X264 developer says Google's new VP8 WebM codec is a mess

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 89
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    You are free to make encoders for H.264 without paying the MPEG-LA licensing fees.



    What makes H.264 an open standard is the fact that no one company owns it, unlike Flash.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blullama View Post


    Obviously there are degrees of Open, and I'm saying it's not truly open unless it's fully open.



    H.264 is open just a crack. We have the specifications, but if someone were to use those specifications to create their own codec, they could get sued due to patents. Which, then tightly closes the door on the format.



  • Reply 82 of 89
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    You are free to make encoders for H.264 without paying the MPEG-LA licensing fees.



    Even then, how much of the encoders they do create will be found to infringe on existing patents?



    If Google really wants to see this fledgling codec take off, they should be willing to indemnify anyone who uses VP8/WebM against any and all patent lawsuits.



    Then we'd know Google is really serious and not just playing tech politics.
  • Reply 83 of 89
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,334member
    The scary thing is: if it performes ok without crashing to the end user Google can just shoot. The end user most of the time just cares for the content anyways. They don't care whether it's h264, v8, flash, html5 or whatever.
  • Reply 84 of 89
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blullama View Post


    ...



    H.264 is open just a crack. We have the specifications, but if someone were to use those specifications to create their own codec, they could get sued due to patents. Which, then tightly closes the door on the format.



    What you are advocating is what Microsoft did with Java. Microsoft's "embrace and extend" was the strategy that the Redmond Monopoly used to highjack open standards and turn them into proprietary implementations. Sun sued Microsoft and won. Now Microsoft must distribute standard Java rather than its proprietary implementation. Do you really believe that we would be better off if Microsoft had won the lawsuit?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blullama View Post


    Adobe has recently provided the Specifications for Flash, thus, it is open in the same sense. If I decided to take up the challenge, I could develop a Flash player using those specifications without using an ounce of code from Adobe.



    ...



    Am I missing something or are you required to use Adobe tools to develop Flash content?
  • Reply 85 of 89
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    The scary thing is: if it performes ok without crashing to the end user Google can just shoot. The end user most of the time just cares for the content anyways. They don't care whether it's h264, v8, flash, html5 or whatever.



    The user only cares if they can't get to the content they want. They'll probably never figure out that the Flash player on their device is what's killing their battery life. Adobe flat-out denies it (despite facts to the contrary) and the fanbois try to shout down anyone who points out the, er, ah, inconsistency. So, as long as UX is secondary or even tertiary, yeah you can throw pretty much anything out there at your users if you don't care about them. Google hasn't exactly been known for a solid UX anyway, so why would this suddenly be different. They are, by and large, engineers and not designers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Am I missing something or are you required to use Adobe tools to develop Flash content?



    Only key parts. You can't, for example, use Flash to DRM your stuff without Adobe's tools. And that's what Hulu says is keeping them from moving off Flash. So they claim you can use open tools for Flash development but key parts of the spec are unavailable (because Adobe retains patent rights to them) without a $700 copy of Flash CS5. Also, to get support for the latest features in Flash 10.x requires Adobe-specific tools. And you can't deploy your own open sores Flash 10-compatible player, say, if you wanted to implement one with fewer security vulnerabilities.



    So it's supposed to be "open", but just in a way that looks good to bloggers and fanbois and executives; not in any sort of real-world usable way.
  • Reply 86 of 89
    blullamablullama Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    Only key parts. You can't, for example, use Flash to DRM your stuff without Adobe's tools.



    There isn't any DRM on the videos used in Flash. It's just video encoded with a video encoder. Else, it wouldn't play them either. The video is just fed through Flash Player before being displayed on the screen. This helps to prevent unauthorized downloading of the video content.



    DRM is encryption applied to multimedia content that requires a key to allow it to be viewed.



    Thus, you can make your own Flash builder and feed video into it and play it with your own Flash Player. However, you still have to license the codecs needed to play the video back.
  • Reply 87 of 89
    asherianasherian Posts: 144member
    Counterpoint to this article, not sure if it was posted yet. Very good read: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail...ay/047795.html
  • Reply 88 of 89
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Asherian View Post


    Counterpoint to this article, not sure if it was posted yet. Very good read: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail...ay/047795.html



    While I disagree with most of your points I agree that the general theme of that link is valid and true.



    Quote:

    Quote:

    Apparently the codec itself isn't as good as H264, and patent problems are still likely. It's better than Theora though.



    You should have seen what VP3 was like when it was handed over to Xiph.Org. The software was horribly buggy, slow, and the quality was fairly poor (at least compared to the current status).



    Jason's comparison isn't unfair but you need to understand it for what it is? he's comparing a very raw, hardly out of development, set of tools to his own project? which is the most sophisticated and mature video encoder in existence.



  • Reply 89 of 89
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    This link is basically putting the discussion into a context of comparing an mature established codec to a brand new immature codec. Which is all very true.



    That is essentially the rub. H.264 is a mature and well established codec that is excellent at what it does. From a performance standpoint there is no reason to replace it with something else.



    WebM is not quite as good as H.264 baseline and is not flexible enough to compete with all of H.264 profiles. The only real advantage that can be argued for WebM is that its free.



    What WebM primarily does is provide competition for H.264. Which is good, I cannot think of many circumstances where competition is a bad thing. The H.264 consortium has momentum and a deep talent pool. Competition gives them incentive to continue to extend the superiority of the codec.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Asherian View Post


    Counterpoint to this article, not sure if it was posted yet. Very good read: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail...ay/047795.html



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