Posts Tagged ‘WebM’

YouTube Starts Converting All Videos to WebM Format

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The world’s largest video-streaming website has announced plans to store all their videos in the WebM format and have already started to transcode all new uploads to this format; work is underway to convert the existing ones and 30% of their most popular videos, accounting for 99% of views, had already been converted.

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Actions speak louder than words. YouTube’s announcement is a huge endorsement for the WebM format – one of the two contenders to be the de-facto standard for HTML5 video, which is also spearheaded by (no surprises here) Google. By having YouTube show its support for WebM, Google’s intention is probably to build demand momentum for WebM-optimised software (e.g. browsers) and equipment (hardware-acceleration), which would in turn give users better user-experience and drive further demand for WebM videos. This would exert pressure on Safari and Internet Explorer – the two strongholds of its arch-rival H.264 format -to provide native support for WebM. YouTube’s final act would likely be to pull the plug on H.264; even though YouTube has stated that it would still provide support for H.264 format, I suspect that it would eventually drop support for H.264 once WebM adoption has reached critical mass.

Chrome Ditches H.264 Codec

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Opera doesn’t support it; Firefox doesn’t support it; and now Chrome has announced that it’ll drop support for H.264 video codec for its <video> element, and will support only WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs. Chrome was the only browser out of the top 5 to both support WebM and H.264 natively; Safari and Internet Explorer supports only H.264 codec.

There’s a turf war between H.264 and WebM to become the HTML5 <video> standard; H.264 has Internet Explorer’s and Safari’s support, while WebM has Chrome’s, Firefox’s and Opera’s. Of the two, H.264 is the more established codec, but suffers from unclear licensing terms which led to Google opensourcing WebM in order to provide the world with an opensource alternative.

As pointed out by some readers, the only clear winner in this turf war, is ironically, Adobe Flash; instead of being killed by HTML5 <video>, the turf wars have highlighted its strength as the only reliable medium for video streaming that can support both H.264 and WebM.

Winamp Adds WebM Support

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Winamp has announced that Winamp v5.58 now supports webM video playback.

webM is an opensource video format that was designed for HTML5 video. It was released by Google about 2 months back and now enjoys support from the likes of Adobe, Mozilla, Opera, Skype, etc.

Opera 10.6 – First Browser to Support WebM

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Opera had announced the release of Opera 10.6. Among support for typical HTML5 enhancements such as Geolocation, Web Workers and Offline Applications, Opera 10.6 has also built in the ability to play WebM videos, the first stable browser version to do so.

According to Youtube HTML5 beta page, the other browsers supporting WebM are Google Chrome 6 Dev Channel and Firefox Nightly Builds

Credits: WebM project

Google Chrome Dev has implemented WebM Video

Friday, June 4th, 2010

For those who can’t wait to try out WebM HTML5 video, Google Chrome Dev channel has released a version that implemented WebM HTML5 video.

TechCrunch has tried Google Chrome WebM on YouTube’s HTML5 beta, and you can read about it in TechCrunch.

Additional info on Google WebM

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Previously I had posted an article introducing Google WebM, an opensource web media format consisting of

  • VP8, a video codec developed by Google-acquired On2 technologies, which Google has opensourced
  • Vorbis – an open source audio codec
  • A container format based on the opensource Matrosaka container format

What I felt was sorely lacking in my previous post was information on licensing, which I am not very familiar with. So I was very excited when I came across a new CNET’s article which explains the licensing issues and the parties involved (among other things), which I felt complements my previous post perfectly :)

Google WebM: An opensource web media format

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Google has unveiled WebM, an opensource and royalty-free web media format that is directly competing with Microsoft-supported H.264 video format to become the standard for HTML5 video.

WebM consists of:

  • VP8, a video codec developed by Google-acquired On2 technologies, which Google has opensourced
  • Vorbis – an open source audio codec
  • A container format based on the opensource Matrosaka container format

Google has already lined up support from Mozilla and Opera, which, along with Google Chrome will be supporting WebM in their browsers. Furthermore, YouTube videos larger than 720p will be encoded in WebM as part of the HTML5 Beta project. In addition, Adobe has also voiced support for VP8, and will support VP8 in Flash.

In response, Microsoft, through IEBlog, stated that it is supportive of anything HTML5, and will support playback of VP8 encoded videos in IE if the user has installed the VP8 codec. In case anyone is wondering if Microsoft has suddenly become altruistic, do note that in the same blog post, Microsoft is also touting the strengths of H.264 over VP8, such as the extensive hardware support (think “hardware acceleration”), as well as H.264 being more well established and therefore more stable than VP8 and less vulnerable to exploits.

H.264 has the support of Microsoft and Apple, while VP8/WebM has the support of Google, Mozilla, Opera and Adobe. Who will win? Unless something significant occurs, it is likely that both formats will enjoy equal footing in the foreseeable future, given the almost balanced powers; Microsoft with its browser dominance (~60%) and Google with its array of online services.