This is good leverage move for Google who can afford to be it's own master, but this is one of the reasons cross-system compatibility will always be an issue especially in areas like codec distribution; a technology constantly leaping forward in bandwidth and resource efficiency.
This will be interesting... competition is always good, as they say, so if WebM can do all of this, and for free... then go for it. I was a fan for Ogg for a while anyway.
I still feel the main reasoning here is mainly out of spite for Apple (the holder of the H.264 standard if I recall - don't quote me I can easily be wrong) for saying "nay-nay!" to flash (Flash being the main platform google's advertisers launch from...) so it's interesting to see...
Of course this is my own conspiracy theory and like most conspiracy theorists I'm probably insane.
Apple uses H.264 (like many other companies including Google's Youtube), but MPEG LA licenses it.
I think this is a great step for the open source community. It will be very interesting to see how strongly Google feels about this. It will be interesting to see if they ever even consider dropping h264 from youtube.
Great, 1 million devices down, another few billion to go before it reaches the level of H.264. Then there's the other problem of VP8 being inferior to H.264 video quality.
Can we stop dreaming that Google will kill H.264? It's a bluff and a strategy to harm Apple iOS by derailing HTML5. Google has already made it clear that the current Flash and Silverlight H.264 support in Chrome is *important* (http/www.digitalsociety.org/2011/01/google-is-killing-html5-to-harm-apple-ios/). All they're doing is derailing HTML5 H.264 support in Chrome which makes the case for migrating to HTML5 weaker. That in turn harms Apple which locks out Flash and Silverlight and only supports HTML5 video on the web.
[citation][nom]rpgplayer[/nom]well acceleration is one thing, now they just need quality.[/citation]
And in what way is WebM lacking in quality?
H.264 is in no way better and is a closed source, royalty charging format. Plus, flash requires Flash Player, a piece of software that has no alternatives and is the greatest unpatched security hole ever (and I'm taking IE 6 and Safari into account here too).
[citation][nom]georgeou[/nom]"And in what way is WebM lacking in quality?"Read Eugenia's expert commentary. That lady knows her stuff about video.http/www.osnews.com/permalink?457650[/citation]Here's my expert cross-examination:
When Eugenia said that WebM needs to be substantially better than H.264 to succeed, she's missing a lot of points. First of all, WebM is no less or more in quality than H.264. Now that's being said, she wants it to be vastly more in quality for it to win this format battle. She's obviously forgetting marketing power. Let me name a few examples where products won although it is not any better and in some ways vastly inferior but they won anyway due to marketing power. Apple iPod, Toshiba VHS, Sony Bluray, Microsoft Windows 3.1...
Google has that marketing power.
My second argument now is that WebM is vastly superior format to H.264. Sure, video/audio quality is better in some instances and worse in some instance which makes it quality comparable, it's the fact that WebM is free-source (not open-source). It's already got HW-acceleration decoders in less than a year. Now we await the HW-acceleration encoders. So to say that companies doesn't want to support WebM due to slow decode/encode is very short sighted.
And to bash the hope of WebM killing flash or silverlight, guess what? Someone could easily make a WebM flash player or a WebM silverlight player because WebM is free-source - and someone could make it even more HW-accelerated.
H.264 could end this mess by going free themselves. So why put a date on it? The current date is 2016. That kind of "renewal process" means that MPEG-LA wants to eventually charge people for H.264.
[citation][nom]georgeou[/nom]"When Eugenia said that WebM needs to be substantially better than H.264 to succeed, she's missing a lot of points"Expert cross-examination? Why don't you try some basic reading comprehension. She said VP8 is inferior to H.264. What part of that do you not understand?Here are the facts, Google will NOT drop H.264 from YouTube and Android. They have confirmed this.http/www.digitalsociety.org/2011 [...] ing-h-264/[/citation]Where does she say it is inferior? She only says it is not substantially better. You are just making thing up.
Not explicitly in that exact permalink, but she made many comments in that thread. She's also explained to me the following.
"According to the McCann law (PDF: ftp/ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/ist/docs/ka4/au_ws210906_lepannerer_en.pdf
), there are algorithmic advances that result in 15% bitrate reduction per year, for the same quality. This means that WebM would need 3-4 years to get where h.264 is today. By that time h.264 itself will have also gotten better, and h.265 will just be pushed hard and it will be having the upper hand as the next-gen format anyway."
[citation][nom]georgeou[/nom]And here's a permalink if you need to see her explicitly say WebM is visibly worse than H.264, as well as extremely slow to process.http/www.osnews.com/permalink?457711[/citation]Once again,, she is missing the point. Of course the encoders now are inferior. It takes time and WebM's development is much more accelerated due to it being free-source.
In the same argurment, so is IE better and vastly superior to Mozilla Firefox? Was it superior to firefox 4 years ago? Was it superior to firefox 6 years ago when it first launched? Just because H.264 is in the market led and supported by most does not mean WebM will not take over.
WebM may or may not win the format war, but it's not lacking in quality to H.264.