The revolution has begun! Web video will be freed from the shackles of the MPEG-LA and the dreaded claws of patents and incomprehensible licenses! Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Anywho, YouTube has announced all new videos uploaded to the site will be transcoded into WebM, and that the most important part of the site’s catalogue is already available in WebM.
In a post on the YouTube blog, James Zern, software engineer at YouTube, announced the news. “All new videos uploaded to YouTube are now transcoded into WebM. WebM is an open media file format for video and audio on the web. Its openness allows anyone to improve the format and its integrations, resulting in a better experience for you in the long-term,” Zern details, “As we work to transcode more videos into WebM, we hope to reduce the technical incompatibilities that prevent you from accessing video while improving the overall online video landscape.”
It also turns out that the most important part of YouTube’s catalogue has already been transcoded to WebM. So much so, in fact, that YouTube has already transcoded 99% of the site’s views into WebM, or 30% of the total catalogue (yes, we all pretty much watch the same few videos – humans are not snowflakes). This is all done by YouTube’s internet-based video processing infrastructure.
“It works like this: at busy upload times, our processing power is dedicated to new uploads, and at less busy times, our cloud will automatically switch some of our processing to encode older videos into WebM,” Zern explains, “As we continue to transcode the remaining inventory, we’ll keep you posted on our progress.”
He further added that YouTube will continue to support H264. “Our goal is to ensure that nothing stands between you and the great content you’ve always enjoyed. We’ll continue to invest in new video technology that improves the experiences for all users, builds a better infrastructure for online video, leads to greater access of information and spurs continued innovation.”
Are you still alive?
What they should do is delete all the H.264 copies of the video’s encoded and then put up a page explaining that IE/Safari/iOS doesn’t support WebM and to switch over to a WebM compliant browser such as Chrome, FireFox or Opera. Thus when people find that youtube doesn’t work in IE anymore and go looking for an answer they come across the prepared page and upgrade to a better and more compliant browser. This will also force those browsers to include support thus making them better for the general public.
Edited 2011-04-20 09:27 UTC