Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 12th Dec 2007 05:56 UTC
Benchmarks A lot was said lately about the Vorbis/Theora vs h.264/AAC situation on the draft of the HTML5. As some of you know, video is my main hobby these days (I care not about operating systems anymore), so I have gain some experience on the field lately, and at the same time this has made me more demanding about video quality. Read on for a head to head test: OGG Theora/Vorbis vs MP4 h.264/AAC. Yup, with videos. And pictures.
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RE: I don't get it
by setec_astronomy on Wed 12th Dec 2007 09:14 UTC in reply to "I don't get it"
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HTML 4.x is more or less agnostic towards picture formats [1] :

This attribute specifies the location of the image resource. Examples of widely recognized image formats include GIF, JPEG, and PNG."

This laissez faire approach has caused some medium to major problems for web developers, customers and the software vendors behind browsers in the past ( GIF not unanimously acceptable due to software patent baggage, no png support in IE < 7, etc. ) and it is likely, that the W3C aims at a bit more specificity for future standards / recommendations, especially since the potential for troubles inherent in the current situation with several competing, incompatible ( and differently licensed) video codecs is magnitudes higher than for picture formats.

Note, that - to my knowledge - the current draft speaks of "SHOULD" and not of "MUST" wrt these multimedia codecs, e.g. vendors would be able to claim compability with HTML5 without supporting Theora ( So much for being more specific this time around :-)

The situation is a royal mess, agreed. The strict guidelines of the W3C and their aim at vendor independence, cross platform and FOSS compability rule most established (properitary) codecs out. In the light of this commitment (and since it is safe to assume that the bulk of tomorrows video content will be delivered
via what we call now webpages while the current trend towards a higher diversification of the consuming software platforms is likely to continue) the HTML5 spec can not neglect the discussion of video formats without risking a fragmentation of the web along vendor lines (or facing little adoption, which is imho not unlikely).

On the other hand, we have the situation that the big boys (Microsoft, Apple, Nokia et al) have invested considerable amount of time, development man-hours, money and patent cross licensing deals to keep the
legal mine field underneath their favoured formats clean. And while it is imho likely, that Ogg-Theora is the best researched contemporary video format when it comes to "IP" risks, even I can understand why in this age of patent trolls the big vendors have reservations about introducing additional (e.g. additional to their own, already established formats) risks of submarine patents. This seems to be at least the major, official argument against Ogg-Theora in this discussion (although I'm pretty sure, that other aspects of Ogg-Theora - no DRM underpinnings, no properitary vendor backing it 100%, being truly cross platform and therefore a potential lock-in-breaker besides its - agreed - lackluster performance ) contribute to the reservations.


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