Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Jan 2011 06:32 UTC
Internet & Networking "The promise of HTML5's video tag was a simple one: to allow web pages to contain embedded video without the need for plugins. With the decision to remove support for the widespread H.264 codec from future versions of Chrome, Google has undermined this widely-anticipated feature. The company is claiming that it wants to support 'open codecs' instead, and so from now on will support only two formats: its own WebM codec, and Theora." Sorely disappointed in Ars' Peter Bright. Us geeks reviled web developers for sticking to Internet Explorer when Firefox came onto the scene, and yet now, the same arguments we used to revile are used to keep H.264 in the saddle. How us mighty geeks have fallen.
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jrincayc
Member since:
2007-07-24

Great post, the only comment I have is on "The use of MP3 and AAC in the HTML audio tag is however a different matter; this is a case where I will agree with most that if Google is dropping support for H.264 over the matter of openness and freeness, MP3 and AAC should go as well. "

I think MP3 is close enough to patent expiration for decoding (The initial near-complete MPEG-1 standard (parts 1, 2 and 3) was publicly available in December 6, 1991 as ISO CD 11172.) that support for it does not need to be dropped, since the monopoly can probably only last until about December 2012.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licensing_and_patent_issues

Reply Parent Score: 1

supercompman Member since:
2008-09-14

Well, that may be the case, but until December of 2012, MP3 is still a a format that is illegal to decode without proper licensing and in the Wikipedia article there doesn't seem to be a reference as to when an encoder would be legal to distribute without a license, which is important as well. If we cannot produce the content freely, get the content to the users for no additional charge, and freely reproduce the content in a human usable form, this format is unsuitable for freely transmitting ideas by everyone regardless of their financial means, therefore it has no place as part of a web standard. Don't get me wrong, H.264, MP3, and AAC are great formats, but they should not be standards for the web.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

I agree with you in your context that MP3 should not be part of the standards for the web until decoding and encoding can be freely done. I think that there is less motivation for Google to remove the MP3 decoder than things like AAC and H264.

I am guessing that once MP3 decoding is royalty free, it should be possible to make a MP3 encoder, but it may be a pretty bad one. The other year that is mentioned is 2017.

Reply Parent Score: 1