Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Jan 2011 22:33 UTC
Google I didn't plan on this, but there's really nothing I can do. Unless you want me to write about the upcoming ten billionth download from the iOS App Store, you'll have to settle for this. On the Chromium blog, Google has clarified its decision to drop H.264 support from the Chrome web browser, and in it, Google basically repeats the things that those concerned about the future of video on the web have been saying for a long time now: H.264 on the web kills innovation.
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RE[4]: Reasonable overview
by brichpmr on Sun 16th Jan 2011 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reasonable overview"
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"Take a look at the content at this linked site in Berlin. I doubt they will be chomping at the bit to replace their high quality H.264 content with WebM any time soon.

First, from a simple practical point of view, they don't need to. Google removing h.264 from chrome would not affect a chrome user's ability to view that content were it offered using the tag, it would simply fall back to Flash and most users wouldn't even notice the difference.

Which brings us to point two: That site doesn't even USE the video tag!!!. They serve all video using Flash...

That is what is so infuriating about debating this issue - those against this are starting from Google=BAD and just making up bullshit arguments to support their prejudiced viewpoint.

The H.264 train left the station a long time ago; and by comparison, WebM is a solution to a non-existant problem, IMHO.

WebM will allow an open source developer to implement a browser or other software which incorporates a video encoder/decoder which will be inter operable with the HTML5 tag - without having to worry about royalty payments. It is a solution to a VERY serious problem - if you can't see what is plainly obvious and right in front of your face I don't know what else to tell you.

Here is a simple list of problems with h.264 that WebM solves in one way or another:

1. Firefox will not and can not EVER include h.264 - they have made that quite plain. That is a browser that represents an absolutely huge number of users...

2. Anyone wanting to write a browser in the future that incorporates the video tag will be expected to support h.264 if it becomes the defacto standard. If they do not wish to pay royalties they simply CAN'T implement one. That eliminates non-commercial browsers, which is ironic because the web was BUILT upon non-commercial browsers...

3. Software like Handbrake, VLC, Memcoder, FFMpeg, etc. ALL of these use unlicensed h.264 encoders. MPEG-LA could try to shut any or all of these down any time they felt like it. The fact that they don't and they let it slide doesn't change the fact that if you want to do things without violating US patent laws you can't use h.264 in open source software.

4. Sites that charge subscriptions to access their content, even if it is very small amounts or micro-payments, are technically required to pay royalties for h.264 if they offer ANY content using it.

5. There is simply no guarantee that MPEG-LA will keep non-commercial h.264 content royalty free. Sites that use it on a large scale (like youtube, vimeo, etc.) are at the mercy of MPEG-LA hitting them with unpredictably large royalty fees in the future.

Think about it....

There is no guarantee that WebM won't be subjected to the patent test down the road.

That site uses Flash only because of DRM considerations for their video content, but the video is H.264 at 1280x720 in an MP4 container with 320 kbs AAC audio. They also plan to offer streaming soon to iPhones and iPads, which would eliminate Flash from that picture.

There is no way that they would voluntarily replace this high quality content with WebM. They are a prime example of a content provider beaming to the entire world, and they are using the best tools to accomplish this. Millions of us users aren't looking to relinquish the long-existing quality of H.264 video codecs unless you (or anyone) can provide a compelling proof that WebM is equal to or better than H.264 in terms of quality....haven't seen it from any source yet. Arguably (in the real world) H.264 is the defacto standard already.

Edited 2011-01-16 12:51 UTC

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