Apr 26 2011

YouTube Encoding videos to WebM is the right choice

s30vng4n YouTube Encoding videos to WebM is the right choiceAdobe Flash video has been a hassle for years. First with having to even install the Adobe Flash player and then to endure the lack of timely updates and security problems that Adobe has had with the plug-in.

And up until recently, Adobe had not released a player for Adobe Flash or the 64-bit systems; holding back developers yet again. And while Adobe has released a 64-bit version of their player the performance of the player is still an overall bad design and the position that Google is taking is the right one.

On Google’s YouTube site, they’ve indicated that they’re now encoding all uploaded videos to WebM.

Normally, I would say this is a bad thing, but because of a ‘lack’ of a standard in the video market, I believe this is a good thing.

To explain my point, I believe there should be a standard level for playing video over the web; just as there are for JPG and TIFF and PNG; so there should be for video and audio. If nothing more than a base line for viewing content.

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. 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.

Adobe Flash was a stop gap for that; there was no standard and this left them in the position to dictate exactly how video was rendered— and it became the ‘standard’ for a long time, but performance and security wise there were some big trade offs… the Adobe Flash player kept getting bigger and bigger and bulkier. My example would be to ask a person with an older PC to make an attempt to play a Adobe Flash video with the same laptop/PC… it’s going to laggy and slow…

Technically, if the video was in WebM then and it worked on the laptop/PC, it’ll work just fine now on the same system. This isn’t going to be the case with Adobe Flash. The code has not been refined for older systems, only newer systems; forcing users to upgrade— it just doesn’t seem fair that Adobe has had this power for so long and been able to hold the web community [the world] captive like this…

So, from my standpoint, having a web standard like WebM is the right way to go. Even if it’s not ‘the’ standard; it’s a standard we can build on..

I’m not going to argue performance and memory usage; this post isn’t about that— it’s about having a standard and NOT requiring a plug-in to view content… the browsers can handle that. And as everyone knows the browsers are the Windows to the world, and without a doubt right now, the browser as the MOST developing applications on the web right now [at almost every 6 weeks].

I’m actually surprised that Microsoft hadn’t tried to present something like this, to set a standard, but Microsoft hasn’t done anything in a long time to clarify anything loud. Their last attempt at loud was Internet Explorer 9… and that didn’t work at all.

But over all this should be helping all the Internet users as well as those with Smartphones; getting the most out of their iPhones and Androids…

I like the new standards on the web; the HTML 5 and the WebM — I believe it’s going to be the right choice in the long run. And with YouTube having the most popular site for video; having them change their video format will ensue change quickly.

I’m feeling good about this move to standard video formats…


Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

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