Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Nov 2012 22:12 UTC
Internet Explorer "In Windows 8, we reimagined the browser with IE10. We designed and built IE10 to be the best way to experience the Web on Windows. With the IE10 Release Preview for Windows 7 consumers can now enjoy a fast and fluid Web with the updated IE10 engine on their Windows 7 devices. The release preview of IE10 on Windows 7 is available for download today."
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RE[2]: IE10 still disappointing
by lemur2 on Thu 15th Nov 2012 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE: IE10 still disappointing"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

2) There is nothing stopping the other browsers from linking to the API's (QuickTime on OS X, Media Foundation on Windows and gstreamer on *NIX) to obtain h264/AAC playback functionality.


Actually, there is. Web Standards are supposed to be royalty free.

http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/

"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."

Having web standards being royalty free prevents anyone setting up a "toll-gate" for access to non-commercial content on the web. Anyone and everyone should be able to host and access (creative commons or public domain) media content over the web without having to pay any royalties to any third parties. Anyone and everyone should be able to build web infrastructure and clients without having to pay royalties for permission to do so. Having it this way is absolutely central to the original intent and purpose of the web in the first place.

Access to the web is defined as a human right:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/06/internet-a-human-right/
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/diplomacy/120706/u...

This doesn't mean that commercial content is disallowed, it means only that it must be possible to access public content without having to pay royalties.

H264/AAC are not royalty free, and hence they are unsuitable for use as the ONLY media standards over the web. They CAN be used, but they must not be the ONLY means. This is not a problem for web standards since there are other codecs (namely WebM, Vorbis and Opus) which are as good or better performance-wise, and they are truly royalty free, anyone is allowed to implement them, and hence far more suited to be web standards.

Since WebM, Vorbis and Opus are royalty free, and anyone and everyone has full and irrevocable permission to implement them, what exactly is the excuse of Apple and Microsoft for failing to do so?

Edited 2012-11-15 07:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Since WebM, Vorbis and Opus are royalty free, and anyone and everyone has full and irrevocable permission to implement them, what exactly is the excuse of Apple and Microsoft for failing to do so?


As for Opus, it is actually a better audio codec than MP3, Vorbis or AAC.

http://www.opus-codec.org/comparison/

The Opus audio codec has just about everything covered. Since Opus is a totally open, royalty-free, highly versatile audio codec, which can handle a wide range of audio applications, including Voice over IP, videoconferencing, in-game chat, and even remote live music performances, and it can scale from low bit-rate narrowband speech to very high quality stereo music, why exactly wouldn't Apple and Microsoft want to provide their customers with the best option?

http://www.opus-codec.org/

WebM does take longer to encode than h264 at the same quality level, but that is its only penalty. If one chooses encoding profiles to yield the same quality level, the WebM codec actually ends up with slightly lower bandwidth (iow a slightly smaller filesize) than H264.

Edited 2012-11-15 07:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

WebM does take longer to encode than h264 at the same quality level, but that is its only penalty. If one chooses encoding profiles to yield the same quality level, the WebM codec actually ends up with slightly lower bandwidth (iow a slightly smaller filesize) than H264.


Have a WebM/H264 comparison to verify that?

Here's a fairly thorough one that puts x264 above WebM's standard encoder consistently, both in terms of quality and encoding speed (encoding speed seems to be about 3x faster for x264):

http://www.compression.ru/video/codec_comparison/h264_2011/mpeg-4_a...

Reply Parent Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes and we'd all love to live in a world where unicorns crap jelly beans, all the southern states have gay marriage and I have a boyfriend but unfortunately we live in reality and what we have is the best of the worse. There is a reason why h264/AAC is chosen and all the conspiracy theories in the world won't change the fact that it is chosen because it is best fit for the mixture of narrow and wide band connections that exist - from broadband mobile through to cable internet, from ADSL2+ to fibre optic.

Secondly, I provided a link to the WebM plugin for Media Foundation which would simply be an extra download for someone wanting to use said format. When it comes to Apple, why should they step out of what is pretty much an industry standard? pretty much all the large companies have agreed on it so why go against the grain? what's in it for them?

Reply Parent Score: 3

westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

There is a reason why h264/AAC is chosen and all the conspiracy theories in the world won't change the fact that it is chosen because it is best fit for the mixture of narrow and wide band connections that exist - from broadband mobile through to cable internet, from ADSL2+ to fibre optic.


I have the plug-in for IE --- which works just fine with IE 10.

But finding a WebM video in the wild is quite the challenge. There doesn't seem to be anything out there but a transcode for YouTube.

There seems to be no such thing as a hardware product --- amateur or pro --- that supports WebM natively. While H.264 hardware is available for every video application you could name.

The final problem is HEVC. The next-generation proprietary codec. There are huge potential savings in bandwidth here for all users and video providers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: IE10 still disappointing
by helf on Thu 15th Nov 2012 20:22 in reply to "RE[3]: IE10 still disappointing"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Ha! We might end up with gay marriage at some point. The view of "gays" down here is getting pretty good believe it or not and the older generations are dying off.

I live in Alabama and couldn't give a shit, so I always vote "yes" to anything relating to it. Because the limitation is so pointless and ridiculous.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

There is a reason why h264/AAC is chosen and all the conspiracy theories in the world won't change the fact that it is chosen because it is best fit for the mixture of narrow and wide band connections that exist - from broadband mobile through to cable internet, from ADSL2+ to fibre optic.

It's not a matter of quality, it's a matter of inertia.

H.264 is around because the various companies that were involved in the matter decided to support it at a time where the only alternative was Theora (which, indeed, made sense). And AAC went along the way because it is comes for free with H.264 video support.

Changing to any other codec will be painful now, because no one took the time to make a proper codec-agnostic video decoding infrastructure in web browsers and SoCs. Hacking away hard-coded support for one codec is simply faster and cheaper. Thus, I am ready to bet that by the time HEVC is around, even if it is as good as the MPEG-LA claims it to be, it will encounter exactly the same issues as WebM today.

If audio and video quality was truly an issue, everyone would be using Vimeo over Youtube ;)

Edited 2012-11-16 07:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2