Originally Posted by d-range
First of all: writing, using and distributing a decoder or encoder for H264 is free for non-profit use, and even for commercial use there is a lower bound on the money you make off H264 video's before you have to start paying. As so many before me already mentioned, MPEG-LA has stated this will remain this way until the patents expired, which makes a lot of sense because they wouldn't benefit at all if everyone abandoned H264 because MPEG-LA acted like codec-nazi's: in the end, non-profit users are not what MPEG-LA hopes to get their revenue from to recuperate their investments in creating H264.Second: in what way is it a bad thing that commercial entities making money off H264 encoders or decoders have to pay a trivial part of their profits to the inventors of the standard, and how is this different from *any other* piece of technology licensed to third parties? Do you think USB should be replaced because every cable vendor using the USB logo on their cable needs to pay licensing fees? Do you know how many patented and licensed technlogies are used in modern operating systems? Almost every bit of software down to the fonts and the way they are rendered has been licensed and paid for one way or another. Did you know there are companies who even *gasp* pay people to write software for them, so they can sell it or use it to support their own products?! It's what they call 'the economy' or 'creating value in exchange for money'. If you hate that idea so much, you should move to North Korea.
Did I ever say anything of the sort? I am well aware that many products use patents from all over the place, there is simply no way to get around it. Now regarding Google, they just so happen to OWN THEIR OWN CODEC, something they bought and will utilize. Why the hell would a company like Google pay someone else for something they ALREADY OWN? Doesnt make any sense does it? Especially if they plan on expanding Youtube significantly like i think they will.
Originally Posted by d-range
Third: on the topic of Mozilla: it's a shame the people in charge at Mozilla are too dickheaded to just announce they will not support H264 natively because of patent issues (that part they already have covered), but that instead they will write a plugin that hooks into the OS codecs (which already have been licensed and paid for by the OS vendor). Problem solved, everyone happy. The only reason they haven't done this *yet*, is because they are still quietly hoping that somehow the whole world will agree and ditch H264 for something else and that HTML5 will list a different codec as the one and only one for <video> tags. This simply won't happen because companies already invested billions in hardware and software supporting H264, and none of them have anything to gain throwing that out because someone else likes their stuff to be 'open' or 'free'. The sunken costs of licensing H264 are huge, almost everyone and their mother already supports H264 and paid for it. Mozilla's hard-headedness doesn't make sense and it's a purely ideological stance they are taking.
Firefox controls a big share of internet usage. It might seem like Mozilla is being an ass but they dont want to pony up the money when others are doing the same thing for free. Mozilla could easily make a plugin and support all 3, but somehow if it were that easy it would have been done already and it wouldn't be in discussion.
H.264 is far beyond just HTML5. Companies with money invested in hardware or software would lose little if any money at all. Hardware and Software wise, H.264 is nothing more than another codec to support. We would expect those companies to still support H.264 just like we would expect them to support any other format. But remember, those people are in the business for mass profit, be it hardware or software or both. Mozilla IS NOT.
And regardless of what side of the fence we sit on, Firefox and Chrome control roughly 45% of the web who will support it, and that number is not slowing at all. From a content provider, thats a pretty damn good split. That means serving content in WebM and H.264 if i want to go the HTML5 route, or Flash, the universal player. Funny enough is that Flash is going to support WebM just like H.264, so H.264 is losing its edge fast.
But i havent forgotten, Microsoft will have WebM support in IE9 and they are the roughly 45% and bleeding web browser. 90%....sounds like a pretty good damn number to know which HTML5 format to back. The only thing Apple needs to do is play ball with WebM, they dont have to give up H.264 for iTunes media if they dont want (im sure they will soon though)
Originally Posted by d-range
Last but not least: I understand that it's easy to pull out the fanboy argument on a forum dedicated to Apple, but let me remind you that Microsoft is also putting full-force support behind H264, just like Sony (with Blu-Ray), just like all those companies that were behind HD-DVD, just like Adobe (Flash has H264 built in), just like Nvidia and AMD (their cards decode H264 natively), and so on, and so forth. There's a much simpler explanation why H264 is so widely used: it's simply the best codec available, and the companies using it do not mind paying royalties to use it, because they make a lot of money using it in their products. Again, the market has already spoken on this issue, and it chose H264, in spite of the royalties involved.
And these are companies out to make a profit, Mozilla is not one of those companies (even though they do GET money from donations, do you spend it on devs or a codec?). Also, everyone of the companies you just listed sells hardware, and H.264 WAS the best out back then when they unleashed everything you just listed. WebM is now just as good, but it doesnt mean they are going to jump ship to this new platform. WebM
WebM has come a long way, from what ive read the newer builds of WebM have even lower CPU usage than that of H.264 (up to half in some cases) with hardware acceleration on Core 2 Duos and Atoms, which is great for mobile devices. Great playback, quality that looks damn near the same without being as resource intensive is win win in my book. Unfortunately there isnt much shown for the Mac side of things, where H.264 still reigned king.
Originally Posted by d-range
Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but if you ask me, your opinion on this issue is foolish. You're basically saying you want to settle for a lower quality video codec, for which no professional tooling is available at all, which is almost totally unsupported by any hardware on the market
, and which is likely just as patent encumbered as H264, because you 'like the idea that it is free and open'. Meanwhile the only sensible argument against the alternative codec that you can come up with is that other people (companies making profit from products using H264) have to pay royalties for using something they didn't invent themselves.
I really wonder what other products and services you refuse to buy or use in daily life because you don't agree on the distribution of the profits between all the companies in the production chain.
I've already dispelled the lower quality part. The visual differences are minimal, at best. H.264 is only a hair better, and its definitely the winner for resource hogging. Again, the latest builds of VP8 have H.264 beat in the hardware department, running on cheaper older hardware, using much less resources to accomplish 99.5% of the same thing and is still getting better. But if you still want hardware manufacturers, AMD, Nvidia, ARM, Intel, TI, Broadcom, and Qualcomm are backing WebM with hardware, so i'd say thats quite a lot of support.
Anyways, i could care less about royalties but for a company like Google, getting rid of it now is in their best interest while its still relatively small. If they have to buy licenses for Chrome, Chrome OS, Android, and possibly Youtube if they go paid services it would hit them with reoccuring yearly costs, as well as having wasted on On2 for VP8. Even still, Google just backing one format for say Youtube means they can save millions on server costs. That alone may be worth the switch to Google if they step into the streaming movie/television business soon like Hulu and Netflix.
And to your last point, there are only 3 things. I decided not to get a new mac and got a nice Acer laptop for 399 that i put Arch Linux on, i use VLC on both my PC and Mini cause obviously Linux doesnt have much for media playback and Quicktime sucks so damn bad and it should be criminal that they charge for 7 Pro. I use GIMP to edit photos since im not going to break the bank to get Photoshop, last is OpenOffice which i use on both, cause MS Office is way overpriced and Microsoft has a lot of my money already from owning an Xbox 360 and all the crap i got for it.