks provided a Real Player to support their format, or Flash provides a plugin for their particular piece of technology. If you promote a piece of technology it is up to you as the technology creator to provide the necessary plugin or CODEC for end users to install so that encoding and decoding can take place with minimal fuss and bother.


http://www.webmproject.org/code/#webm-repositories

Enjoy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not that happy
by dvhh on Wed 12th Jan 2011 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Yeah, I am sure you wouldn't jump through the 29 steps to remove iTunes ( http://www.osnews.com/story/24234/Although_Not_Supported_You_Can_Re... ).

What is standard with OS X could change any day, I heard they plan to drop Java, which was standard in OS X.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not that happy
by kaiwai on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not that happy"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, I am sure you wouldn't jump through the 29 steps to remove iTunes ( http://www.osnews.com/story/24234/Although_Not_Supported_You_Can_Re... ).

What is standard with OS X could change any day, I heard they plan to drop Java, which was standard in OS X.


Which is no way related to the discussion that is taking place. What is being discussed is WebM and the lack of plugin support provided by the proponents of this new video format and not whether you can remove App Store or some red herring being raised to divert attention from what is the actual topic in discussion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not that happy
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 06:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I'd rather have a headache now and get it over with, than having the MPEG-LA (a confirmed patent troll, I might add) explore my anus a few years from now.

I am very much in favour of keeping my anus unexplored, so I'm VERY happy with this move.

Why can't there be a "Funny/Insightful +2" moderation?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not that happy
by Karitku on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

I'd rather have a headache now and get it over with, than having the MPEG-LA (a confirmed patent troll, I might add) explore my anus a few years from now.

I am very much in favour of keeping my anus unexplored, so I'm VERY happy with this move.

Indeed it's much healthier to get ass raped by Google because after that atleast the giant ad is blocking the hole.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Not that happy
by TheGZeus on Thu 13th Jan 2011 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

What?
That's a non-sequitur.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not that happy
by tomcat on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I'd rather have a headache now and get it over with, than having the MPEG-LA (a confirmed patent troll, I might add) explore my anus a few years from now. I am very much in favour of keeping my anus unexplored, so I'm VERY happy with this move.


You assume that it's going to resolve the issue -- or lead to an eventual resolution. I don't think so. It's just going to fragment the Web. Many people will use h.264, regardless, your content won't run, and there will be much lamentation and gnashing of teeth.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not that happy
by Kroc on Tue 11th Jan 2011 22:42 UTC in reply to "Not that happy"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Resolved what? They didn’t change a thing.

This is similar to Nikon announcing that they will not charge you if you put your pictures up on Flickr, or HP promising that they will never charge you additionally if you photocopy something that you printed on a LaserJet. http://shaver.off.net/diary/2010/08/27/free-as-in-smokescreen/

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not that happy
by vaette on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

Charging royalties by views is a model they use in other situations, and is the one that they made an indefinite promise not to apply to free internet content. Of course you know that already and are just being disingenuous linking a post gasping at the idea that MPEG LA is charging by view at all. Codec licenses is still an issue, but it is not nearly as problematic as the looming threat of per-view royalties, which is what MPEG LA did change.

Either which way, you can do your battle cries about freedom all you want, I still consider this more trouble than it is worth. Google could have let WebM compete on its own merits.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not that happy
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

MPEG-LA is a patent troll - a confirmed, unashamed patent troll. They are not to be trusted in any way.

Charging royalties by views is a model they use in other situations, and is the one that they made an indefinite promise not to apply to free internet content


Their license is so incredibly complicated not even big-name lawyers specialising in the subject could fully grasp it. On top of that, even having an ad on your site makes your video non-free, so even a small site like OSNews technically still has to pay royalties if we were ever to publish a video in H264.

If you want to shackle the web to yet another closed, patent-encumbered codec, then you are incredibly short-sighted - or very, very rich.

Edited 2011-01-11 23:05 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Not that happy
by vaette on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not that happy"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

On top of that, even having an ad on your site makes your video non-free, so even a small site like OSNews technically still has to pay royalties if we were ever to publish a video in H264.

This is blatantly false (I would correctly label it FUD, but that term is much too overused), have a read of the terms yourself: http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary....

"where an End User pays directly for video services, i.e., on a Title-by-Title or Subscription basis" remains covered whereas "where remuneration is from other sources" is the case (for "Internet Broadcast AVC") for which royalties are dropped. Find me a source that manages to interpret this as forbidding the use of ads.

If you want to shackle the web to yet another closed, patent-encumbered codec, then you are incredibly short-sighted - or very, very rich.

Who said anything about shackling anything? Already prior to this move WebM-supporting browsers outnumbered h264-supporting browsers. If anything it seems to me that this rhetoric is trying to shackle everyone to WebM, whether or not they have a use-case where h264 is preferable. Choice is good, MPEG LA has their cards on the table and it should be up to each content producer and each content consumer what codecs they prefer and not.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Not that happy
by Fergy on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not that happy"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

If anything it seems to me that this rhetoric is trying to shackle everyone to WebM, whether or not they have a use-case where h264 is preferable. Choice is good, MPEG LA has their cards on the table and it should be up to each content producer and each content consumer what codecs they prefer and not.

How can you be shackled to something that you are free to use? Webm has an uphill battle on its hands with H264 being everywhere. The pure web should remain patent free so that everybody can use it without any restrictions.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Not that happy
by MyNameIsNot4Letter on Fri 14th Jan 2011 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not that happy"
MyNameIsNot4Letter Member since:
2011-01-09

Choice is good, MPEG LA has their cards on the table and it should be up to each content producer and each content consumer what codecs they prefer and not.


Choice IS good! And Google is clearly choosing not H.264. In fact it seems Google wants the stay the hell away from it... i do too!

/Uni

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not that happy
by segedunum on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Charging royalties by views is a model they use in other situations, and is the one that they made an indefinite promise not to apply to free internet content.

I don't trust peoples promises, especially when you throw your lot in with them and they have you over a barrel. Google probably looked at what they had with YouTube and thought that if they threw their lot in with h.264 the risk was far too great. That royalty 'agreement' could certainly change in the future, and inevitably would.

Of course you know that already and are just being disingenuous linking a post gasping at the idea that MPEG LA is charging by view at all.

Why wouldn't people gasp? The fact that they thought they could get away with doing this shows that they're not to be trusted with a video format that the web will effectively standardise on

Either which way, you can do your battle cries about freedom all you want, I still consider this more trouble than it is worth.

You can do your battle cries for h.264 all you want, but the fact is that whatever format YouTube uses is what the web uses.

Google could have let WebM compete on its own merits.

In what way? The risk to Google was too great in using h.264 and they're not going to use it. End of story.

Edited 2011-01-11 23:15 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Not that happy
by Fergy on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Either which way, you can do your battle cries about freedom all you want, I still consider this more trouble than it is worth. Google could have let WebM compete on its own merits.

H264 isn't competing on its own merit. Everybody either gets paid to use it or threatened to pay or else.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not that happy
by segedunum on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:04 UTC in reply to "Not that happy"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

1. For web video at the moment it's only important that it looks good enough. However, it has improved a great deal and will continue to improve as encoders and decoders get better. I haven't been able to tell any difference just when watching.

2. WebM now has a lot of device support that many squealed that it wouldn't have, and that's just in the space of a few months. Having the same video format everywhere, and on the web without converting, is a big advantage.

3. The MPEG LA didn't resolve anything. WebM is royalty free from the ground up, now and in the future and YouTube will support it natively. No brainer.

4. It isn't going to fragment anything. WebM will be the internet video format that HTML5 desperately needed. Anybody who doesn't like it will either have to convert or give up. Apple is going to be crushed between YouTube on the one hand and Flash on the other.

5. Whoever controlled YouTube was always going to be able to dictate the video format for the web.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Not that happy
by MollyC on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Not that happy"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I find it hard to believe that WebM doesn't violate numerous patents. My understanding is that it's nearly impossible to develop a video or audio codec without running afoul of patents.

Now, Google's stance has been, "We don't need to license patents - we can't be sued for patent violation as long as we don't actually SELL the software that is doing the violating, so there!!". Which means that patent holders go after those that make money by selling goods/services that use Google's software, rather than going after Google itself. But I'm not sure whom those patent holders would go after in YouTube's case. Sellers of GoogleTV hardware would come to mind, but that's slim pickings. I think the H.264 patent holders will have to go after Google itself, and challenge the notion that Google can be sued for patent violation only if they actually sell the software in question.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not that happy
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I find it hard to believe that WebM doesn't violate numerous patents. My understanding is that it's nearly impossible to develop a video or audio codec without running afoul of patents.


That's wat the MPEG-LA has been saying for ten years now. For ten years, they've been threatening the Theora project. However, despite invitations from Theora to work together with MPEG-LA to avoid infringement, and despite numerous requests by many, many people, the MPEG-LA has never been able to substantiate this claim.

As such, I consider it to be FUD. Considering the MPEG-LA is a known and confirmed patent troll, not at all surprising FUD either.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not that happy
by WereCatf on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I think the H.264 patent holders will have to go after Google itself

There was lots of talk about this already when Google bought On2: the codecs which VP8 is based on predate H.264 and as such H.264 most likely infringes on several of their patents now. Besides, MPEG-LA has been touting patent infringement for ten years now yet they have not actually done anything about it except claiming that, they have not shown even ONE single patent that for example Theora would actually be infringing on.

In 10 years they have produced nothing more than lots of hot air, and you are here defending them? And even expect them to sue Google? They'd just shoot themselves in the foot as they know they violate Google's (previously On2's) patents and would render themselves inoperable.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Not that happy
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Not a big surprise that the usual suspects are getting upset over this, which makes it all the funnier.

"We don't need to license patents - we can't be sued for patent violation as long as we don't actually SELL the software that is doing the violating, so there!!"

They've never said that.

But I'm not sure whom those patent holders would go after in YouTube's case.

What 'patent holders' and why would they go after YouTube? They didn't actually invent anything used on there afterall.

I think the H.264 patent holders will have to go after Google itself, and challenge the notion that Google can be sued for patent violation only if they actually sell the software in question.

That's going to be rather messy. The whole point of the MPEG LA holding some sway was to threaten rather a lot of people into using their format and paying them but where they didn't have to get into a court.

Now that hasn't worked and the web isn't going h.264 it's difficult to see what they do. Their lunch is also going to be eaten elsewhere as WebM moves outwards. The risk of getting their patents invalidated is probably higher than winning. There's a reason why Google chose VP8. The outcome is not likely to be good, but mind you, trying to get some kind of payout for their patents is possibly their only option now.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Not that happy
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 10:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not that happy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I find it hard to believe that WebM doesn't violate numerous patents. My understanding is that it's nearly impossible to develop a video or audio codec without running afoul of patents.


When Google bought On2, they took over six months to complete the acquisition. It took this long because Google did a comprehensive patent search.

On2 had been developing codecs for longer than MPEG LA has existed. On2 applied for patents on all their codec technology, some applications were granted and On2 (now Google) holds the patent, other applications were rejected because of prior art (so no-one can hold a patent for that), and still other applications were rejected because another party had applied for or been granted a patent before On2.

As long as On2 simply avoided the latter set of technologies, and included only material from the first two categories above, then On2 codecs are "clean" as far as patents go.

On2 were courted for years by MPEG LA to join the MPEG LA consortium, but On2 persistently held out. On2's basic buisness model was to sell their codecs as "not covered by MPEG LA" and cheaper to license than MPEG LA.

Over all of the years that On2 operated this business model as a direct competitor undercutting MPEG LA, MPEG LA never once found a patent worthy of suing On2 over.

Apparently, Google's patent search around On2 technologies found the same outcome as MPEG LA did.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Not that happy
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:45 UTC in reply to "Not that happy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Change is painful, deal with it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not that happy
by dvhh on Wed 12th Jan 2011 03:05 UTC in reply to "Not that happy"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Define very inferior and quality,

As far as I know mp3 is considered to be very inferior compared to other "modern" audio codec. And yet you cannot deny its success.
My guess is that it only needs to be good enough and provide the right tools at the right price to be accepted by the media producer, and then the consumers.

Professional can still rely on h264 as I care. But google got the right tools to spread webm to the consumers.

Wild guess from my part, what if google were to lock out iDevice from youtube (the ones that are restricted to h264).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not that happy
by sj87 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:27 UTC in reply to "Not that happy"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

Well, I think I'll be a bit alone with this opinion in this forum, so lets get it out of the way:

Not that happy about this. WebM is still very inferior to h264 quality-wise. h264 is also better supported by devices by far, and the licensing changes the WebM announcement forced on the MPEG LA kind of resolved most issues the way I see them.


Hah, no! The only aim of the change in the licensing policy is to get the ignorant people - like you - stay with the H.264. If WebM dies, they just go back to the old ways - and that's the best-case scenario.

Edited 2011-01-12 14:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

...
by Hiev on Tue 11th Jan 2011 22:46 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Free video for everyone.

Reply Score: 4

Consistency bypass
by Tony Swash on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:04 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

If Google is dropping support for H.264 because their “goal is to enable open innovation”, why don’t they also drop support for closed plugins like Flash Player? As it stands now, Chrome not only supports Flash, it ships with its own embedded copy of Flash. I don’t see how Google keeps Flash but drops H.264 in the name of “openness” without being seen as utter hypocrites.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Consistency bypass
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:07 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm guessing that like supporting H264 up until today, embedding Flash was a practical move. Flash will be dropped from Chrome pretty soon, no doubt about it. The fact it got in the first place was only to get WebM support into Flash.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Consistency bypass
by Karitku on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Consistency bypass"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

I'm guessing that like supporting H264 up until today, embedding Flash was a practical move. Flash will be dropped from Chrome pretty soon, no doubt about it. The fact it got in the first place was only to get WebM support into Flash.

And supporting codec that 99% people is using isn't practical. Haha you are so funny and full of Thom.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Consistency bypass
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Consistency bypass"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And supporting codec that 99% people is using isn't practical.


Your reading comprehension must be off. I never said it was practical. I said that supporting H264 was practical - not that dropping it was. Read more carefully next time.

Haha you are so funny and full of Thom.


Well, I better damn be full of Thom, since if I was full of, I don't know, WereCatF, there'd be something incredibly, incredibly wrong with me.

And her, obviously.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Consistency bypass
by sorpigal on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Consistency bypass"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I doubt that Flash support will be dropped, because you'd have to drop support for NSPAPI to do it. They will likely stop shipping it by default, though, once they see doing so as practical. I give it 3-5 years at least, so don't hold your breath.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Consistency bypass
by Kroc on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:16 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Flash is a content delivery platform. H.264 is a codec only.

If I put a Flash file on a website, I don’t have to pay Adobe for every view it gets.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Consistency bypass
by umccullough on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:33 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

If Google is dropping support for H.264 because their “goal is to enable open innovation”, why don’t they also drop support for closed plugins like Flash Player? As it stands now, Chrome not only supports Flash, it ships with its own embedded copy of Flash.


It probably doesn't cost them (as in money) anything to redistribute flash (I'm sure Adobe is full and willing to give them this opportunity)...distributing H264 support, on the other hand, probably costs Google license fees. Money that would be better spent supporting codecs that are already free.

If I was "supporting open standards", and some closed standard came along and said: "support us too, we make it easy!" - I'd consider it...but if the closed standard came along and said: "you gotta support us too cuz we're bigger than the little guys, and by the way, that's gonna cost you"... i think I'd be thinking twice.

Technically, you also don't have to pay for access to Adobe's specifications any more...so it's an open standard, even if there are few working open implementations of it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Consistency bypass
by WereCatf on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:36 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I don’t see how Google keeps Flash but drops H.264 in the name of “openness” without being seen as utter hypocrites.

Flash is not part of the browser, it's an external application. H.264 codec at the moment IS a part of the browser. That's the difference.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Consistency bypass
by tyrione on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Consistency bypass"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

I don’t see how Google keeps Flash but drops H.264 in the name of “openness” without being seen as utter hypocrites.

Flash is not part of the browser, it's an external application. H.264 codec at the moment IS a part of the browser. That's the difference.


Codecs are not part of the browser. Support for those containers is part of the browser. In short, if you have the codecs on your system, the browser detects the ones it has container support for to leverage them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Consistency bypass
by ssokolow on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Consistency bypass"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Codecs CAN be part of application-specific libraries. Firefox bundles a Theora decoder and VLC does it with the entire FFMPEG collection of codecs.

That's why, 99% of the time, they Just Work™ no matter how broken you make your DirectShow setup by blindly mashing together two or three of the different codec packs of the week. (And the CCCP codec pack is mostly ffdshow, a DirectShow-wrapped version of FFmpeg, specifically because the independent codecs tend to be finicky when used together)

As I already mentioned, it's been my experience that Chrome behaves like Firefox, only supporting <video> and <audio> for the bundled codecs... it just happens to bundle more codecs.

Edited 2011-01-12 00:57 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Consistency bypass
by umccullough on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Consistency bypass"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

As I already mentioned, it's been my experience that Chrome behaves like Firefox, only supporting and for the bundled codecs... it just happens to bundle more codecs.


This is probably done also as a security measure, and consistent experience across multiple platforms.

Allowing *any* codec to be used for <video> and <audio> tags, means some unscrupulous site could exploit bugs in lesser-tested and unpatched codecs by offering malformed video/audio files to browsers which happily pass them onto whatever codec happens to be installed on the system.

Independent browser vendors have no control over these codecs - so any security flaws that arise must be addressed by the codec vendor - allowing a hole for attack. Some of this can perhaps be mitigated with sandboxing - but I'm not sure if all of Microsoft's DirectShow or Apple's QuickTime decoders can be run inside a sandbox just like that...so the safe bet is to include only those codecs you trust with your browser.

Google now provides a stripped-down PDF reader in Chrome, and they provide automatic Flash updates now with Chrome - so it makes sense to also offer security-controlled versions of supported codecs as well.

Edit: same applies with image formats - in theory, the OS could provide all the rendering of image formats, but pretty much every browser provides its own conversion libraries for this to prevent malicious images from exploiting unpatched bugs. See: WMF

Edited 2011-01-12 01:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Consistency bypass
by intangible on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:14 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

They bundle the flash plugin because of an agreement with Adobe and so they can sandbox it and update themselves. Even if they don't bundle it indefinitely, it's still a plugin and they're not going to rip out plugin support from the browser.
Including the codec in the browser for WebM is a no-brainer because it's completely free and they can optimize the decoding (and hook-in better with HTML5 controls in the future).
Including h264 codec in the browser does nothing except open themselves up to possible litigation in the future from the MPEGLA, and they can't include it in any open-source code and it continues to support a possible MPEGLA strength in "defacto adoption" which will lead to them suing Youtube in the future for licensing. Doesn't make much sense when they already have a "good enough" codec they can use.

Edited 2011-01-12 01:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Consistency bypass
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:32 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If Google is dropping support for H.264 because their “goal is to enable open innovation”, why don’t they also drop support for closed plugins like Flash Player?

People use Flash. No one uses or needs h.264. It's as simple as that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Consistency bypass
by manjabes on Wed 12th Jan 2011 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Consistency bypass"
manjabes Member since:
2005-08-27

I WAS going to enjoy the show without participating, until this...

People use Flash. No one uses or needs h.264. It's as simple as that.


I use h264, and, seeing that my camera produces videos in exactly that format, I need h264.
So there!
As simple as that, indeed.

Now, on a more serious note, this is just hilarious. All those people getting twisted about how HTML5 video would not need that ugly icky dastardly Flash plug-in to be played, so that we could "get rid of Flash once and for all" should be awfully worried about now.

Because, the way things appear to be going, after all the bickering has ended, we still have Flash for playing videos on the web (because that's got a near 100% install base) and some looney tunes that fight amongst themselves which codec should be THE Ultimate Killer of Flash while at the same time trying to convince the outside world to drop Flash and start using "web video" with x codecs fragmented over an indeterminate installbase. Riiiight...

Edited 2011-01-12 10:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Consistency bypass
by WereCatf on Wed 12th Jan 2011 10:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Consistency bypass"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Because, the way things appear to be going, after all the bickering has ended, we still have Flash for playing videos on the web (because that's got a near 100% install base) and some looney tunes that fight amongst themselves which codec should be THE Ultimate Killer of Flash while at the same time trying to convince the outside world to drop Flash and start using "web video" with x codecs fragmented over an indeterminate installbase. Riiiight...

Well, with WebM the situation is actually a lot better than it is now with H.264+Flash: almost all the major browsers support WebM, even IE after you install the WebM codec yourself. That leaves only Safari out of the equation and means that everyone else can drop Flash for web video. And as we know Apple doesn't like Flash they don't have much choice other than to start supporting WebM themselves too and then it'll be supported by all major browsers.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Consistency bypass
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Consistency bypass"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I use h264, and, seeing that my camera produces videos in exactly that format, I need h264. So there! As simple as that, indeed.

Good for you. Unfortunately, h.264 has no critical mass of usage on the web, which is what that was about.

It's funny seeing all of these clueless idiots wading into this saying that they use h.264 for this and that. As Google rolls out WebM support for Google, and you get devices that can use WebM and upload straight to sites like YouTube natively with no conversion, your h.264 devices are going to get ever more marginalised.

...and some looney tunes that fight amongst themselves which codec should be THE Ultimate Killer of Flash while at the same time trying to convince the outside world to drop Flash and start using "web video" with x codecs fragmented over an indeterminate installbase. Riiiight...

Blame the h.264 loonies. They created a format that not everyone could use and so was never likely to have enough of an installed base. Flash? It's a necessary evil for now, and for backwards compatibility. That's all. Flash is also used for other things besides video.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Consistency bypass
by apoclypse on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Consistency bypass"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Unfortunately, h.264 has no critical mass of usage on the web, which is what that was about.


Again this is not true. 60%-70% of online video (Netflix, youtube, VImeo, etc) use h.264. People are confusing the container with the codec. While most video is delivered via flash or silverlight, it is usually encoded with H.264 and delivered within a flash container. Especially HD flash streams. This is one of the main reason why H.264 is even being used with html5. If you already have your video in h.264 format inside a flash container then you can serve the exact same video inside of an mp4 container without having to re-eoncode anything. That's one of the main reasons why its being used heavily on the web now. Content producers use equipment and software that natively supports the format and it takes very little effort on their part to use the same encoded video and repurpose for the web. Its as simple as that.

All of this WebM is open jargon is not going to change the content industries mind. You are still going to see Netflix video encoded in h.264/vp-1. You are still going to see anything above 480p encoded with h.264 period. If we are talking about small youtube like clips then yeah WebM would work nicely. HOwever most video that users actually want to get to is already behind a proprietary wall (Flash, silverlight). Google dropping h.264 changes nothing. All it really does is make it harder for content producers. Some/most won't even bother, they will just go back to flash which they were already using as a failover anyway.

IMO, this is Google propping up Flash to protect their ad dollars. Even if they were to remove Flash from Chrome (which I highly doubt) content producers will fall back to the tried and true "this page requires the flash plugin please download from Adobe's website".

Thom, as usual, is off his rocker. He eschews practicality for idealism. Great you have your open video standard, but it will become the standard that no one uses (like ogg/vorbis), they will most likely stick with Flash, and that is five steps backwards imo. The point of an open video format for the web, at least to me, is to be able to view video regardless off what you use. I want to be able to watch the same video on my phone and on my computer without requiring a plugin. That reality is here now with h.264.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Consistency bypass
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Consistency bypass"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Again this is not true. 60%-70% of online video (Netflix, youtube, VImeo, etc) use h.264.

I'm sorry, but people using h.264 on Netflix or anywhere else as an output medium are in a very, very small minority. It's been a very, very limited option on YouTube. There is no critical mass for it, despite the statistic you've plucked.

People are confusing the container with the codec.

Indeed you are. Whether Flash can use h.264 internally is neither here nor there.

All of this WebM is open jargon is not going to change the content industries mind.

I'm afraid the 'content industries' don't matter. They're not the ones producing most of the freely available content on YouTube or elsewhere. If they try and use other sites that use h.264 then few will watch.

You are still going to see Netflix video encoded in h.264/vp-1. You are still going to see anything above 480p encoded with h.264 period.

I'm afraid a small paid-for proprietary video site is not going to dictate what the rest of the web uses. They can use whatever they want. Device support will end up reflecting the content that's free and that most people want, and that's YouTube. Free content dictates on the web. It always has.

If we are talking about small youtube like clips then yeah WebM would work nicely.

He, he. Alas, YouTube is not small, but you know that. :-)

HOwever most video that users actually want to get to is already behind a proprietary wall (Flash, silverlight).

YouTube might still rely heavily on Flash, but that's clearly going to change. Silverlight? Apart from a handful of sites like Sky in the UK, and that's for subscribers only, I can't think of many sites using it.

Some/most won't even bother, they will just go back to flash which they were already using as a failover anyway.

No, they won't. They'll use whatever looks best on YouTube.

IMO, this is Google propping up Flash to protect their ad dollars. Even if they were to remove Flash from Chrome (which I highly doubt)....

Where do you get this weird idea from? I have no idea why some people are getting hung up about Google still using Flash and implying in some way that it makes them hypocrites. It's supported for current practical reasons.

Great you have your open video standard, but it will become the standard that no one uses (like ogg/vorbis)

I'm afraid not. That's why we're seeing a lot of posts like this around here.

The point of an open video format for the web, at least to me, is to be able to view video regardless off what you use.

Yer, which is why formats that have restrictions and royalty fees attached along the way, requiring you to get a lawyer to wade through it all, will certainly restrict what you can view h.264 on.

I want to be able to watch the same video on my phone and on my computer without requiring a plugin. That reality is here now with h.264. That reality is here now with h.264.

I'm afraid not. The only way you're able to practically use h.264 right now is via Flash, because there simply isn't the content. The only video site people want on their phone is YouTube. Whether you like that or not, that's the reality, and manufacturers will take the path of least resistence eventually.

Edited 2011-01-12 16:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Consistency bypass
by Halo on Wed 12th Jan 2011 04:43 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
Halo Member since:
2009-02-10

They are picking their battles.

Google are not in a position to win against Flash. If they disable Flash in Chrome, people will simply choose to use other browsers, so it is in their interest to make it as painless as possible instead.

Google are in a position where they can win against the H.264 video tag.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Consistency bypass
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 09:28 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If Google is dropping support for H.264 because their “goal is to enable open innovation”, why don’t they also drop support for closed plugins like Flash Player? As it stands now, Chrome not only supports Flash, it ships with its own embedded copy of Flash. I don’t see how Google keeps Flash but drops H.264 in the name of “openness” without being seen as utter hypocrites.


Flash is not H.264. Adobe have undertaken to support the WebM codec within their Flash player. Flash is an open specification which anyone may implement. There are independent implementations of Flash which do not pay royalties to Adobe.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Consistency bypass
by Feanor on Wed 12th Jan 2011 16:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Consistency bypass"
Feanor Member since:
2006-12-21

Isn't Chrome's implementation of Flash their own? IIRC it is. I'm not sure what restrictions Adobe has placed on open/closed source in the open standard, but I would imagine the MPEG-LA most certainly will not allow you to create an open source implementation. That's a pretty big distinction if you ask me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Consistency bypass
by Erunno on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Consistency bypass"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

Isn't Chrome's implementation of Flash their own? IIRC it is.


It's not. It's a modified version of the regular Flash Player which Adobe develops together with Google (or more likely: Google requests certain features or changes and Adobe implements them).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Consistency bypass
by dvhh on Wed 12th Jan 2011 16:33 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Flash is a different matter, the motivation is to keep the plugin as much "up to date" and "secure" as possible by pushing it though the same update channel.
On the other hand Google is also pushing a different PDF rendering engine through chrome which are more secure than acrobat reader because they offer less features ( I heard of it, but I rarely browse over PDF ).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Consistency bypass
by tomcat on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:49 UTC in reply to "Consistency bypass"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If Google is dropping support for H.264 because their “goal is to enable open innovation”, why don’t they also drop support for closed plugins like Flash Player? As it stands now, Chrome not only supports Flash, it ships with its own embedded copy of Flash. I don’t see how Google keeps Flash but drops H.264 in the name of “openness” without being seen as utter hypocrites.


Becaus they're full of open shit.

Reply Score: 0

Dropping?
by Carewolf on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:07 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

What do they mean dropping support? Does it mean they are removing it from their own binaries, or are they going to specifically blacklist h264 to prevent from being played by system libraries like Firefox does?

If it is the later I would find it not only hypocritical, but outright evil. It is one thing not to support something, but it is another to prevent it entirely, especially for the sole purpose of advocating their own standard. Firefox was atleast not the owner or inventor of Theora.

Edited 2011-01-11 23:08 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Dropping?
by ssokolow on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:32 UTC in reply to "Dropping?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

What do they mean dropping support? Does it mean they are removing it from their own binaries, or are they going to specifically blacklist h264 to prevent from being played by system libraries like Firefox does?

If it is the later I would find it not only hypocritical, but outright evil. It is one thing not to support something, but it is another to prevent it entirely, especially for the sole purpose of advocating their own standard. Firefox was atleast not the owner or inventor of Theora.


As far as I can tell, Chromium uses a bundled (known good, stripped down) FFMPEG which H.264 has been stripped from for licensing reasons. If I'm correct, that means it's not using the system libraries.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dropping?
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 09:39 UTC in reply to "Dropping?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What do they mean dropping support? Does it mean they are removing it from their own binaries, or are they going to specifically blacklist h264 to prevent from being played by system libraries like Firefox does?


Firefox doesn't "blacklist" anything. Firefox simply processes the HTML5 video tag with its own internal player, rather than passing it over to an external player via a plugin. Firefox's internal player works with Theora and WebM, because those codecs allow anyone to implement them royalty-free. (This is a requirement of W3C web standards, BTW, it is part of the W3C patent policy, and HTML5 is a W#C standard).

HTML5 cannot use H.264 because H.264 incurs royalties for implementers and providers of video.

If it is the later I would find it not only hypocritical, but outright evil. It is one thing not to support something, but it is another to prevent it entirely, especially for the sole purpose of advocating their own standard. Firefox was atleast not the owner or inventor of Theora.


HTML5 is W3C's standard. Here is the W3C policy for web standards:
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy
The W3C Patent Policy governs the handling of patents in the process of producing Web standards. The goal of this policy is to assure that Recommendations produced under this policy can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis.


Theora and WebM are the only two currently available viable video codecs which conform with this policy. In making Google Chrome support HTML5 in conjunction only with Theora and WebM video, Google are simply adhereing to W3C patent policy for web standards.

Reply Score: 3

The web is an open source project ? :-)
by Lennie on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:07 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

"...as well as being bad for the web...of an otherwise open source project."

Reply Score: 4

Google's using its monopoly power
by MollyC on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:15 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Google is using its monopoly position* in online video market to shove an inferior codec down the public's throat, and are screwing over members of the H.264 patent pool that would otherwise receive patent royalties.

* Here, by "monopoly position", I define it as the EC has defined it when targetting companies that it has a beef with, which is "having dominant position in a market such that one can manipulate market outcomes" (not an exact quote). Clearly, Google has such power in the market for online videos, as Thom himself admits, and indeed celebrates (because Google is using that power in a way that he likes). Those companies that will be denied patent royalties as a result of Google's actions are in a position to file suit in the EU. If WebM beat out H.264 based on its merits and the public choosing that codec as a result of those merits, then that would be one thing, but Goolge making that choice for everyone whether they like it or not, is another.

Note: I don't care about H.264 or any other particular codec. I'm just pointing out the abuse of monopoly power going on here.

Reply Score: 0

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

You would be correct if Google was forcing Apple or Microsoft to use WebM. But they're not. Google is choosing the best codec for its own sites. Just like Microsoft putting IE in Windows, its their decision. Anyone else can use whatever codec they want on their sites and I am sure that the browsers will play it, although a plugin might be required.

EDIT: clarity

Edited 2011-01-11 23:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Just like Microsoft putting IE in Windows"? The EC deemed that illegal because of Microsoft's market position. So you're right, it is just like that, which is my point.

I note that you say, "Google is not making Apple and Microsoft use WebM", but I made no mention of Microsoft or Apple in the post to which you replied. I doubt Microsoft and Apple they care much if Google "made them use WebM". Those more likely to care are the smaller companies that are members of the H.264 patent pool, who rely on patent royalties for a significant portion of their revenue (Apple and Microsoft are members of that pool, but the revenue they receive from it is insignificant compared to their overall revenue). It's those smaller companies, rather than Apple and Microsoft, that Google is screwing over. Google is also screwing over users, as users will now be forced to watch videos via an inferior codec, not just on YouTube, but eventually everywhere (content creators will gradually stop using H.264 altogether, despite it being the superior codec; same goes for any codec that comes along that is superior to WebM; any such future codecs are DOA).

You say Google is just doing what's best for Google, but the problem is the Google has a monopoly* position in the market for internet videos, therefore they come over different level of scrutiny and different rules apply. At least that's what we've been told for years regarding other companies.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You say Google is just doing what's best for Google, but the problem is the Google has a monopoly* position in the market for internet videos, therefore they come over different level of scrutiny and different rules apply. At least that's what we've been told for years regarding other companies.


You're forgetting the damage part. You have to hurt a market with your monopoly position first. Moving to an OPEN, ROYALTY-FREE, NON-PATENT-ENCUMBERED codec can, in no possible way, be seen as Google trying to hurt the market. IT'S FREE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So is it free to the point that there's no way they could legally flip positions at some point in the future and start charging people to use it?


It's perpetual and irrevocable.

http://www.webmproject.org/license/bitstream/

Reply Score: 3

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

What part of "perpetual" do you not understand?

http://www.webmproject.org/license/additional/

Google hereby grants to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, transfer, and otherwise run, modify and propagate the contents of this implementation of VP8


There is only one catch, the licence is revoked should a patent claim come against it. It’s been a year (10 for Ogg), and there hasn’t been a peep from the might of the MPEG-LA.

Google have done something incredibly clever here. By giving it away, if a patent claim come against it, then it’s _everybody’s_ problem, and all of those partners—some of the biggest chip companies in the world—will want to see the claim quashed. Not even the MPEG-LA could stand up to the scrutiny and backing of 100+ vendors.

edit: clarification: If a company files a patent claim against VP8, then _they_ lose the right to use VP8, not everybody else. This makes it very much all vs. 1 if someone tries to take VP8 down.

Edited 2011-01-12 00:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

So is it free to the point that there's no way they could legally flip positions at some point in the future and start charging people to use it? Because if they can, I can almost guarantee you they probably will, eventually.

Yes, it is. It is distributed under a completely free, open license and anyone is free to implement and use it. Even if Google was later to change the license they wouldn't be able to change the license on already-existing implementations and source-code, so it wouldn't benefit them anything.

Reply Score: 2

manjabes Member since:
2005-08-27

You're forgetting the damage part. You have to hurt a market with your monopoly position first. Moving to an OPEN, ROYALTY-FREE, NON-PATENT-ENCUMBERED codec can, in no possible way, be seen as Google trying to hurt the market. IT'S FREE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.


Well, them rightsholders that let their rights managed by the...hrm....people... at MPEGLA, might disagree with You on that. Beforehand they might have had a little income to cover up them R&D costs that ended up as patents (yes, real and phony ones). Hows that for market damage?

Think of it this way, You own a bakery shop. You work your ass off early mornings to provide customers with croissants and stuff. Maybe earn a little money while doing that. There's another bakery shop nearby too, but you're not that worried about it because you figure that if your croissants are tastier then the customers will prefer to get theirs from your shop.
Now a metallurgical magnate that gets nearly all of its income from producing chromium and copper and stuff buys your competitors shop and starts providing free croissants. It can afford it because the metals business is its primary source of income and a good one at that. You can make your croissants as delicious as possible but you can't beat free, can you?

Applying your logic as the commenter, no market damage was made, because the croissants are free for fucks sake. You, the baker, might think otherwise.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Think of it this way, You own a bakery shop. You work your ass off early mornings to provide customers with croissants and stuff. Maybe earn a little money while doing that. There's another bakery shop nearby too, but you're not that worried about it because you figure that if your croissants are tastier then the customers will prefer to get theirs from your shop.
Now a metallurgical magnate that gets nearly all of its income from producing chromium and copper and stuff buys your competitors shop and starts providing free croissants. It can afford it because the metals business is its primary source of income and a good one at that. You can make your croissants as delicious as possible but you can't beat free, can you?


Your analogy is cute, I give you that, but it quite doesn't come out right. It would be more like that the magnate started giving out ingredients for the croissants to all his competitors in addition to using them himself. That's quite a different angle to the whole thing.

Reply Score: 3

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Not only that...

1) Your bakery shop isn't some small business. You also are a massive magnate in your own right.

2) You threaten other bakeries to join your empire as you're the only one that should know how to make croissants.

3) The competitor was originally buying croissants from the bakery at some cost. Why buy from from you when they can make it themselves for cheaper than what you're selling.

4) You're banking on the fact that you become the only bakery in existence forcing everybody to buy baked goods from your bakery.

5) You will always have discerning customers that will pay any price for a little more marginal quality. The Competitors free croissants benefit more people because they cost less (are free) and not everybody can afford your croissants.

6) You tell some people that you won't charge anything but then wait until they have eaten the croissants and then tell them to pay up. If they don't pay then you call the police and report a theft.

Edited 2011-01-12 11:14 UTC

Reply Score: 7

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

That's a pretty accurate analysis as to why most people are absolutely bewildered by IT, computing and technology.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, them rightsholders that let their rights managed by the...hrm....people... at MPEGLA, might disagree with You on that. Beforehand they might have had a little income to cover up them R&D costs that ended up as patents (yes, real and phony ones). Hows that for market damage?


Uhm, just hurting your competitors is not automatically damaging a market - quite the opposite, actually. Considering the market for digital video is currently held in a death grip by patent troll MPEG-LA, Google's move will actually be welcomed by market regulators since it INCREASES competition.

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

You're forgetting the damage part. You have to hurt a market with your monopoly position first. Moving to an OPEN, ROYALTY-FREE, NON-PATENT-ENCUMBERED codec can, in no possible way, be seen as Google trying to hurt the market. IT'S FREE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.


Doesn't matter whether it's free. It's anti-competitive. It excludes players from the market leader.

Reply Score: 1

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

The players are free (in every sense of the word) to implement WebM too...

After seeing all your other excellently reasoned arguments I don't know why I bother even replying...

Edited 2011-01-12 23:13 UTC

Reply Score: 4

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Doesn't matter whether it's free. It's anti-competitive. It excludes players from the market leader.

Again, which market are you talking about?

The codec market? Ridiculous, all of web video is a tiny blip in that market.

The browser market? Ridiculous, Chrome has like 10%.

So i guess you must mean the online video website market? But this doesn't exclude anyone. Those competitors can still play videos just like they can now - through Flash. They could also simply re-encode their videos to be available through WebM if they thought it provided an advantage. Google isn't freezing anyone out of the market - following this chain of logic to it's ultimate end you would have to say that it's impossible for Google to change anything at all, simply because they are market leaders. They can't change their logo, that would be anti-competitive somehow...

Edit:
Here's a good analogy of the argument:

You're saying that Microsoft can't release Windows Vista or 7, because it breaks my printer. HP isn't providing driver updates for my 10 year old printer, and Microsoft is a monopoly, therefore they can't release any driver API updates.

Edited 2011-01-13 01:31 UTC

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"You're forgetting the damage part. You have to hurt a market with your monopoly position first. Moving to an OPEN, ROYALTY-FREE, NON-PATENT-ENCUMBERED codec can, in no possible way, be seen as Google trying to hurt the market. IT'S FREE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.


Doesn't matter whether it's free. It's anti-competitive. It excludes players from the market leader.
"

No, it doesn't do any such thing.

Here is the license for WebM:
http://www.webmproject.org/license/bitstream/
"Google hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer implementations of this specification where such license applies only to those patent claims, both currently owned by Google and acquired in the future, licensable by Google that are necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification."

No-one is excluded.

Reply Score: 5

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

You're the worst troll I've ever seen.
I mean, you're not any good at it.

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Those more likely to care are the smaller companies that are members of the H.264 patent pool, who rely on patent royalties for a significant portion of their revenue (Apple and Microsoft are members of that pool, but the revenue they receive from it is insignificant compared to their overall revenue). It's those smaller companies, rather than Apple and Microsoft, that Google is screwing over.

You have quite one-sided view on this. Have you considered that MPEG-LA and those "smaller companies" you're referring to are also screwing over other smaller companies with their licensing fees and whatnot? You can't for example invent any kind of portable device with H.264 support without paying huge licensing fees and a provision for every device sold, no matter how small a company you are and how small batch of those devices you do. Even more so, if you happen to be a single developer, either software or hardware, you can't support H.264 legally without paying, and this again screws over LOTS of developers, especially those of alternative software or OSes.

My point is that there is ALWAYS someone getting screwed over, but in this case there's fewer people getting screwed than benefiting from the change to open codecs.

Reply Score: 4

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04


My point is that there is ALWAYS someone getting screwed over, but in this case there's fewer people getting screwed than benefiting from the change to open codecs.


If users are forced to watch videos via an inferior codec, then I'd question the assertion that a company that enjoys monopoly* position forcing the indicstry to adopt that inferior codec results in fewer people being screwed over (i.e., the users thenselves). Users want to watch high quality videos and don't care about "open". There are "techies" that are glad to accept lower quality video because they think that a codec's being "open" outweighs the inconvenience of lower quality, but why should users that don't care about "open" be foreced to make that same trade off?

(Not to mention that Google sets itself up as the gatekeeper regarding adoption of better codecs in the future. A revolutionary codec could be developed (WebM certainly is NOT such a codec) that blows everything away, but without Google's blessing, it's DOA.)

By the way, I don't have a "one sided view". Rather, I am presenting a viewpoint that is alternative to the one championed by this site. In presenting that alternative viewpoint I have no obligation to present both sides any more thatn this site does. This site and its readers present a particular side, and the comments that this site and those readers make are just as "one-sided" as the comments I have made in presenting the other side.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

but why should users that don't care about "open" be foreced to make that same trade off?

But why should users that care about "open" be forced to make that same trade-off? Indeed, it works exactly as well vice versa.

(Not to mention that Google sets itself up as the gatekeeper regarding adoption of better codecs in the future. A revolutionary codec could be developed (WebM certainly is NOT such a codec) that blows everything away, but without Google's blessing, it's DOA.)

Uhh, and how exactly is that different from MPEG-LA? I mean, if everything was in H.264 then MPEG-LA would be the gatekeeper and even if someone produced a superior codec it would be DOA without MPEG-LA's blessing. And you can bet your ass that if that codec didn't come from MPEG-LA themselves then it would definitely NOT get its blessing.

And yes, you keep spouting how WebM is oh-so-horrible and oh-so-poor-quality and it'll-eat-your-children and whatnot. Well, I know governments tend to repeat lies so long and so many times that people eventually start to believe them, but you're not quite in the same position.

Reply Score: 7

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

If users are forced to watch videos via an inferior codec,

Where did you get this idea that VP8 was inferior? Let me guess, it was from someone making a lot of money off of h.264. VP8 is just as good as BASELINE h.264, which is all that's used on the web anyway since it's all that lots of hardware can accelerate.

then I'd question the assertion that a company that enjoys monopoly* position

Did i miss the part where Google suddenly had a monopoly in browsers? I guess you're talking about a possible future Youtube switch? Note that although it's likely to happen, that was NOT announced today. It's not even a sure thing that Youtube is a monopoly. Look at Hulu, for example. There are plenty of other video sites out there. Google may have a dominant position in the market, but that doesn't automatically make it a monopoly.

Furthermore, even if they did have one, that only keeps them from taking actions that are anti-competitive, or in other words killing off other video sites. Youtube switching to a new video codec would not kill off Hulu in any way. And Google certainly doesn't have a monopoly when it comes to codec usage - that stuff is used all over the place, from cameras to movie studios, etc. Web usage is actually a rather tiny portion of the overall codec market. YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT IS NONSENSE!

...some more ranting about how vp8 sucks, with no actual evidence...


By the way, I don't have a "one sided view". Rather, I am presenting a viewpoint that is alternative to the one championed by this site.

Well, yes, it's "alternative" all right. I have no idea if your personal view is one sided or not, but what i can say for sure is that what you've presented here is nonsense.

Edited 2011-01-12 07:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

We have a MPEG-LA employee in our midst? Sure sounds like it! ;)

Reply Score: 1

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

(Not to mention that Google sets itself up as the gatekeeper regarding adoption of better codecs in the future. A revolutionary codec could be developed (WebM certainly is NOT such a codec) that blows everything away, but without Google's blessing, it's DOA.)


That doesn't make any sense: Google would be the gatekeeper no matter what codec they use. If a revolutionary codec was developed and Google decided to stick with h264 anyway, it would be screwed as well.

Up until recently they only used h264 on Youtube, if they switched to WebM the situation would remain the same, only that with a codec that can be freely used and redistributed by everyone without any kind of royalties, and which (as of now) is as good as the h264 baseline encoding currently being used in Youtube.

Same as they could switch to WebM on Youtube, they could switch and add support latter for different, more advanced codecs, as long as they are (unlike h264) also royalty free for everyone.

Reply Score: 4

pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

If users are forced to watch videos via an inferior codec

So webm is inferior to h.264? The problem with MPEG codecs is that they tend to be highly modular (designed in by their development process in which each participant adds as many isolated features as possible to increase their part of the payout).

So if you want "web video", you have to stick to some subset of h.264 baseline - Theora is competitive with that, webm even more so.

The benchmarks don't usually use codecs with "runs on any web-enabled device (incl. 1st gen ipod touch)" configurations, but with "as good as possible" settings.

h.264 has some advantages there, and these profiles are nice for DVD/BD/HDDVD/any-other-storage (essentially anything not covered by the free MPEG-LA license grant), but not for web.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"If users are forced to watch videos via an inferior codec"

This assumes that WebM is of measurably lower quality than H.264 and that WebM can never be improved beyond it's current latest build. Is WebM measurably of lower quality? Is it not possible for WebM to improve video quality through it's ongoing development?

Let's say, for argument sake, that both the points above are true. For "what if" sake, WebM will never be able to produce equal or better content quality than H.264. Where is Google a monopoly; what justifies the use of anti-trust law?

Google is not a monopoly in the browser market; at best, Google Chrome is the third most popular of several available browsers.

Google is not a monopoly in the website publishing market; they have popular websites but do not develop or dictate to the rest of the Internet. They are not actively stopping anyone else from continuing to use H.264 packaged content.

Google is not a monopoly in the OS market; They haven't got majority share of the desktop OS space and still have ample competition in the mobile embedded space (where Android and ChromeOS play).

Google may hold monopoly position in the internet search and/or advertising markets; I'm not seeing "you are required to have WebM and only WebM installed to view this website" when I visit the google search page. Neither position in search nor advertising is being used to force WebM on the user to the exclusion of other codecs.

For comparison; Microsoft was a monopoly in the OS market when they bundled in IE with the very real intent of undermining fair market competition. IE was intentionally included in Windows to block competitive browsers. It intentionally used Microsoft's own HTML modifications that other browsers could not implement.

H.264 can not be implemented by everyone because the associated license costs quickly become prohibitive. IE's additions to the HTML standard could not be implemented by everyone because they are Microsoft's proprietary code. Microsoft's IE bundling gave it Windows distribution reach rather than the user base it earned itself and exploited the reality that many users didn't know they had any choice between browsers. WebM can be implemented by anyone; content creator, software developers, end users.


Just to round out the comparisons and pre-answer the "why can apple bundle Safari with it's OS?"; Apple is a hardware vendor who happens to produce it's own embedded OS for it's products. osX/Ios are not sold to third parties and do not directly dictate third party decisions. Apple also does not currently hold the monopoly share of the personal computer or mobile markets. Legally, Apple can be as anti-trust'y as it wants unless it's actions can be shown to block fair competition or otherwise harm consumers and the market itself.

Reply Score: 5

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

They can use a different site, if they choose.
They can use a different browser, if they choose.

Shut up.

Reply Score: 3

mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

Google is using its monopoly position* in online video market to shove an inferior codec down the public's throat... Those companies that will be denied patent royalties as a result of Google's actions are in a position to file suit in the EU. If WebM beat out H.264 based on its merits and the public choosing that codec as a result of those merits, then that would be one thing, but Goolge making that choice for everyone whether they like it or not, is another.

Note: I don't care about H.264 or any other particular codec. I'm just pointing out the abuse of monopoly power going on here.

Uh... besides not dealing with the actual thread topic, what you´re suggesting is pretty absurd. You´re saying that because of Google´s YouTube ´market dominance´, they are forced to use MPEG-LA´s codec? Why? That´s just transferring Google´s market dominance to MPEG-LA (which could just as well itself be argued to have market dominance in codec licencing).
And then you´re further suggesting that ´market dominant´ entities can´t introduce new technologies/standards (whether they happen to be BSD open or not) until such new standards become widely popular? I really wonder how that will happen if these ´market dominant´ entities are as dominant as you suggest.

In any case, if it needs to be pointed out, the thread topic has nothing to do with Google´s market dominance of internet video. It´s about what codecs their WebKit-based browser ships with - hint: Chrome doesn´t have anything approaching market dominance, and I highly doubt that even YouTube´s usage statistics would show a higher (much less signifigantly higher) usage of Chrome vs. other browsers, which would be the minimum to start establishing a connection there (not to mention that Chrome uses essentially the same WebKit renderer that EVERYBODY ELSE is using now, so there is no leverage for Google here).

This is simply about the open ended question of HTML´s video tag and what codecs it will use. Google is pushing a new very open codec (as well as supporting Theora), in competition to the ´market dominant´ licencing-fee encumbered codec pushed by MPEG-LA.

And no, you don´t have to believe Google is ´good´.

Edited 2011-01-11 23:46 UTC

Reply Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Google is using its monopoly position* in online video market to shove an inferior codec down the public's throat, and are screwing over members of the H.264 patent pool that would otherwise receive patent royalties.

I don't agree with the "inferior codec" part of your comment. Atleast I haven't noticed any difference between properly encoded H.264 and WebM content. Sure, incompetent encoding in either codec will result in skewed results and will favor one codec or the other and that's how most of the "comparisons" I've seen on the net goes: H.264 supporters use all the best options for their encoder and just chooses defaults for WebM and claims their codec superior and vice versa.

As for the monopoly position.. Well, I simply don't know enough to say much about it, but it might not apply; Google is after all only changing their own products and not forcing anyone else to do anything other than what they've been doing so far already. I could well be wrong too, though.

Reply Score: 3

JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"Those companies that will be denied patent royalties as a result of Google's actions are in a position to file suit in the EU."

That kinda makes it sound like these companies in the h264 patent pool have a god given right to force the world to pay them patent royalties.

Sorry, Google has no obligation whatsoever to support h264, nor do content providers, nor do users. h264, while it might arguably have greater technical merits at the moment, is a codec that has, in fact, been forced on users and content providers by Apple and Microsoft and MPEG-LA.

Now, if h264 is offered as a choice, and it competes on technical merits, then I would have no problem using it, and I would happily pay for it, if it's technical merits did indeed make it worth the price.

But an "open" web should always default to open codecs/standards, and not patent encumbered ones.

Let those companies in the MPEG-LA patent pool earn their patent royalties.

Reply Score: 9

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"having dominant position in a market such that one can manipulate market outcomes"

With that definition there are an awful lot of monopolies in the world. Does it mean that dominant companies can never make any decisions since they would obviously influence the market no matter what their decision is?
I don't think this is a monopoly situation anyway since Google have no responsibility to include h264 or even continue supporting it.
It's their product, it's their choice.

Clearly, Google has such power in the market for online videos


We haven't actually seen that yet and some people here are doubting that they do.

Google making that choice for everyone whether they like it or not, is another.


Google isn't making that choice for everyone, just for users of their product. You know, just like how every company make decisions for their users every day. People are free to use a different browser if they want/need h.264 support.

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Hello Molly!

Google is using its monopoly position* in online video market to shove an inferior codec down the public's throat...

Nope. What they're doing is using a codec that they want to use in their own activities. They weren't confident in using a format controlled by an organisation that wanted to throw its patents around, and it could never rely on a flimsy royalty free promise that could be revoked in a few years once YouTube was over a barrel.

...and are screwing over members of the H.264 patent pool that would otherwise receive patent royalties.

Is that supposed to be some kind of joke? I'm afraid the h.264 layabouts are not entitled to anything. If people don't want to pay royalties for another format then they don't have to. It's called competition.

Note: I don't care about H.264 or any other particular codec. I'm just pointing out the abuse of monopoly power going on here.

I appreciate the irony here from a consistent Microsoft apologist. Alas, this is nowhere near being the same thing. The format is open, can be used by anyone, can be improved by anyone and doesn't have any other restrictions attached. The only reason h.264 was being advocated was to create a closed club. That's now not going to happen.

I'm loving the upset usual suspects on here.

Reply Score: 5

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Wow. This is the most grossly myopic viewpoint I have heard in the past two months.

Even if the MPEG-LA weren't scum, Google has every right to not pay to license h.264. If it bothers you so much use another browser. You have the choice of IE or Safari; Firefox, Opera and now Chrome do not support h.264. The developers of the latter 3 browsers rightly decided that they didn't want to be held to ransom.

Either way what is the big deal? Google makes no money on WebM and since it is open all the other browsers .are free to pick it up at no charge and no liability. The license is BSD even so GPL haters have no excuses.

Also H.264 software patents are not valid in the EU .

Reply Score: 5

Halo Member since:
2009-02-10

Aren't you jumping the gun more than a little? I mean, this is about web browsers, and Google definitely do not have a monopoly in web browsers.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Google is using its monopoly position* in online video market to shove an inferior codec down the public's throat, and are screwing over members of the H.264 patent pool that would otherwise receive patent royalties.


HTML5 is a W3C standard. W3C patent policy for the web states that technologies used within W3C standards must be royalty free.

Read about it here:
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy
The W3C Patent Policy governs the handling of patents in the process of producing Web standards. The goal of this policy is to assure that Recommendations produced under this policy can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis.


Therefore, members of the H.264 patent pool (or any other patent pool for that matter) will not receive patent royalties for any technologies included in a W3C standard. If there are parties expecting to receive royalties for their technology, then their technology simply cannot be used within a W3C web standard, such as HTML5.

Understand?

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Agree, Molly. This will have antitrust implications.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Agree, Molly. This will have antitrust implications.


Please explain, given:

Google is not a monopoly in the browser market
Google is not a monopoly in the website publishing market
Google is not a monopoly in the OS market
Google is not a monopoly in the codec market
Google is not a monopoly in the software video player market
Google may be deemed to hold a monopoly position in the internet search market, but that market has absolutely nothing to do with web video codecs

Google is offering an irrevocable, perpetual, no-chrage, royalty free license for WebM (in any context) to everyone. Everyone.

WebM is compliant with the W3C patent policy requirements for technologies use within web standards. HTML5 is a W3C web standard.

Edited 2011-01-13 03:45 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Predictable
by mrhasbean on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:17 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

It's funny that some people are so impressed by Google's fancy footwork that they can't see what's coming. Its like someone standing in the middle of the road marvelling at the shiny fireworks totally oblivious to the bus that's hurtling towards them.

And ironic that the same company that fervently supports, and even markets around their support for a totally closed and completely non-standard technology such as Flash on one "open" platform then raises their sword to proclaim that they are a champion of only things that are open on another, even though that "open" technology isn't a standard.

Yep, predictable all 'round, as is what will come next...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Predictable
by intangible on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:22 UTC in reply to "Predictable"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm a little slow... what's the predictable outcome of a company offering a perpetually free "very good (aka good enough)" web codec to the world and dropping built-in support for an incumbent patent troll group specified one?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Predictable
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:42 UTC in reply to "Predictable"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Oh, you mean they're just like Apple?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Predictable
by Vanders on Wed 12th Jan 2011 10:59 UTC in reply to "Predictable"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

...support for a totally closed and completely non-standard technology such as Flash...


http://www.adobe.com/devnet/swf.html

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Predictable
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Predictable"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"...support for a totally closed and completely non-standard technology such as Flash...


http://www.adobe.com/devnet/swf.html
"

Yes, something conveniently forgotten by many.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Predictable
by TheGZeus on Thu 13th Jan 2011 06:23 UTC in reply to "Predictable"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Wait, what? o_O
Was there any logic here?
"Broken moving not now stupid motor on flaming. I declaration emergency."

Edited 2011-01-13 06:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

"Apple and Microsoft have been warned"?
by MollyC on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:24 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Warned about what, exactly?
Microsoft doesn't care, they'll follow the market. That's why they adopted H.264 to begin with. In the past, they would've prefered everyone uce VC1, but saw that H.264 gained widesperead industry adoption, so they adopted it (added it to Silverlight and bundled it with Windows 7 (along with VC1 (and the previous versions of WMV) and MPEG2 and DivX). If Google makes YouTube use WebM (to the exclusion of all other codecs), then Microsoft will support it.

Apple is more wedded to H.264 than Microsoft is to any particular codec (anymore), and Jobs is more stubborn, but if youTube uses WebM, then Jobs will grudgingly go along too.

Edited 2011-01-11 23:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft doesn't care, they'll follow the market.

Microsoft don't follow the market. Never have done. They do care. h.264 was supposed to be the new video standard for the web that would create a closed club of companies in bed with the MPEG LA. If you're not a part of the club then you're locked out. That's the modus operandi.

That's why we get these silly little 'standards bodies' springing up. They like to give the appearance of creating something open that everyone can implement but the companies involved want to make sure that it's ring-fenced with royalties and other strings attached.

...but saw that H.264 gained widesperead industry adoption

Did it?

Reply Score: 4

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17



"...but saw that H.264 gained widesperead industry adoption

Did it?
"

Are you serious? H.264 is used everywhere from bluray players, to broadcast to HD cameras. Those industries are NOT going to move to WebM anytime soon if at all. The fact that H.264 could also be used for web content delivery was one of the reasons its adoption rate was so high for web delivery.

I would also like to point out that the fancy video that you watch on Hulu, Youtube, Vimeo, etc, while they use a flash container is usually encoded in h.264. So yes h.264 has gained widespread industry adoption.

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Are you serious? H.264 is used everywhere from bluray players, to broadcast to HD cameras. Those industries are NOT going to move to WebM anytime soon if at all.

Closed environments where video is not shared is neither here nor there. They could be using AVI and Xvid and people wouldn't give a toss. Closed worlds don't dictate what most people end up using.

As for cameras.....most video ends up on YouTube at some point. Do the maths....... h.264 will gradually be edged out to the point where only those who have to use it because of existing agreements will.

The fact that H.264 could also be used for web content delivery was one of the reasons its adoption rate was so high for web delivery.

It had well recorded problems as a widespread delivery format for the web to the point where only a handful of paid-for video sites use it.

I would also like to point out that the fancy video that you watch on Hulu, Youtube, Vimeo is usually encoded in h.264...

Few are, apart from many of the high definition ones. Vimeo and Hulu had better get set for royalty fee payments that the MPEG LA will eventually demand as they squeeze for cash, not that they matter anyway. In turn, everyone will just be forced to use the format with the path of least resistance.

You're also confusing the container and the codec. The fact that Flash can support h.264 doesn't really matter. Flash can also now support WebM and VP8, but it will only have widespread usage when Flash is dispensed with and end devices and browsers start using WebM natively. Formats can be added and dropped from Flash as they see fit, and that includes h.264. It's likely that h.264 will only end up being used as an inconvenient input for conversion to WebM and VP8.

Reply Score: 3

MPEG-LA licensing
by malxau on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:34 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

IIRC, MPEG-LA gave a royalty free license for non-commercial internet distributed video. There are still piles of other issues in their license, mostly now revolving around encoding, and particularly commercial encoding. Eugenia covered this last year ( http://www.osnews.com/story/23236/Why_Our_Civilization_s_Video_Art_... ). And personally, I'm not reassured by assurances from MPEG-LA that contravene the text of their own licenses - the license is very clear about personal and non-commercial use, and this provision has found itself in all manner of commercial software and hardware.

Still, it's a bold move by google. Presumably they believe that youtube has enough share to pick the winner in the codec wars, because chrome really doesn't. I wonder if/when youtube will stop dual encoding as h264 + WebM?

Reply Score: 6

RE: MPEG-LA licensing
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 09:48 UTC in reply to "MPEG-LA licensing"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Presumably they believe that youtube has enough share to pick the winner in the codec wars, because chrome really doesn't.


But Chrome+Firefox+Opera really does have enough market share.

See this:
http://www.osnews.com/story/24215/Firefox_Overtakes_Internet_Explor...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MPEG-LA licensing
by malxau on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: MPEG-LA licensing"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

But Chrome+Firefox+Opera really does have enough market share.


Enough market share to pick a winner? Overall, IE still has more share than those three combined, and Safari/iToy is still in the h264 camp. Picking a winner really needs substantial dominance - in theory, a market with a perfect 50/50 split would prevent a winner from emerging.

Youtube may be able to do this. After all, if Chrome/Opera/FireFox can't play all video on the web but can play the 90% (or whatever) that comes from Youtube, perhaps that's "good enough" for a lot of users.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: MPEG-LA licensing
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MPEG-LA licensing"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Overall, IE still has more share than those three combined


Not in Europe, the biggest market. Here, Firefox is bigger than IE.

http://www.osnews.com/story/24215/Firefox_Overtakes_Internet_Explor...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: MPEG-LA licensing
by malxau on Thu 13th Jan 2011 04:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: MPEG-LA licensing"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

Not in Europe, the biggest market. Here, Firefox is bigger than IE.


Right, but unless we're going to have a web where Europe is WebM and North America is H.264, it's the global, overall stats that are more interesting.

Smitty's point is well taken though, that an IE user is not necessarily going to translate to H.264 video support, since most are running old versions and are up for grabs in the next round of upgrades.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: MPEG-LA licensing
by lemur2 on Thu 13th Jan 2011 05:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: MPEG-LA licensing"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Not in Europe, the biggest market. Here, Firefox is bigger than IE.


Right, but unless we're going to have a web where Europe is WebM and North America is H.264, it's the global, overall stats that are more interesting.

Smitty's point is well taken though, that an IE user is not necessarily going to translate to H.264 video support, since most are running old versions and are up for grabs in the next round of upgrades.
"

If they are a user of old versions of IE, then they cannot render HTML5 or play any videos (regardless of the codec used) without a plugin.

If they are XP users, then they won't be able to install IE9, and so their best approach to HTML5 is to install Firefox or Chrome.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MPEG-LA licensing
by smitty on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MPEG-LA licensing"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Overall, IE still has more share than those three combined, and Safari/iToy is still in the h264 camp.


It's important to remember that much of IE's userbase is still on the old IE6/IE7 browsers, and aren't going to be updating to IE9 anytime soon. They'll still be stuck on Flash no matter what, which will support h.264 and VP8 equally well.

FF + Chrome + Opera = 34%
IE6 + IE7 = 23%
IE8 = 33%
Safari = 5%

So, assuming that all the IE8 users upgrade immediately (which won't happen) what we have is this:

1/4 browsers will just use Flash for everything, and the codec doesn't matter.

1/3 will have support for WebM, and a Flash fallback for h.264.

1/3 will have support for h.264, with an option to install a codec to also get WebM (if Youtube asks people to install a plugin, you can bet that most of those machines will also natively support WebM)

And a tiny group of Apple users will be the only ones stuck with h.264 only support.

Looking at that, if Youtube does push WebM, and nothing else changes, then I'd say it has a great shot at forcing Apple to stop being the last holdout and WebM really taking off. Lots of sites like Hulu are going to keep using Flash anyway, for the DRM support, and i can see them sticking with h.264. But WebM's future is looking pretty bright right now.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: MPEG-LA licensing
by lemur2 on Thu 13th Jan 2011 03:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: MPEG-LA licensing"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's important to remember that much of IE's userbase is still on the old IE6/IE7 browsers, and aren't going to be updating to IE9 anytime soon. They'll still be stuck on Flash no matter what, which will support h.264 and VP8 equally well.

FF + Chrome + Opera = 34%
IE6 + IE7 = 23%
IE8 = 33%
Safari = 5%

So, assuming that all the IE8 users upgrade immediately (which won't happen) what we have is this:

1/4 browsers will just use Flash for everything, and the codec doesn't matter.

1/3 will have support for WebM, and a Flash fallback for h.264.

1/3 will have support for h.264, with an option to install a codec to also get WebM (if Youtube asks people to install a plugin, you can bet that most of those machines will also natively support WebM)

And a tiny group of Apple users will be the only ones stuck with h.264 only support.

Looking at that, if Youtube does push WebM, and nothing else changes, then I'd say it has a great shot at forcing Apple to stop being the last holdout and WebM really taking off. Lots of sites like Hulu are going to keep using Flash anyway, for the DRM support, and i can see them sticking with h.264. But WebM's future is looking pretty bright right now.


Your point is basically correct, but your numbers are off.

FF + Chrome + Opera = 50% of browsers which will have support for WebM only.
IE (all versions) = 38%
Safari = 4.6% (about the same as Opera).

http://gs.statcounter.com/press/firefox-overtakes-internet-explorer...

IE9 users and Safari users can install a codec in the OS multimedia system.

Even IE6,IE7 and IE8 users can install a plugin ... Gggole Chrome Frame will suffice.

WebM video for everybody! Enjoy!

Reply Score: 3

RE: MPEG-LA licensing
by ricegf on Wed 12th Jan 2011 12:21 UTC in reply to "MPEG-LA licensing"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Um, Firefox is also primarily funded by Google, and its market share rivals IE's. That's a lot of browser clout.

http://techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/mozilla-extends-lucrative-deal-wit...

Reply Score: 2

RE: MPEG-LA licensing
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 16:57 UTC in reply to "MPEG-LA licensing"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

IIRC, MPEG-LA gave a royalty free license for non-commercial internet distributed video.

The kicker is how they define non-commercial, and the agreement can be revoked at some later date. It's not permanent.

Edited 2011-01-12 16:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: MPEG-LA licensing
by lucas_maximus on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:21 UTC in reply to "MPEG-LA licensing"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Presumably they believe that youtube has enough share to pick the winner in the codec wars, because chrome really doesn't.


Youtube has the second biggest volume on searches after Google itself.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:48 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

I find it fascinating how some people - Apple people mostly, like Gruber - can actually be against the promotion of open standards. It seems like these people will only promote open standards when Apple does; i.e., if Apple were to announce to fully support WebM and drop H264 tomorrow, these very same people would suddenly herald it as the best thing to happen to the web. It's to blatantly and obviously hypocritical it makes my brain hurt.

Then there's the "but they also support Flash"-crowd. Sure, and that sucks. However, in what world is Google dropping H264 bad just because they also support Flash (for now, at least)? Again, it would seem ulterior motives are dictating these people's opinions.

Not for me. Google moving to WebM is good, irrespective of their support for Flash. I also don't care WHO moves to WebM - I'll be just as enthusiastic when Apple or Microsoft move to WebM as I am now.

I'm incredibly sick and tired of all these people opposing an open standard just because Apple does. Get your head out of Jobs' ass, for unicorn's sake.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Kroc on Tue 11th Jan 2011 23:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

It’s like talking with RIAA supporters. They sing the message they’ve been given to sing. Piracy kills art, artists are starving. In the H.264 world, the commercial licence is immaterial and never to be mentioned or discussed and H.264 is superior quality, period. "Google is a monopoly" seems to be the latest spin. How can Google be in a video monopoly when all of YouTube is primarily in H.264 at the moment? Them switching to WebM is not attacking the 'poor, defenceless' MPEG-LA, it’s Google _escaping_ that monopoly.

I can’t believe this tweet that was directed at me:

"so you don't find it odd that Google is dropping an industry supported format and choosing only their own+flash?"

My reply:

"If by "industry supported" you mean "patent troll" and by "their own" you mean "royalty free / open", then yes."

The fact people would defend the MPEG-LA is just stunning. Plain stunning.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Sauron on Wed 12th Jan 2011 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

There is an idiot in every corner! I wonder if they would still be singing praises if they got hit for royalties from their precious MPEG-LA?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by woegjiub on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

I very much like that google and firefox support flash content.

Flash animations and flash games are great fun, and only have a tiny filesize due to being vector-based.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 01:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it fascinating how some people - Apple people mostly, like Gruber - can actually be against the promotion of open standards. It seems like these people will only promote open standards when Apple does; i.e., if Apple were to announce to fully support WebM and drop H264 tomorrow, these very same people would suddenly herald it as the best thing to happen to the web.

Welcome to the weird world of Apple supporters.

Not for me. Google moving to WebM is good, irrespective of their support for Flash.

It's at least restored some of my faith in web standards. Flash is but a necessary evil because we didn't have anything reliable that could do video over the web before. That doesn't mean that Google really want to use it for video, but Flash is used for more than just video.

Edited 2011-01-12 01:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

It is really frustrating reading some of the responses in this thread and all over the internet to this news...

Do people not realize that Google has to pay to incorporate h.264 into Chrome? This is a product that they give away for free. Why do you think they bought On2 in the first place? How anyone can be remotely surprised by this is beyond me - this was obviously the plan since day one when they announced webm.

This has absolutely nothing to do with open source, morality, doing the right thing, vindictiveness, conquering the internet, propping up Adobe, or any of the other stupid conspiracy theories people using to explain this... Its about money (promoting an actual open standard is simply a nice bonus for the rest of us). Google is simply protecting itself from the inevitable - which is being bent over and screwed by MPEG-LA.

MPEG-LA has the entire technology world by the balls, and everyone wants to pretend it aint so. The royalty free licensing that they have promised to offer in perpetuity (assuming they keep that promise) doesn't do anything for the Googles of the world - they still have to pay to implement support in their products. And pay, and pay, and pay...

Here is the real, unadulterated truth about the whole situation: MPEG-LA has a licensing model which generates revenue by having companies carry the burden for their end users. It is the users that benefit from the product, not the companies who use the technology.

There is nothing unusual about with this, many commercial products are licensed in similar ways. However, if you are a company that gives away your product - how the hell are you supposed to justify paying for such a license when there is a perfectly good alternative that doesn't cost you money? Math is an awfully powerful motivator when it comes to financial reality...

I say this to all the people whining about Google "screwing the internet", how about you pay for the use of h.264? It is you that benefits from it anyway, not Google... Go negotiate your own license which allows you to encode all your videos in h.264 so that you can get your oh so precious 20% better quality or whatever, instead of screaming about it. Google is simply not interested in carrying your financial burden anymore - stop freeloading and pay up people.

Any takers?

Edited 2011-01-12 00:37 UTC

Reply Score: 13

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Some people call this behaviour of yours "Stockholm-Syndrom". But apart from that, Google doesn't spread presents! You pay with your very data and they get whatever they want from the Open Source community.

Webkit == Apples fork of KHTML (KDE/Konqueror)

The community made it possible to use Chrome on Linux or even 64bit. The first Chrome wasn't 64bit clean, also a community effort.

So please stop this "be quiet, they give us presents"-nonsense, it's just nonsense.

Reply Score: 1

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Damn! I was sure that my carefully constructed argument was foolproof, but you managed to rip it to shreds with your "Google Isn't Santa Claus" response. I guess that'll teach me...

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Some people call this behaviour of yours "Stockholm-Syndrom". But apart from that, Google doesn't spread presents! You pay with your very data and they get whatever they want from the Open Source community.

Wow. I wasn't aware that we'd been kidknapped by Google.

So please stop this "be quiet, they give us presents"-nonsense, it's just nonsense.

Nobody is saying that I'm afraid. People are happy that Google has done at least one thing right that will benefit the web and help software and hardware developers.

Reply Score: 3

Yay
by Beta on Wed 12th Jan 2011 00:29 UTC
Beta
Member since:
2005-07-06

Good.

Sorry, I’m British. I’m bloody excited, it just doesn’t show.

Reply Score: 10

v I am against this decision
by ronaldst on Wed 12th Jan 2011 03:01 UTC
RE: I am against this decision
by brynet on Wed 12th Jan 2011 03:35 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
brynet Member since:
2010-03-02

Internet pollution? seriously?

Reply Score: 3

RE: I am against this decision
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 04:02 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

WebM is just another codec that competes (late to the party) and offers ZERO advantage other than royalty fees à la HDMI vs DisplayPort.


But royalty fees matter. HDMI costs manufacturers $10,000 per year plus 4 cents per device sold, while DisplayPort is royalty free. In the case of HDMI, who pays that licensing cost? You Do. It is built into the price of the devices and cables you buy. Assuming a manufacturer sells at least 10,000 devices a year, you as a consumer pay a one time fee of 5 cents for the privilege of using HDMI on each device you buy. The reality is that doesn't amount to much at all and no one minds all that much. DisplayPort being royalty free doesn't offer all that much of an advantage considering how small the pricetag of HDMI is. And recouping the licensing fees is very easy. After all, no one gives away hardware...

h.264 is licensed in a very similar manner, but it is not a hardware specification - it is used in software. It is also not exclusively licensed per device, there are multiple licensing scenarios, some of them per transmission.

Many people, for one reason or another, don't charge for software. They prefer to either give it away for altruistic reason, or in the case of Google because it helps them support their other avenues of revenue generation. If you give away your software, how the hell are you supposed to recoup the licensing fees? Granted Google can afford it if that wanted to - but why should they pay when they don't have to? And lots of developers would like to incorporate support for encoding and distributing video for the web, and simply can't afford it.

The point is this type of licensing is generally paid for by the end user in the hardware world. For software? That doesn't always work out too well. MPEG-LA could have easily created a licensing model that took into account the impossible burden that is created by this for the open source world and free software world - but they didn't.

Blame them if you don't like it. Make a youtube video - if you do a really good job a million people might see it and agree with you (there seem to be enough idiots on the internet that agree with you). Then go to the MPEG-LA site and read this:

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary....

Figure out what it would cost you to write and distribute the software that would let all those people watch your video. Good luck making any f*cking sense of their document, but I'll give you a hint: its $180,000 dollars...

It costs Google a minimum of 6.5 million a year to use h.264 in their products, it is probably some multiple of that because they probably have to pay it multiple times because I suspect Google is made up of hundreds of "Legal Entities" (although I'm not sure on this point, IMNAL). That adds up, especially when most of the products you are using it in have no mechanism in them to recoup the recurring costs. Sure, they are big enough - they could easily absorb it. But why should they when in every other industry this cost is paid by you.

Edited 2011-01-12 04:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I am against this decision
by Neolander on Wed 12th Jan 2011 06:53 UTC in reply to "RE: I am against this decision"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Seriously ? They charge manufacturers thousands of dollars for a *wire* ? A piece of copper stuck in a plastic cylinder with a socket at both ends ?

Wow... I mean... Just wow. At least H.264 can pretend it was innovative in the beginning. HDMI is not, nor it has ever been.

Reply Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Yeah. And I'm using it as a positive example compared to h.264 from a licensing point of view. Makes me feel dirty all over...

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Seriously ? They charge manufacturers thousands of dollars for a *wire* ? A piece of copper stuck in a plastic cylinder with a socket at both ends ?

Yep. The trick is to create something that looks open but you light bonfires around it so that while you can see it, you can't touch it. They do that by creating these things in committees that look like open consortiums but are just anto-competitive clubs that don't let any newcomers in.

Even with royalty-free material, a consortium can withhold information from a company they see as a threat, and they can do it when that company is heaviliy invested in what they've implemented, or change the rules midstream.

The strategy for h.264 was to create an apparently open, but closed, club for video. YouTube was obviously going to be an easy target once the MPEG LA wanted to raise more money.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I am against this decision
by WereCatf on Wed 12th Jan 2011 06:41 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Google is large enough to deal with MPEG-LA to get a massive discount.

Sure, Google probably is, but not everyone else is. And for those who aren't it's quite important for a free codec to become mainstream.

stop polluting the web already.

Hmm, if you think about web pollution which one is the worse: the sheer amount of useless, stupid and even downright f*cking screwed content there, or the amount of codecs useable?

Reply Score: 3

RE: I am against this decision
by Vanders on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:09 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

The web doesn't need more codecs. Stick with the mainstream stuff and stop polluting the web already.


I completely agree. Microsoft and Apple need to accept that the majority of web browsers support WebM out of the box, Adobe Flash player supports WebM and that major video websites such as YouTube will soon drop support for H.264. They really do need to stop polluting the web with their insistence that their users should use H.264.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I am against this decision
by Beta on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:15 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

WebM is just another codec that competes and offers ZERO advantage other than royalty fees

You, Sir, are a moron.
Re‐read what you wrote above… have you caught up yet?
You name an advantage after saying it has none.
Well done.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I am against this decision
by sorpigal on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:46 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

offers ZERO advantage other than royalty fees

This is one FREAKING HUGE ADVANTAGE, so much so that it outweighs almost any other consideration.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I am against this decision
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:18 UTC in reply to "I am against this decision"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

offers ZERO advantage other than royalty fees à la HDMI vs DisplayPort.

It's a lot more than no royalty fees. You can download information for WebM and VP8 and use it continually as you like. The MPEG LA can turn around at a later date and say "Actually, we don't like you and we're revoking your h.264 license" - whether that license is paid for or royalty free.

And enough with the patent card. This lame excuse as been played over and over and is still bull.

Patents is all the MPEG LA has to get its way.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 12th Jan 2011 03:26 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

But the question is, did Google need to include it anyway? Microsoft is providing h264 support with Windows 7 and it is also available in Mac OS X - if worse comes to worse then Google could easily just tap into what the system provides rather than bundling a copy themselves. As much as the Flash bashing bandwagon gains steam the enhancements in 10.2 should address the craptacular issues relating to video playback once it is released.

Edited 2011-01-12 03:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Flash is not h.264
by Praxis on Wed 12th Jan 2011 03:44 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

I think a lot of people are setting up a false equivalency between flash and h.264. Flash is a container, and however much we loath the container people have put a lot of interesting stuff in it. It will take a long time before developers adapt to the chosen successor for flash(for many things), html5. Until then, flash needs to be kept around for legacy at the very least. H.264 is just a codec,so you just need to re-encode, which can be a lot of effort for say a site as big youtube but I have feeling they will go along with it. So now is the time to take a stand on free and open codecs before things get too entrenched while flash is already very entrenched and an alternative already exists that people seem to be moving steadily towards.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Flash is not h.264
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:24 UTC in reply to "Flash is not h.264"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. People are confusing the codec and the container by saying that Flash supports h.264, perhaps deliberately in order to make h.264 usage look greater than it is. Adobe wades through the h.264 nonsense so software and hardware developers don't have to.

Until devices and browsers start supporting a container that supports a codec natively built-in we don't yet have a standard format. WebM and VP8 are looking like tha paths of least resistance for everyone who doesn't want to make an appointment with a lawyer who will ask for a lung.

Reply Score: 3

Misconception
by RichterKuato on Wed 12th Jan 2011 06:06 UTC
RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

The article says Flash Player will support WebM. Adobe only said it will support VP8.(WebM is the container VP8 is the codec)

As great as it would be Flash will likely still only support it's FLV, F4V etc. containers and ergo concordantly vis-a-vis will not bring WebM support to other browsers. Just like it currently doesn't bring MP4 support to Firefox and Opera.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Misconception
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 06:23 UTC in reply to "Misconception"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

As great as it would be Flash will likely still only support it's FLV, F4V etc. containers and ergo concordantly vis-a-vis will not bring WebM support to other browsers. Just like it currently doesn't bring MP4 support to Firefox and Opera.



What the hell are you talking about? Flash has supported mp4 containers since version 9... It most certainly does bring mp4 support to firefox and opera.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Misconception
by RichterKuato on Wed 12th Jan 2011 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Misconception"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

Oh, I didn't know that.

Still, it doesn't change the fact that they announced VP8 support and not WebM support. And they never announced support for the OGG audio codec which WebM uses.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Misconception
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Misconception"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Oh, I didn't know that.

Still, it doesn't change the fact that they announced VP8 support and not WebM support. And they never announced support for the OGG audio codec which WebM uses.


Fair enough... Sorry if I came across as rude, I assumed you were being intentionally dishonest like most of the other posts Ive been replying to - shame on me.

And your right. They haven't clarified the bit about container or Ogg support at all - which has a whole lot of people a bit nervous over the whole deal. VP8 in an FLV container is not going to do anyone any good if that is the direction they go with it...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Misconception
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:25 UTC in reply to "Misconception"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The article says Flash Player will support WebM. Adobe only said it will support VP8.(WebM is the container VP8 is the codec)

Flash is the container.

Reply Score: 2

Here's a good one from the reddit folks
by ronaldst on Wed 12th Jan 2011 07:39 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29
Hardware accelerated support today?
by elmimmo on Wed 12th Jan 2011 09:16 UTC
elmimmo
Member since:
2005-09-17

Could Thom please expand on the statement "openly supported by every major chip maker"?

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

http://www.webmproject.org/about/supporters/ and scroll down to hardware.

EDIT: For those lazy to look: AMD, Anyka, ARM, Broadcom, Chinachip, Chips & Media, C2 microsystems, DSP group, Freescale semiconductor, Generalplus, Hisilicon, Imagination, infoTM, Leadcore, Logitech, Marvell, MIPS Technologies, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Rockchip, Raycomm, Seuic, Socle, Texas Instruments, VeriSilicon, Videantis and ViewCast. My bolds on the biggest and most meaningful companies.

Edited 2011-01-12 09:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

elmimmo Member since:
2005-09-17

Does some part for which Apple is responsible of the A4 CPU handle hardware decoding of H264 or is it some other chip they themselves do not design?

I try to understand if Apple not being on that list is because they actually do not have a say in hardware decoding of specific codecs (i.e. they just use what is available), or if while they now develop hardware decoding silicon they decided not to do so with WebM support (yet?).

Reply Score: 1

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Does some part for which Apple is responsible of the A4 CPU handle hardware decoding of H264 or is it some other chip they themselves do not design?


‘Apple’s’ A4 CPU is 98% someone elses, they’ve just adjusted it slightly and done some re‐taping. There were some x‐ray photos of it being thrown around when their 4th phone came out.

Reply Score: 3

Hopefully a good move
by REM2000 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 10:31 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

First i love H264, as others have said it's on my video camera. I use a mac and have a lot of media which i have converted and as we all know Apple loves the H264 codec aswell. It's fast, good quality and the file sizes are great.

That being said i love MP3 and i remember in the late 90's the MPEG consortium / owner saying that the same stuff then about MP3's. Don't worry we are only interested in the big companies. Fast forward and we see them trying to squeeze every last penny from companies and people from around the world for an MP3 licence.

Now i think it's all very well the consortium playing the 'we don't mind card' however im 99% sure if we skip forward 4 - 5 years and the majority of the internet, apps and hardware is using H264, i think we are gonna see heavy licensing taxation.

So i say good for google, like others have said it's gonna sting for a while. Yes there are faster H264 encoders, H264 is out etc.. but we all must bear through the pain as in a couple of years fingers crossed WebM will be optimised and will be available everywhere just as H264 is now. The only thing i worry / know is that my platform of choice (Apple) is not going to move off H264 anytime soon which is a shame and something ill have to deal with when the time comes.

Reply Score: 4

Futility
by steve_s on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:24 UTC
steve_s
Member since:
2006-01-16

Five years back Microsoft's VC-1 video codec was often spoken about in a manner similar to how one hears WebM being spoken about today - open, royalty free, unencumbered etc. It gained fairly wide adoption and is an official codec in the BluRay standard.

Turns out that 14 other companies found elements of VC-1 that infringed on their patents. Those companies only bothered to assert their patents when it became worthwhile for them to do so, after products using VC-1 became mass-market. If you want to build products that playback VC-1 you need to license the patent pool from the MPEG-LA.

There's hundreds of patents covering h.264, and many of the techniques adopted by VP8 are highly similar to those used in both h.264 and VC-1. It would be churlish to believe that VP8 was truly unencumbered.

At this time it's not worth any relevant patent-holders pursuing cases relating to VP8 patent infringements. Legal action costs a lot of money - to go through the courts to enforce a patent can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The potential returns right now aren't worth it.

So sure, the bully boys at the MPEG-LA haven't shown their hand yet and produced patents that VP8 infringes upon. Why on earth would they? It's not in their interest to do so until VP8 is a well established standard.

As I see it, the main effect of this move is to bring forward the time when the MPEG-LA will act against WebM. I still wouldn't expect to see them move until the latter half of this year at the earliest.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Futility
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:25 UTC in reply to "Futility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So sure, the bully boys at the MPEG-LA haven't shown their hand yet and produced patents that VP8 infringes upon. Why on earth would they? It's not in their interest to do so until VP8 is a well established standard.


As has been explained numerous times - H264 probably infringes on just as many On2 patents.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Futility
by WereCatf on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:31 UTC in reply to "Futility"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

But you are assuming H.264 doesn't infringe on Google's patents and that's very, very unlikely: VP2 was developed way before H.264 and thus there most likely exists a whole bunch of patents that H.264 in one way or another uses. If MPEG-LA went on ahead some day in the future and sued Google for VP8 they'd also be in danger of not only invalidating their own patents but also rendering their own codec unusable. It'd be sort of a mutually assured destruction - scenario, except the MPEG-LA depends on their codecs for income whereas Google doesn't.

In short, if MPEG-LA went to court against Google they'd stand a lot more to lose from it than Google.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Futility
by steve_s on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Futility"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

But you are assuming H.264 doesn't infringe on Google's patents and that's very, very unlikely: VP2 was developed way before H.264 and thus there most likely exists a whole bunch of patents that H.264 in one way or another uses. If MPEG-LA went on ahead some day in the future and sued Google for VP8 they'd also be in danger of not only invalidating their own patents but also rendering their own codec unusable. It'd be sort of a mutually assured destruction - scenario, except the MPEG-LA depends on their codecs for income whereas Google doesn't.


I make no such assumptions.

Like VP8, H.264 has a lineage too dating back well before its publication, going back significantly further than VP2. The list of patents covered in the AVC/H.264 patent pool can be found here:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/avc-att1.pdf

That's a 70 page document listing patents with an average of over 20 patents per page from many different companies. Some are noted to have expired, but that's still a hell of a lot of patents. There's a similar 29 page document of patents in the VC-1 pool.

I can't find a list of Google/On2 patents, let alone those that VP8 makes use of, but I strongly doubt they're quite as numerous.

Given the numbers involved it seems highly like to me that VP8 infringes on patents in the H.264 pool, and also fairly likely the reverse is true.

In short, if MPEG-LA went to court against Google they'd stand a lot more to lose from it than Google.


I'm not convinced about that. I don't buy the doomsday scenario for H.264 of the codec gets rendered unusable as having a high probability. I also don't buy the reverse doomsday scenario either for VP8.

One could argue that if they don't form a VP8 patent pool and pursue Google for infringement then they're not doing their jobs. Their entire purpose is to license out the patents.

Please don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to stand up for the MPEG-LA here. I'd love to see them die.

What I'd really like to see is the best technology to win - and to hell with all this patent nonsense.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Futility
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:43 UTC in reply to "Futility"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Five years back Microsoft's VC-1 video codec was often spoken about in a manner similar to how one hears WebM being spoken about today - open, royalty free, unencumbered etc. It gained fairly wide adoption and is an official codec in the BluRay standard.

Turns out that 14 other companies found elements of VC-1 that infringed on their patents. Those companies only bothered to assert their patents when it became worthwhile for them to do so, after products using VC-1 became mass-market. If you want to build products that playback VC-1 you need to license the patent pool from the MPEG-LA.

There's hundreds of patents covering h.264, and many of the techniques adopted by VP8 are highly similar to those used in both h.264 and VC-1. It would be churlish to believe that VP8 was truly unencumbered.

At this time it's not worth any relevant patent-holders pursuing cases relating to VP8 patent infringements. Legal action costs a lot of money - to go through the courts to enforce a patent can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The potential returns right now aren't worth it.

So sure, the bully boys at the MPEG-LA haven't shown their hand yet and produced patents that VP8 infringes upon. Why on earth would they? It's not in their interest to do so until VP8 is a well established standard.

As I see it, the main effect of this move is to bring forward the time when the MPEG-LA will act against WebM. I still wouldn't expect to see them move until the latter half of this year at the earliest.


For many years On2 produced video codecs whose main selling point was that one did NOT require any license from MPEG LA, and On2 codecs were significantly cheaper.

For years, MPEG LA tried to get On2 to join the MPEG LA consortium. On2 preferred to remain an independent competitor, and to undercut MEG LA.

MPEG LA never managed in all that time to come up with a viable patent claim against On2.

When they bought On2, as part of due diligence Google did an extensive patent search, and they reportedly found no other patents which On2 infringed.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Futility
by steve_s on Wed 12th Jan 2011 18:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Futility"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

MPEG LA never managed in all that time to come up with a viable patent claim against On2.

When they bought On2, as part of due diligence Google did an extensive patent search, and they reportedly found no other patents which On2 infringed.


I expect that Microsoft did similar due diligence before releasing VC-1...

With VC-1, my understanding is that the MPEG-LA only bothered with the patent pool on that when it became established. That happened when it was chosen as a codec for HD-DVD and BluRay - which created clear tangible products on which license fees could be collected.

I'm not convinced that it was ever worth the MPEG-LA's while to pursue On2. The likely outcome of such action was always going to be cross-licensing. Their codecs were pretty widely used on the internet, but there wasn't much revenue to be gained from there since the media in question is mostly delivered to the consumer free of charge. The real revenue for codecs is in devices, and I don't know of any device that included an On2 codec.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Futility
by Sauron on Wed 12th Jan 2011 12:32 UTC in reply to "Futility"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

VP8 was out and in use for quite a while before H264 came out, so prior art may come in there. VP8 also has its own patents, therefore it's quite possible that H264 is the patent infringer if it went to court, not VP8!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Futility
by jrincayc on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Futility"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

Some of the H264 patents precede VP8. See http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-July/02073... for a list with filing and expiration dates.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Futility
by Sauron on Wed 12th Jan 2011 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Futility"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

Sorry, should have explained myself a little clearer, didn't realise until I read it back after posting. What I meant was VP8 as a derivative of VP3 was out before H264.

Reply Score: 1

On2 didn't invent Ogg
by nibor on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:31 UTC
nibor
Member since:
2011-01-12

[…] Google purchased On2 technologies--inventor of Ogg and […]


On2 didn't invent Ogg. Ogg is a container format developed by the Xiph foundation. What On2 did invent is VP3, which was the base for the Ogg Theora video codec.

Please don't be sloppy, thanks.

Reply Score: 4

RE: On2 didn't invent Ogg
by Kroc on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:35 UTC in reply to "On2 didn't invent Ogg"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Thank you, with all this talk of codecs going around, it's easy to get mixed up about containers and formats. VP8+WebM / Theora+Ogg

Reply Score: 1

The big, bad license.
by westlake on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:50 UTC
westlake
Member since:
2010-01-07

There is a ton of nonsense being spread around here about H.264 licensing.

The Enterprise Cap - which is which is what the big guns in global manufacturing pay for H.264 - think Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba - is $6.5 million a year.

In return for which you can cut yourself a healthy slice of the global market for HDTV and home video hardware, PC and consolevideo gaming, mobile devices, industrial and military applications, theatrical production, broadcast, cable and satellite distribution, and so on.

There is a whole wide world beyond the web - and the web, like it or not - is beginning to look more and more like a distribution network for services like Netflix.

20% of peak hour download traffic in the states is a DRM'd Netflix stream - and much of it is being routed straight to your HDTV, video game console, DVD or Blu-Ray player, or set-top box.

The royalty on your open source encoder/decoder is $0 on sales of less than 100,001 units.

If you are selling feature-length H.264 videos by title, the royalty is 2% of the retail price or 2 cents a title, whichever is lower.

MPEG LA doesn't give a damn about your freely distributed Star Trek fan flick. Your home-town wedding videos.

If you offering H.264 videos as a paid subscription service, your royalties are $0 if you have less than 100,001 subscribers.

It doesn't matter that your customers are paying $25-$50 an hour for your home-brewed Penthouse videos.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The big, bad license.
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 11:54 UTC in reply to "The big, bad license. "
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

MPEG LA doesn't give a damn about your freely distributed Star Trek fan flick. Your home-town wedding videos.


Oh? The MPEG-LA begs to differ.

"But the wedding videographer might need to take an AVC/H.264 license--though payments will hardly be a big burden even if they're sending out 100 DVDs of somebody's nuptuals.

"Per Section 3.1.2 of the AVC License (Title-by-Title AVC Video), the royalty for each title greater than 12 minutes in length is 2.0 percent of the remuneration paid to the Licensee or $0.02 per title, whichever is lower. In other words, the royalty would not exceed $0.02 per disc for the videographer," said MPEG LA spokesman Tom O'Reilly."


http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html

However, that still doesn't solve the issue of H264 being a patent-encumbered mess overseen by a known patent troll.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The big, bad license.
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Jan 2011 12:00 UTC in reply to "The big, bad license. "
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There is a ton of nonsense being spread around here about H.264 licensing.

The Enterprise Cap - which is which is what the big guns in global manufacturing pay for H.264 - think Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba - is $6.5 million a year.

In return for which you can cut yourself a healthy slice of the global market for HDTV and home video hardware, PC and consolevideo gaming, mobile devices, industrial and military applications, theatrical production, broadcast, cable and satellite distribution, and so on.

There is a whole wide world beyond the web - and the web, like it or not - is beginning to look more and more like a distribution network for services like Netflix.

20% of peak hour download traffic in the states is a DRM'd Netflix stream - and much of it is being routed straight to your HDTV, video game console, DVD or Blu-Ray player, or set-top box.

The royalty on your open source encoder/decoder is $0 on sales of less than 100,001 units.

If you are selling feature-length H.264 videos by title, the royalty is 2% of the retail price or 2 cents a title, whichever is lower.

MPEG LA doesn't give a damn about your freely distributed Star Trek fan flick. Your home-town wedding videos.

If you offering H.264 videos as a paid subscription service, your royalties are $0 if you have less than 100,001 subscribers.

It doesn't matter that your customers are paying $25-$50 an hour for your home-brewed Penthouse videos.


The main problem (which you utterly fail to mention) is MPEG LA royalties applied to implementations of the H.264 codec.

W3C strives for royalty-free patent policy
http://www.zdnet.com/news/w3c-strives-for-royalty-free-patent-polic...

W3C, it's Members, and many in the independent software developer community around the world who have contributed to the growth of the Web, have spent the last year in active discussion about the proper relationship between patents and Web standards. Our debate is not yet concluded, but we have learned together quite a bit about how important the tacit royalty-free licensing environment of the Web to-date has been for the development of extraordinary economic and social value that has been generated by the World Wide Web. Our commitment is to find an approach the insures the Web's growth into the future as a vibrant engine of technical innovation, economic productivity and social growth. Above all, we will find a solution that provides for the continued universality of the Web as an information medium, and avoids uses of intellectual property rights that could lead to balkanization of the Web.

Keeping the Web Royalty-Free
http://www.pcworld.com/article/110839/keeping_the_web_royaltyfree.h...
W3C unveils its formal policy for handling Web patents.
The policy formalizes a commitment to a royalty-free process which has driven the development of the Web since its beginning, according to W3C. The process has seen input from companies, researchers, and independent developers which have created technical interoperability standards upon which a worldwide information infrastructure has been built, W3C said in the statement.

"W3C members who joined in building the Web in its first decade made the business decision that they, and the entire world, would benefit most by contributing to standards that could be implemented ubiquitously, without royalty payments," Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, said in the statement."


Edited 2011-01-12 12:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: The big, bad license.
by Lennie on Wed 12th Jan 2011 12:09 UTC in reply to "The big, bad license. "
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I wonder what Google TV will be like.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The big, bad license.
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:12 UTC in reply to "The big, bad license. "
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

There is a ton of nonsense being spread around here about H.264 licensing.

The Enterprise Cap - which is which is what the big guns in global manufacturing pay for H.264 - think Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba - is $6.5 million a year.


Add to that virtually every major software company that uses or distributes a product which includes h.264. Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe, etc. etc. They are probably all at the enterprise cap also.

In return for which you can cut yourself a healthy slice of the global market for HDTV and home video hardware, PC and consolevideo gaming, mobile devices, industrial and military applications, theatrical production, broadcast, cable and satellite distribution, and so on.


Sure, but none of those companies pay the royalty - consumers do. It is built into the price of anything you buy that uses h.264. In the end MPEG-LA royalties get paid by users, not companies.

The royalty on your open source encoder/decoder is $0 on sales of less than 100,001 units.


Exactly. The license is explicitly defined based on units sold. What if you don't actually sell your software? Google gives away chrome, but they are a licensee anyway due to youtube, google tv, and other ventures. Name a single open source encoder/decoder that is licensed by the MPEG-LA... Just one...

There aren't any. It isn't because not selling their product somehow exempts them, it is because MPEG-LA is simply not interested in suing them - they don't have any money. That doesn't change the fact that every single product using h.264 in the open source world is unlicensed and is therefore infringing on their patents.

You make it sound like it is ok as long as you don't sell your software, that somehow the fact that your software is free grants you the right to use h.264 all you want. That just ain't the way it works.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The big, bad license.
by segedunum on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:42 UTC in reply to "The big, bad license. "
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The Enterprise Cap - which is which is what the big guns in global manufacturing pay for H.264 - think Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba - is $6.5 million a year.

Not big for companies of that size, but interestingly big enough to stop any pesky small companies providing something called competition. Basically, they can charge whatever they want.

There is a whole wide world beyond the web - and the web, like it or not - is beginning to look more and more like a distribution network for services like Netflix.

People end up supporting what the web supports. Lots of companies have tried to impose their ideas on it and haven't been very successful. Whatever supports freely available content, and the ability to create and distribute it, wins out.

20% of peak hour download traffic in the states is a DRM'd Netflix stream

Wow. Really? I'm willing to bet it's miniscule compared to how many YouTube videos get watched.

The royalty on your open source encoder/decoder is $0 on sales of less than 100,001 units.

Again, I'm not terribly interested in reading these restrictions.

If you are selling feature-length H.264 videos by title, the royalty is 2% of the retail price or 2 cents a title, whichever is lower.

Again, I can't see any small business being the slightest bit interested in wading through this bureaucracy.

MPEG LA doesn't give a damn about your freely distributed Star Trek fan flick. Your home-town wedding videos.

There's no reason why that will continue once they feel they have enough people relying on it. Per-click viewing royalties is something they would still like to do. They made that clear.

It doesn't matter that your customers are paying $25-$50 an hour for your home-brewed Penthouse videos.

Alas, licenses are subject to change.

Reply Score: 3

wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

Daring Fireball's John Gruber posted some interesting, and extremely valid, questions related to Google's decision to drop H264 from Chrome:
http://daringfireball.net/2011/01/simple_questions

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm working on a set of questions for him.

Reply Score: 1

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm working on a set of questions for him.

I posted a few replies on identi.ca to him, i’ll quote http://identi.ca/conversation/61341550 below

1, ‘Flash[…] dropped as well? If not, why?’ legacy sites #Chrome can visit nearly* all sites… iPhones can’t (*silverlight, vrml, etc)
2, ‘Will support be removed from Android? If not, why not?’ Seems likely, should minimise the patent racket from Apple & MS
3, ‘YouTube support…? If not, why?’ Most of YouTube is now in WebM. Should be asking Steve for WebM support already…
4, ‘…Netflix, Amazon, Vimeo, MLB to dual-encode all of their video using WebM?’ now, yes. later, no. single encode WebM. duh.
5, ‘Who is happy about this?’ I am. Firefox, Opera, Android users are with me. How many is that?

and what he didn’t ask:
6, ‘Who isn’t happy?’ Apple fans worried they’ll be painted into a corner. again; web devs who don’t see past -webkit-pretty

Feel free to quote or be inspired by ;)

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Daring Fireball's John Gruber posted some interesting, and extremely valid, questions related to Google's decision to drop H264 from Chrome:
http://daringfireball.net/2011/01/simple_questions


I have an answer for at least some of those questions:
1. In addition to supporting H.264, Chrome currently bundles an embedded version of Adobe’s closed source and proprietary Flash Player plugin. If H.264 support is being removed to “enable open innovation”, will Flash Player support be dropped as well? If not, why?


This is a question for Google. BTW: Unlike H.264, Flash player support does not have to be either proprietary or closed source. Also, Adobe have undertaken to support WebM within their Flash player.

2. Android currently supports H.264. Will this support be removed from Android? If not, why not?


Don't know. Presumably, Chrome for Android is included in this announcement.

3. YouTube uses H.264 to encode video. Presumably, YouTube will be re-encoding its entire library using WebM. When this happens, will YouTube’s support for H.264 be dropped, to “enable open innovation”? If not, why not?


If Google's aim is to avoid paying royalties to MPEG LA, then it would follow that H.264 video will be dropped from YouTube. If Google's aim is simply to escape from MPEG LA having control of Google's ability to offer video on YouTube, then H.264 could remain on YouTube alongside WebM until such time as MPEG LA gets stroppy, and then removed.

4. Do you expect companies like Netflix, Amazon, Vimeo, Major League Baseball, and anyone else who currently streams H.264 to dual-encode all of their video using WebM? If not, how will Chrome users watch this content other than by resorting to Flash Player’s support for H.264 playback?


http://www.streamingmedia.com/conferences/west2010/presentations/SM...

Why not just encode it using WebM? It will cost those companies a lot less, and all major browsers will be able to play WebM without any plugin. Alternatively, those companies could use a separate application and not require a browser at all ... but that will cost a bomb in comparison.

5. Who is happy about this?


Millions upon millions of people. Everybody wins with free web video. Just about the only losers are listed here:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx
... but these are only a teeny tiny fraction of people. Everybody else wins.

Edited 2011-01-12 13:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Gruber's rant can be summed up in one succinct phrase:

"How can Google not support anything that Apple supports because Apple is fantastic?"

Reply Score: 4

Does this change the WHATWG vote?
by sorpigal on Wed 12th Jan 2011 13:32 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Does this mean Google will switch its support in the HTML5 working group to mandating theora support for <video>? I believe the issue stalled before due to lack of consensus. Given that three of the four major browsers will now support Theora and webm, it seems like it should be possible to get one or both written in to the spec, or at least language requiring that <video> support at least one free-to-implement codec.

Reply Score: 2

The cupped hand flexes
by Tony Swash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:24 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Its amusing to watch.

Google, a company utterly committed to protecting it's one sole source of income which is gathering information on internet users and using that info to sell targeted ads, has convinced many, many naive people that it is somehow a great big cuddly uncle giving out lots of free goodies.

I like Google's free stuff, I use GMail and other free services. Who wouldn't?

Meanwhile slowly but surely the hand gently holding and caressing our balls tightens it's grip. Occasionally, as with this episode with H264 support, that hand flexes and we feel instinctively our vulnerability and the power the hand holding our balls has.

But the free goodies are so nice and Goggle knows how to talk the talk and make us all feel loved and protected in Googles "free and open" grasp.

One day that hand will tighten and as we gasp in pain and remember how much we thought Google was different and how Google was so committed to our "freedoms" we will feel a deep sense of shame and embarrassment.

How could we believe such crap?

How could we let someone get such a firm grasp on our balls?

You tell me.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The cupped hand flexes
by _txf_ on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:32 UTC in reply to "The cupped hand flexes"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Erm...How is this not benefitting you? If you're so desperate for h264 use IE or safari. The only people that are (rightfully) losing out are those in the h264 racket.

Nobody believes google is cuddly, but it isn't the devil and this episode is indicative of neither.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: The cupped hand flexes
by Tony Swash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE: The cupped hand flexes"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Erm...How is this not benefitting you? If you're so desperate for h264 use IE or safari. The only people that are (rightfully) losing out are those in the h264 racket.

Nobody believes google is cuddly, but it isn't the devil and this episode is indicative of neither.


It doesn't hurt me as I don't use Chrome much. It's not particularly evil. As I said in my metaphor, the hand just happens to have flexed and it reminds us of what it is holding and of our vulnerabilities. Google's free stuff does actually have costs just not monetary ones (for now).

Tell me - how much of your life does Google own/control/watch?

What happens when Google's interests and yours diverge?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: The cupped hand flexes
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The cupped hand flexes"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What happens when Google's interests and yours diverge?


I use the many tools Google provides to migrate away from their services?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The cupped hand flexes
by Neolander on Wed 12th Jan 2011 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The cupped hand flexes"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Tell me - how much of your life does Google own/control/watch?

Funny, because I care a lot about this one, so I can actually provide a list.

-Work email (the mailbox provided by my university is terrible, so I created a GMail box and redirect everything there)
-Silly video/entertainment. (Nothing beats youtube in that area)
-Casually translating things which are not in English. (When I stumble upon, say, a Swedish sentence where I want to check the meaning of one word, it's more convenient for me to go Google than to remember if WordReference or Reverso know about it. You can find English dictionaries everywhere, but for other idioms it's not that easy.)
-Casual searches where Yahoo/DuckDuckGo is insufficient or ineffective. Picture search, in particular.
-My OSnews mail is based on Google Apps.

I think that's all. I don't give that much information to Google, if you don't take the mail accounts into account. Only casual bits of searches/translations (not nearly enough to extract some statistical data), and some information on which kind of silly jokes I like.

Mail accounts are a more problematic thing, but for a work-oriented email that's not nearly as much of a big issue as if it was used for more personal things.

Edited 2011-01-12 16:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: The cupped hand flexes
by galvanash on Wed 12th Jan 2011 14:50 UTC in reply to "The cupped hand flexes"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

1. Your post reads like soft core porn, I was almost turned on by it. You should probably look into that as a possible career path...

2. I really don't understand your point of view at all. Google has a codec (webm) that is royalty free. There are absolutely no strings attached to using it - none. Meanwhile we have h.264, which has a license only a lawyer can fully understand that seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that their might be people who want to encode video for reasons other than obscene profit motive. I certainly don't think of Google as a "Cuddly Uncle", but I'll take the shit they are peddling in this case any day of the week.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The cupped hand flexes
by Neolander on Wed 12th Jan 2011 15:16 UTC in reply to "The cupped hand flexes"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, there are many easy ways to answer that.

I could talk about Apple's iOS platform, and how wonderful it his to have your computer's manufacturer make all the choices for you -- not only which video codec you have to use, but also which software you may and may not run on your computer, whether you are allowed to see information which talks badly of the manufacturer, whether your phone is your property or can be remotely killed by its manufacturer. About how great it is to have a Nokia phone and see Apple and Google proponents arguing about which one is more unethical than the other from a distance...

I could wonder how exactly a big company trying to use its dominant position to force a video codec upon others is news. And mention the guys who started this whole idiotic video codec war by refusing that there is a standard, royalty-free codec on the web.

I could conclude "Hey, business as usual. If you don't want this stuff to happen, stay far away from big companies as soon as they become control freaks.".

Instead of that, I'll just ask one thing :

Since Google Chrome has a ~10% market share, which is by far lower than that of Firefox, let alone IE. Since most of Chrome users are not using ChromeOS and are thus free to switch from that browser to another one whenever they want. Since we're talking about an unfinished HTML5 standard which should not even be implemented yet and is still in its experimental phase. Since the only guys hurt there are the proponents of H.264 Baseline, an old and ugly video codec patented up the wazoo by an evil megacorp which threatens every other video codec manufacturer with lawsuits, making this codec exactly as suitable for web use as GIF on its days (contrary to royalty-free codecs like Theora and VP8). Since Google are only moving the codec debate forward towards its logical conclusion by going the same path as Firefox, Opera, and to some extent IE before them...

How exactly is this such a big deal ? Except in that it hurts your favorite brand, I mean.

Edited 2011-01-12 15:27 UTC

Reply Score: 4

TROLLING ALERT, BEWARE
by earksiinni on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:55 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

Let's presume for a moment that regarding most of the issues reported on OSNews, most people--even OSNews readers, judging from some of the absurd replies to this story--are purely ignorant about the matter.

The question then is why do these people post these unfounded opinions, whose metaphors range from wholesome bakeries to Google cupping genitalia? What is driving this, if not the light of reason and education?

I am sorry to say it, but I can't help but notice a parallel in the political discourse in America...is it just a general knee-jerk reaction to large institutions? Do people think they are being clever by "seeing through" the "game" that Google is "playing"?

Please keep your teabags out of my royalty-free mugs.

Edited 2011-01-12 17:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by aaronb
by aaronb on Wed 12th Jan 2011 21:05 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is great news.

I am genuinely surprised that many people cannot see some of the advantages of VP8 and Vorbis has over AAC and H264.

Being open is an valid reason for select WebM over H264 in many cases. It brings the following benefits:
1. No licensing costs.
2. No patent trolling: http://www.webmproject.org/license/additional/
3. Development is open and the BSD style license is easy going.
4. It provides good quality audio and videos already (there is room for improvement).

Reply Score: 4

Video Tag Useless
by computrius on Thu 13th Jan 2011 00:52 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

Whats going to end up happening is that none of the major browser makers will agree to any one thing. (Google and firefox dropping h264 and going with webm, and microsoft and apple only using h264.) So web developers will not be able to rely on the <video> tag and we will be in the same position as we were with the <object> tag. It will be rendered completely useless.

Edited 2011-01-13 00:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Video Tag Useless
by smitty on Thu 13th Jan 2011 01:18 UTC in reply to "Video Tag Useless"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Whats going to end up happening is that none of the major browser makers will agree to any one thing. (Google and firefox dropping h264 and going with webm, and microsoft and apple only using h264.) So web developers will not be able to rely on the tag and we will be in the same position as we were with the tag. It will be rendered completely useless.


The solution isn't nearly as complicated as most people are trying to make it out to be.

You have 2 options, both of which will work fine:

1. Encode everything in either one of the 2 formats, then provide a flash fallback for browsers that don't support it. You're going to have to provide the flash fallback anyway for old IE versions.

2. Encode everything in both h.264 and WebM. The browser can choose whatever it wants. Also provide a flash fallback for older IE browsers.

Edited 2011-01-13 01:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Video tag has possibilities
by jrincayc on Thu 13th Jan 2011 03:08 UTC in reply to "Video Tag Useless"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

There are two things that are hopeful. First of all, the video tag allows multiple formats. The browser chooses one that it can display. Second of all, MPEG-1 decoding should be patent free within two years. (MPEG-1 with layer 2 audio may already be patent free for decoding and encoding.) H263 may be patent free soon if it is not already. So this problem should eventually be solved.

http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/video.html#the-source-element
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-1#Patents

Reply Score: 1

RE: Video Tag Useless
by lemur2 on Thu 13th Jan 2011 03:23 UTC in reply to "Video Tag Useless"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Whats going to end up happening is that none of the major browser makers will agree to any one thing. (Google and firefox dropping h264 and going with webm, and microsoft and apple only using h264.) So web developers will not be able to rely on the tag and we will be in the same position as we were with the tag. It will be rendered completely useless.


Actually, IE9 (which is the only version of IE which can play HTML5 video at all) will play HTML5/WebM if the user installs a codec in the Windows multimedia system. The same is true for Safari and OSX.

WebM codecs for various OSes can already be downloaded from here:
http://www.webmproject.org/code/#webm-repositories

Hence the HTML5 video tag will not be useless at all, because all major browsers, Firefox, IE9, Chrome, Opera and Safari will all be able to play HTML5/WebM video without a plugin.

Reply Score: 3