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Steve Jobs says no to Google's VP8 WebM codec

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
In reply to a email asking his thoughts on Google's announcement of the royalty-free WebM video codec, Steve Jobs reportedly simply forwarded back the critical expose profiled yesterday by AppleInsider.

Jobs' terse reply to the question "What did you make of the recent VP8 announcement?" left little doubt about Apple's views on the matter, because the linked report Jobs returned, written by x264 developer Jason Garrett-Glaser, castigated the new specification for video compression as being weak, incomplete, and undoubtedly encumbered by patent issues.

Note that x264 is an open source project for encoding H.264 compliant video. It has no inherent bias in promoting the H.264 specification over VP8. Garrett-Glaser has been a vocal critic of elements of the MPEG standards process, the x264 project itself is an effort to get around commercial licensing of MPEG's technologies, and the similarities between VP8 and H.264 mean that x264 could likely be adapted to encode VP8 as well.

Jobs' problem with VP8 is not ideological

Critics of Apple have settled on condemning the company for not rushing to embrace the free new video codec, which Google acquired as part of the technology portfolio of On2 and has published as an open source, royalty free specification. However, the only real value of VP8 over H.264 is that it is royalty free; it's not as sophisticated as the latest MPEG-4 specification in terms of compression quality or efficiency, nor does it offer a comparable technical range of use.

VP8 can't currently support Apple's needs as a mobile-optimized codec for its iPods, iPads and iPhones, nor is it suitable for high definition video encoding. VP8 is targeted directly at the web, where Google, Mozilla and other partners hope to use it to deliver video without the royalties required by H.264. Apple has no issue paying royalties to license MPEG's H.264 technologies because the royalties are not very expensive. The H.264 licensing fees are really only a relevant cost issue for groups like Mozilla wanting to give their software away for free.

The problem is that video experts such as Garrett-Glaser are reporting that VP8 is not only unfinished and incomplete, but will also run afoul of the broad range of patents covering the latest video compression and decoding technologies. Those patents are held by a wide consortium of vendors who have pooled their technology together under the direction of the ISO's Motion Picture Experts Group.

Apple is not the patent holder to worry about

Most reports on the issue have focused on Apple's membership in the MPEG coalition in order to write up a fashionably dramatic tale of conflict between Apple and Google on the issue of the VP8 codec.

However, the reality is that the patents related to H.264 are held by a large number of companies scaling from embedded chip makers to video software developers to university research groups to Blu-Ray hardware vendors. Apple has a minority stake in the MPEG-4 patent pool related to video codec technology, and would actually benefit from a sophisticated yet free video codec, were one to exist.

Rather than Apple, it is the actual codec patent holders that will come after VP8 looking for royalties, and unless Google subsidizes the world's use of VP8 (and it will not), it appears certain that anyone who uses the "royalty-free" codec will end up having to pay royalties for its use anyway. Because it is not immune to patent royalties, all VP8 really offers in comparison to H.264 is less sophistication and a more incomplete and immature specification.

A strangely ideological puzzle

The apoplectic fit surrounding H.264 and its patented technology is quite bizarre in that the MPEG-4 working group that developed it didn't invent some new patent problem that hasn't existed before and desperately needs to be solved.

Those insisting on calling H.264 "proprietary" because it is not completely free have never referred to other open, but not free standards (including the MP3 audio format), as "proprietary." Additionally, it was Apple's iTunes that spearheaded the move from MP3 toward the more modern and efficient AAC audio format in order to shift the world's technology from the more expensive to license MP3 format to the cheaper and/or free to use AAC. If there were a cheaper, suitable option to paying for H.264, Apple would similarly jump on it.

Back in the early 2000s, both Microsoft and Sony were pushing to replace MP3 with completely proprietary formats: Microsoft's Windows Media Audio and Sony's ATRAC. None of the current critics of H.264 in the mainstream tech media had any issue with that potential shift toward completely proprietary and closed standards back then. It was only the success of the iPod that drove the world toward AAC as an open standard and preserved MP3 as a compatible fallback.

The web wants to be free

The web presents a slightly different set of circumstances because open source projects like Mozilla's Firefox can't legally bundle support for H.264 without paying royalties on the technology. It would be ideal if the world had video playback technology that was competitive, efficient for use on mobile devices, and completely free.

Unfortunately, this simply does not exist in the world of video where massive amounts of research and development go into developing new technology to encode, transmit and decode video efficiently. That results in researchers and scientists needing to get paid for their efforts.

The last time the web's media was significantly encumbered by a patent issue was with the GIF image file format, which was not itself patented, but which used a compression technology that Unisys claimed to own in the mid 90s, long after GIF had entered wide use on the Internet. The company vilified itself by demanding significant royalties from all companies that used or created GIF images commercially.

An effort to replace the patent-encumbered GIF with the new PNG format was initiated, but despite the creation of PNG as a technically superior, royalty free, and patent free new format, it was nearly impossible for the world to switch away from using GIF. While work on PNG started in 1995, it was not officially recognized as an ISO standard until 2003, when the patents on GIF finally began to expire (making the GIF problem a non-issue). Microsoft's Internet Explorer didn't effectively support PNG until 2005.

PNG is a relatively simple image format, dramatically less complex than the technology needed to encode, deliver and decode high quality video over an unreliable transport network like the Internet. That makes PNG's decade long march toward replacing GIF a cautionary tale for those expecting VP8 to serve as an immediate drop-in replacement for H.264, which has become the established video format on the web, for mobiles, and for a wide range of other uses ranging from video games to Blu-Ray.

Is VP8 patent encumbered?

Like GIF and its encumbrance with a compression-related patent, VP8 is said to be based closely enough upon H.264 so that the MPEG Licensing Authority will demand patent royalties for it. MPEG LA is already investigating and expects to set up a licensing program for collecting VP8 royalties, according to a report by All Things Digital's John Paczkowski.

Unlike PNG, VP8 is not technically superior to H.264, making it that much more difficult to propagate across the Internet as a new video standard, even if it were not patent encumbered at all. And unlike the GIF patents, the patents on H.264's brand new technologies won't expire for a long time.

Google maintains that it has reviewed the VP8 technology it acquired and is sure that nobody will have to pay patent royalties for the technologies it uses. However, Google's acquisition of On2 was rushed through in January, and barely six months later the firm's existing VP8 code implementation is being pushed out as a "specification," much the same way Microsoft rushed its Office file formats through a standards process to avoid having to support the already formally standardized OpenOffice formats.

Google was demonstrably in a hurry to quickly deliver a fix for the issue Mozilla raised about the use of H.264 on the web just last summer. In contrast, Apple, Netscape and Sun all spent several years working through the code for projects they planned to release as open source (including Darwin, Mozilla, and OpenSolaris) in an effort to avoid any patent-related surprises. No project has ever raced code from fully proprietary to open source in six months, casting serious questions on the quality of Google's supposed vetting process for VP8.

It's therefore no surprise that Microsoft is saying it won't bundle support for VP8 with Internet Explorer, even though the code is already available, and that Jobs is intimating Apple's thumbs down for the H.264 alternative Google is publishing, but not offering to indemnify from patent attacks.
post #2 of 100
Wow Ie won't support it? Then it's dead before it even starts.
No HD capability google left that little detail out. I should say poor HD capability.
post #3 of 100
The question seems to now be why did Google decide on the VP8 WebM codex?
post #4 of 100
Why not just buy out MPEG LA, release H.264 for widespread use and be done with it?
post #5 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkie View Post

Why not just buy out MPEG LA, release H.264 for widespread use and be done with it?

Because it isn't possible to buy out MPEG LA without buying all the member companies.

I don't get the problem with Mozilla supporting HTML5 video though. They don't need to buy a license, they just need to piggyback on the operating systems license. The only free software licensing issue that exists is with free operating systems like Linux or FreeBSD. Those users would be stuck with Flash for video unless somebody (Adobe maybe?) releases an HTML5 video plugin for free under their name or Mozilla changes their stance and licenses h264.

Maybe I don't fully understand the licensing, but it seems like it is flawed. Wouldn't someone just have to release a h264 library that was multi-platform and they could get away with buying one license that is used by multiple companies?
post #6 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Because it isn't possible to buy out MPEG LA without buying all the member companies.

Any idea of how much the royalty stream is per year?
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Wow Ie won't support it? Then it's dead before it even starts.
No HD capability google left that little detail out.

I'm sorry, but what?

Microsoft said IE will support it in that it'll play videos in IE as long as the codec is installed on the system. They're not shipping IE with support but it'll be a one-time one-click setup thing to install a codec to play it on the system.

Of course the codec has HD capability. In fact, the very first thing Google did with WebM was convert all HD YouTube videos to HD WebM. If you download a WebM capable browser like the latest Firefox WebM builds and you're in the YouTube HTML5 beta, you are looking at HD WebM.

To the author of the article:
The slant in this news story, and many on this site, is astonishing. Why do people feel the need to defend Apple in everything? They're a business with their own vested interests, they're in this to make money and protect their interest...not to be a humanitarian company. Try being more being more objective. This site reads like a state newspaper in China or Pravda. Apple's side of the story is presented in detail, then a token reference to the other side is made followed by a slew of opinions stated as fact to discredit them. You guys can do better.
post #8 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Because it isn't possible to buy out MPEG LA without buying all the member companies.

I don't get the problem with Mozilla supporting HTML5 video though. They don't need to buy a license, they just need to piggyback on the operating systems license. The only free software licensing issue that exists is with free operating systems like Linux or FreeBSD. Those users would be stuck with Flash for video unless somebody (Adobe maybe?) releases an HTML5 video plugin for free under their name or Mozilla changes their stance and licenses h264.

You seem to be confusing things.

1) HTML5 video support is not a video codec in and of itself.

2) A plugin is not required for HTML5 video playback to work.

Mozilla supports HTML5 video. They don't support the H.264 codec, but rather only Ogg Theora.
post #9 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

You seem to be confusing things.

1) HTML5 video support is not a video codec in and of itself.

2) A plugin is not required for HTML5 video playback to work.

Mozilla supports HTML5 video. They don't support the H.264 codec, but rather only Ogg Theora.

HTML5 video isn't a codec, but the only supported codec most people care about is h264. If Mozilla only supported Ogg Theora, almost all HTML5 video wouldn't play in Firefox.

The plugin or library would just to get around licensing issues on Linux. It would not be needed on OS X or Windows.
post #10 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

You seem to be confusing things.

1) HTML5 video support is not a video codec in and of itself.

2) A plugin is not required for HTML5 video playback to work.

Mozilla supports HTML5 video. They don't support the H.264 codec, but rather only Ogg Theora.

Mozilla supports Ogg Theora AND WebM. The others are blatantly patent encumbered, and Mozilla is philosophically (and financially) opposed to it. Mozilla is all about the open web, and you can't have an open web with strings (and patents) attached.
post #11 of 100
Jobs emailed whom and said what?

I am sorry but I did not read the entire article because it it did not deliver on the title within the first several paragraphs. I am becoming very disappointed in the recent journalism on this site.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #12 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Steve Jobs says no to Google's VP8 WebM codec

in other shocking news, the sky is blue.
post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Of course the codec has HD capability. In fact, the very first thing Google did with WebM was convert all HD YouTube videos to HD WebM. If you download a WebM capable browser like the latest Firefox WebM builds and you're in the YouTube HTML5 beta, you are looking at HD WebM.

Please point me to the page detailing this "fact".

You said that they "converted" all HD YouTube videos to HD WebM. That would be a huge task with very little benefit other than to demonstrate the VP8 WebM codec. I don't see the reason for this.
post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Mozilla supports Ogg Theora AND WebM. The others are blatantly patent encumbered, and Mozilla is philosophically (and financially) opposed to it. Mozilla is all about the open web, and you can't have an open web with strings (and patents) attached.

But is Mozilla about losing market share if h264 really takes off (like it appears it may). If they lose market share then they lose search bar revenue and they could go out of business. They can probably hold off for a while, but they may get to the point where they financially can't afford not to license h264 or at least make an exception to support it for OS X and windows.
post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Please point me to the page detailing this "fact".

You said that they "converted" all HD YouTube videos to HD WebM. That would be a huge task with very little benefit other than to demonstrate the VP8 WebM codec. I don't see the reason for this.

Are you serious? It was explicitly mentioned in the keynote and it's live now. You can try it yourself, I just told you how.

Of course they did it. It's a perfect test case for their product before they release it.

All YouTube HD videos are already converted to WebM and Google is already in the process of converting ALL YouTube videos in the back catalogue to WebM, and ALL NEW videos are also converted into WebM immediately.

"Little benefit"? Honestly? Promoting their own standard, testing their own code, "little benefit"?
post #16 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiesl View Post

The question seems to now be why did Google decide on the VP8 WebM codex?

Great article. My only though is ... YouTube and Chrome. YouTube is the 800 pound gorilla where video content is concerned and if Google switched to using only VP8 WebM on YouTube and if Chrome supports it and IE and Safari don't maybe this is a Google trojan horse for Chrome's adoption. That sentence was way too long ...
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post #17 of 100
This common reference to Ipod -I phone - I pad is getting grammatically boring:
I hereby proclaim the fore mentioned products should be know as the I P 3 group ( or the IP Cubed group) or product group or product line.

This should allow us to speed up all conversation and reference to this operating system / product family, while allow all of us to have some jargon that satisfies our need for an "insider catch phrase" that only we understand. Sort of like a gang sign for the rest of us, without having to be beat in or beat out.

Whud da ya say?
post #18 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

in other shocking news, the sky is blue.

How deep \
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post #19 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

I'm sorry, but what?

Microsoft said IE will support it in that it'll play videos in IE as long as the codec is installed on the system. They're not shipping IE with support but it'll be a one-time one-click setup thing to install a codec to play it on the system.

Of course the codec has HD capability. In fact, the very first thing Google did with WebM was convert all HD YouTube videos to HD WebM. If you download a WebM capable browser like the latest Firefox WebM builds and you're in the YouTube HTML5 beta, you are looking at HD WebM.

To the author of the article:
The slant in this news story, and many on this site, is astonishing. Why do people feel the need to defend Apple in everything? They're a business with their own vested interests, they're in this to make money and protect their interest...not to be a humanitarian company. Try being more being more objective. This site reads like a state newspaper in China or Pravda. Apple's side of the story is presented in detail, then a token reference to the other side is made followed by a slew of opinions stated as fact to discredit them. You guys can do better.

Explain to me why developers would be interested in this if apple or Microsoft won't bundle. Qiuicktime and media player and flash is already solving the problem. As to HD issue I assume writer knows what he is talking about. Sounds like the technology is not suited to large formats.
post #20 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by 801 View Post

This common reference to Ipod -I phone - I pad is getting grammatically boring:
I hereby proclaim the fore mentioned products should be know as the I P 3 group ( or the IP Cubed group) or product group or product line.

This should allow us to speed up all conversation and reference to this operating system / product family, while allow all of us to have some jargon that satisfies our need for an "insider catch phrase" that only we understand. Sort of like a gang sign for the rest of us, without having to be beat in or beat out.

Whud da ya say?

Or just write iPhone OS.
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post #21 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Explain to me why developers would be interested in this if apple or Microsoft won't bundle. Qiuicktime and media player and flash is already solving the problem. As to HD issue I assume writer knows what he is talking about. Sounds like the technology is not suited to large formats.

The author demonstrably does not know what he's talking about, as it's live now and it looks great. The builds are available, download them and try it. Stop taking this propaganda for truth. Try it out.

And no, QT, MP, and Flash solve the problem of putting video online. But the video exists inside a container and can't be properly interacting with the web document. Plugins are a workaround, HTML5 video is a true solution.

Developers are interested in VP8/WebM it because the encoders and decoders are and will continue to be free and the quality is very good. Developers are interested in HTML5 Video because it lets you do a ton of cool things (interact with the page's DOM, use Javascript, CSS, etc).

I'm building an HTML5 video portal right now at work.

No, WebM is not AS good as h264 in terms of quality but it's about 95% of the way there. And yes, the royalty uncertainty with h264 as of Jan 1st, 2016 makes a lot of people nervous. My employer is using h264 right now but out of necessity -- they are nervous about it as we're becoming a vendor for video which can get very expensive very quickly. If the royalties arrive in 2016, we'll have a massive back catalog of h264 that'll cost us a fortune in annual fees. WebM is looking very, very good to them right now. There's a reason why everyone's jumping all over it unless they're already H264 licensees (Apple, MS).
post #22 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

Please point me to the page detailing this "fact".

You said that they "converted" all HD YouTube videos to HD WebM. That would be a huge task with very little benefit other than to demonstrate the VP8 WebM codec. I don't see the reason for this.

There is a big difference between YouTube HD and BluRay HD. That is where the difference is, not the HD branding. That is just marketing. YouTube HD is still within the space that we are currently calling web video.
post #23 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Explain to me why developers would be interested in this if apple or Microsoft won't bundle. Qiuicktime and media player and flash is already solving the problem. As to HD issue I assume writer knows what he is talking about. Sounds like the technology is not suited to large formats.

I wonder why that would be? Perhaps it will support HD soon. If YouTube is using it now you have to think that is coming. HTML5 doesn't do full screen yet last time I checked but I bet it will soon. These things usually develop over time, and these days ever shorter times.
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post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

The author demonstrably does not know what he's talking about, as it's live now and it looks great. The builds are available, download them and try it. Stop taking this propaganda for truth. Try it out.

And no, QT, MP, and Flash solve the problem of putting video online. But the video exists inside a container and can't be properly interacting with the web document. Plugins are a workaround, HTML5 video is a true solution.

Developers are interested in VP8/WebM it because the encoders and decoders are and will continue to be free and the quality is very good. Developers are interested in HTML5 Video because it lets you do a ton of cool things (interact with the page's DOM, use Javascript, CSS, etc).

I'm building an HTML5 video portal right now at work.

No, WebM is not AS good as h264 in terms of quality but it's about 95% of the way there. And yes, the royalty uncertainty with h264 as of Jan 1st, 2016 makes a lot of people nervous. My employer is using h264 right now but out of necessity -- they are nervous about it as we're becoming a vendor for video which can get very expensive very quickly. If the royalties go away in 2016, we'll have a massive back catalog of h264 that'll cost us a fortune in annual fees. WebM is looking very, very good to them right now. There's a reason why everyone's jumping all over it unless they're already H264 licensees (Apple, MS).

I fail to see why any non-Linux programmer would care. We don't need to worry about it on other platforms and h264 is much more flexible and better then VP8 in every way except for licensing on non-commercial platforms. I can see how it may appeal to some Open Source programmers, but not the majority.

If encoding royalties are a concern in 2016, it is not that big a deal to re-encode media. Your going to do that every five years anyway to keep up with the latest codec. I'm sure in 2016 we will be ready to move on to a new codec as long as Moore's Law is in effect. The right thing to do now is support all major codec. So if you are a web developer, you should be targeting h264, VP8, and flash. You also need to target different bit rates for each format to play over everything from 3G to fibre. It is the same as the need to support every variant of HTML since IE7.

Those Microsoft and Apple licensees (and all the 3rd party software on those platforms that get a free ticket) account for the vast majority by the way.
post #25 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkie View Post

Why not just buy out MPEG LA, release H.264 for widespread use and be done with it?

I don't think you can buy out a standard body.

Which is why it's important to have these kind of technology controlled by a standard body.
post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

I fail to see why any non-Linux programmer would care. We don't need to worry about it on other platforms and h264 is much more flexible and better then VP8 in every way except for licensing on non-commercial platforms. I can see how it may appeal to some Open Source programmers, but not the majority.

I'm not a Linux programmer. I care... Companies care. They may have to pay millions of dollars to get what is a marginal and frankly, not noticable difference in quality.

It bothers me greatly to have content locked up in a format where, conceivably 10 years down the road someone tells you that you need to pay to see it. That's not right. It's your content.

I got burned in many years past by Intel's Indeo codec...I had a ton of videos in it and suddenly the codec went kaput. Was a nightmare getting those videos to play again. Ever since then I've been wary about codecs that could lock you out of your content either by being unavailable, or commercial.

How is h264 more flexible, by the way? That's an interesting statement to make.

BTW: Windows 7 has h264 licenses. Windows XP and Vista do not. That is the majority of the PC market without h264 licenses.

Quote:
If encoding royalties are a concern in 2016, it is not that big a deal to re-encode media.

It is if you have a massive amount of videos and you don't have Google's resources.

Quote:
I'm sure in 2016 we will be ready to move on to a new codec as long as Moore's Law is in effect.

I'm not sure why you think a law about transistor density impacts the development pace of highly mathematical, highly complex algorithms.

Quote:
Those Microsoft and Apple licensees (and all the 3rd party software on those platforms) account for the vast majority by the way.

I don't know if you understand this so I'll make the distinction -- NO 3rd party software has a license unless they buy it themselves when they run on Windows 7 or OS X. OS X and Windows 7's h264 decoders (Windows Media Foundation in Windows, QTCore in OS X) have the license. Apps that happen to use those decoding engines/libraries would be licensed, because those apps aren't decoding -- the OS is. But for implementations like Firefox and Chrome, their video player code is not the system code. It's part of the app. They would need to individually license it or re architect their browser to expose it to OS-level dependencies, which is not ideal.
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

I don't get the problem with Mozilla supporting HTML5 video though.

I don't recall the actual H.264 license fee structure, but I do remember feeling it was very reasonable. For example, it's free for small distributions of less than 100,000 copies IIRC. Even at Mozilla's distribution level, the price per copy seemed like it would be doable with donations.
post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

I don't recall the actual H.264 license fee structure, but I do remember feeling it was very reasonable. For example, it's free for small distributions of less than 100,000 copies IIRC. Even at Mozilla's distribution level, the price per copy seemed like it would be doable with donations.

Mozilla would need to pay $5,000,000 PER YEAR to license h264. I don't think that is reasonable.

http://www.osnews.com/story/22787/Mo...t_License_h264
post #29 of 100
You like to throw out the specter of 2016. So much will change between now and 2016 its completely impossible to predict what the environment will be at that time. Or what the MPEG-LA will do.

Its a bit premature to say everyone is jumping all over WebM. Google has trotted out the usual suspects that are always brought out when some big new initiative is being made. Most of the time nothing comes of it.

Primarily the biggest challenge for WebM is the iPhone OS and Mobile Safari. The most used platform and mobile browser for delivering mobile media. It already has a big head start with H.264. There are many excellent apps and web sites that make exclusive use of H.264, there is little reason or incentive for those developers to also deliver WebM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

And yes, the royalty uncertainty with h264 as of Jan 1st, 2016 makes a lot of people nervous. My employer is using h264 right now but out of necessity -- they are nervous about it as we're becoming a vendor for video which can get very expensive very quickly. If the royalties arrive in 2016, we'll have a massive back catalog of h264 that'll cost us a fortune in annual fees. WebM is looking very, very good to them right now. There's a reason why everyone's jumping all over it unless they're already H264 licensees (Apple, MS).
post #30 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

The author demonstrably does not know what he's talking about, as it's live now and it looks great. The builds are available, download them and try it. Stop taking this propaganda for truth. Try it out.

Probably more of an issue of lack of clarity. The writer sounds to me that he has some good knowledge on this.

Apple and microsoft are the only big players in pc os so they own the issue. I don't see the advantage of the codec on those operating systems. The question is which codecs they bundle and developers should support those along with flash. I don't want users in my website to download a codec when I can already give them a QuickTime or mp or flash solution. Maybe this is more of a linux thing.
post #31 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

I'm not a Linux programmer. I care... Companies care. They may have to pay millions of dollars to get what is a marginal and frankly, not noticable difference in quality.

It bothers me greatly to have content locked up in a format where, conceivably 10 years down the road someone tells you that you need to pay to see it. That's not right. It's your content. The software you have now will continue to work after 2016 by the way. I don't think that they have the power to restrict playback. The vote is 2016 is the ability for the end user to encode to h264 without a license.

I got burned in many years past by Intel's Indeo codec...I had a ton of videos in it and suddenly the codec went kaput. Was a nightmare getting those videos to play again. Ever since then I've been wary about codecs that could lock you out of your content either by being unavailable, or commercial.

How is h264 more flexible, by the way? That's an interesting statement to make.

BTW: Windows 7 has h264 licenses. Windows XP and Vista do not. That is the majority of the PC market without h264 licenses.


It is if you have a massive amount of videos and you don't have Google's resources.


I'm not sure why you think a law about transistor density impacts the development pace of highly mathematical, highly complex algorithms.


I don't know if you understand this so I'll make the distinction -- NO 3rd party software has a license unless they buy it themselves when they run on Windows 7 or OS X. OS X and Windows 7's h264 decoders (Windows Media Foundation in Windows, QTCore in OS X) have the license. Apps that happen to use those decoding engines/libraries would be licensed, because those apps aren't decoding -- the OS is. But for implementations like Firefox and Chrome, their video player code is not the system code. It's part of the app. They would need to individually license it or re architect their browser to expose it to OS-level dependencies, which is not ideal.

Intel's codec wasn't run by a standards group. History doesn't always play out the same way. There are bigger things at stake here in 2016 because Apple and Microsoft have a stake in this.

h264 has more profiles so it is more flexible. VP8 may eventually, but it will be years away.

Don't get me wrong though. I'm all about having a competing standard, I'm just in favor of h264 as the dominate codec.
post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

You like to throw out the specter of 2016. So much will change between now and 2016 its completely impossible to predict what the environment will be at that time. Or what the MPEG-LA will do.

That's precisely the problem. Why would you want to jump into a pool of uncertainty when you don't have to?

Quote:
Its a bit premature to say everyone is jumping all over WebM. Google has trotted out the usual suspects that are always brought out when some big new initiative is being made. Most of the time nothing comes of it.

Every major mobile ASIC/SoC vendor is going to support hardware acceleration by the end of the year. BY FAR the largest video site online is supporting it all-out (yeah, Google owns them). Chrome, Firefox, and Opera will support them very shortly while MS will permit users to install the codec to play them in IE9. The only browser that won't be able to play WebM is Safari, with its paltry ~4.5% marketshare. Firefox is the only browser that can't play h264, but that's a 25% marketshare.

Quote:
Primarily the biggest challenge for WebM is the iPhone OS and Mobile Safari. The most used platform and mobile browser for delivering mobile media. It already has a big head start with H.264. There are many excellent apps and web sites that make exclusive use of H.264, there is little reason or incentive for those developers to also deliver WebM.

Considering the latest growth numbers (Android passing iPhoneOS in USA and on pace to pass worldwide this year), I don't think it's that big of a concern.
post #33 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

It bothers me greatly to have content locked up in a format where, conceivably 10 years down the road someone tells you that you need to pay to see it. That's not right. It's your content.

This COULD happen that does not mean it WILL happen. Its very unlikely that the MPEG-LA will suddenly charge everyone in this fashion. They would kill the codec.

Quote:
I got burned in many years past by Intel's Indeo codec...I had a ton of videos in it and suddenly the codec went kaput. Was a nightmare getting those videos to play again. Ever since then I've been wary about codecs that could lock you out of your content either by being unavailable, or commercial.

You poorly chose a codec that wasn't widely supported, that was the reason it stopped being used. You cannot take that example and widely apply it to any codec.
post #34 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Mozilla supports Ogg Theora AND WebM. The others are blatantly patent encumbered, and Mozilla is philosophically (and financially) opposed to it. Mozilla is all about the open web, and you can't have an open web with strings (and patents) attached.

True. But the possibility of VP8 having patent problems is very high as has been pointed out by a number of authors. Google is making statements about this that simply aren't true. It's hard to believe that they aren't aware of that.


Ogg Theora is well known as a bad codec. You wouldn't want to use it instead of H.264, or even VP8, which is better, but not as good as H.264.

This is one article by Daniel that I completely agree with, and that doesn't always happen.
post #35 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

That's precisely the problem. Why would you want to jump into a pool of uncertainty when you don't have to?

I think there is more uncertainty surrounding VP8 then h264 right now. Maybe there will be less in a couple years as VP8 matures, gets supported, and patent related issues get resolved. Besides, this isn't about one codec must rule them all. One thing is clear, you will need to support h264 as an option going forward if you want IE and Safari users to visit your site. So essentially it isn't your decision to make. If Mozilla doesn't support h264, then you don't get to vote by supporting the under dog either. Everyone will need to support both codecs in that case. The only vote you really have is for Ogg Theora because its marketshare is minimal.

As an app developer, I vote for h264 because it is already hardware accelerated and stable. I do have a vote because I don't need to support web browsers.
post #36 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

That's precisely the problem. Why would you want to jump into a pool of uncertainty when you don't have to?

You are making it a lot more dramatic than the reality. Nothing is absolutely certain. But its highly unlikely the MPEG-LA would literally charge everyone to use H.264.


Quote:
Every major mobile ASIC/SoC vendor is going to support hardware acceleration by the end of the year. BY FAR the largest video site online is supporting it all-out (yeah, Google owns them). Chrome, Firefox, and Opera will support them very shortly while MS will permit users to install the codec to play them in IE9. The only browser that won't be able to play WebM is Safari, with its paltry ~4.5% marketshare. Firefox is the only browser that can't play h264, but that's a 25% marketshare.

Mobile devices are growing far faster than desktp/laptop PC's. Mobile devices will become the primary way most people access the internet. IE and Firefox have little to no presence on the mobile web. Safari has roughly 60% market share.

Quote:
Considering the latest growth numbers (Android passing iPhoneOS in USA and on pace to pass worldwide this year), I don't think it's that big of a concern.

Android as an OS will easily outsell the iPhone. That does not necessarily mean its web usage will equal the iPhone OS.
post #37 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

The only browser that won't be able to play WebM is Safari, with its paltry ~4.5% marketshare. Firefox is the only browser that can't play h264, but that's a 25% marketshare.


Considering the latest growth numbers (Android passing iPhoneOS in USA and on pace to pass worldwide this year), I don't think it's that big of a concern.

Are you saying apple is so insignificant that we should not worry about safari video playback compatibility on apple desktops and mobile devices?
post #38 of 100
Its Republicans way or no way!
Its Apples way or no way!!!!!!!!


Apple is doing same what republican's are doing.
Saying 'No'.
post #39 of 100
They don't really have to. The browser could hand the media off to media player built into the browser. It could allow Quicktime or WMP to handle the media.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Mozilla would need to pay $5,000,000 PER YEAR to license h264. I don't think that is reasonable.
post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by DinPats View Post

Its Republicans way or no way!
Its Apples way or no way!!!!!!!!


Apple is doing same what republican's are doing.
Saying 'No'.

That analogy would only work if Republicans only had authority over Republicans and Democrats only had authority over Democrats. (That might actually be an improvement though.)
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