Adobe's Flash Platform took another hit Monday when a leading online video technology provider announced enhanced and growing support for HTML5, specifically intended to support non-Flash devices such as Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Brightcove, which describes itself as a "a cloud-based online video platform," said in …
It's just about Apple
For "non-Flash devices", simply read "Apple products".
By not supporting OGG, Firefox as well as Opera won't work, and IE9 is long from being released and won't be available for XP or 2K users, so what's the benefit of using HTML 5 here?
if you're not going to offer OGG, you still need Flash for IE, Opera, Firefox and everyone else, so what's the benefit in offering both HTML5 videos and Flash? Other than pandering to Apple's products. Why can't they just support Flash like everyone else?
The situation is crazy because if you don't want to start blocking people, you now need to offer your videos in not one but THREE FORMATS! H264, Ogg and Flash. So you may as well just offer them in Flash and let everyone use the plugin, saving yourself more than two-thirds of the disk space, transcoding time and complication.
People should stick to Flash for mainstream sites and wait for many years until IE8 is dead and gone before they start using HTML5 video tags. In the meantime, Apple can learn to get with the program and support Flash too. At the very least the dickhead politicians working at the browser companies need to stop picking 'camps' that lead all the web designers back into browser war no-mans-land, and either settle on H264 or implement support for both codecs.
" Apple can learn to get with the program and support Flash too"
Have you ever 'experienced' Flash on OS X?
No, thought not. Perhaps Jobs might be more sympathetic if Adobe hadn't made such a pig's ear of it. It'll crash your browser, drain your battery and cook your gonads before you can say 'God awful'.
Flash does (pretty much) equal H.264 anyway.
You do realise that most Flash video is, in fact, H.264 encoded don't you? Well, clearly you don't.
Flash is just a wrapper for the video and audio codecs, not a codec in and of itself. To boot, most of the video formats that are served in a Flash .flv wrapper today, such as YouTube's content, are already encoded as H.264 (because it is better than other compression formats at this time). Therefore, you would not be creating three different formats for your videos in order to support HTML5. You would just create one file format (H.264), with one wrapped version of the same file (the .flv) as your fallback for the technically challenged browsers out there.
Serving Ogg Theora as well would indeed be a waste of time and resources, so all that will happen is that IE 8 and below, Firefox and Opera will continue to be served Flash while WebKit based browsers will be served H.264 via HTML5.
Not just Apple
Most mobile phones do not support Flash either. So get off your anti-Apple, pro-Flash high-horse. I personally hate Flash with a vengeance - too many websites are bloated with unnecessary Flash animation/menus.
not adobes fault, apparently apples
adobe has been quoted that unlike microsoft or linux users, when flash has performance problems, microsoft are very interested in helping adobe to fix those problems with feedback, debug cases and other information, whereas apple are generally known for not giving any information on why the issue is caused, therefore causing it to be very hard to know why the problem exists.
if you had a "client" who practically refused to give you debugging information to help solve the problem, would you think it's YOUR problem, or YOUR Problem because of THEM?
apple are just not interested in flash, unknown reasons why because they don't compete with flash on anything, all their products have no interest in flash.
PERHAPS the reason is that they just don't like compiled or interpreted code, they didnt specifically say flash in their iphone sdk licence, but they ban all forms, even basic interpreters in C64 emulators
so perhaps the reason is not because they dislike flash, but really because they dislike all forms of interpreted code, therefore feel no interest to helping them survive, or improve. however, I suppose the needs of their CUSTOMERS are not important, right?
considering how bad flash is on apple (and I am typing on a macbook, so I know how bad sometimes) I wonder why flash is the preferred environment for adobe flash designer, I suppose because of photoshop and the user interface apple provides, but I can't think of anything else.
I dont know whether you're a programmer, so I'll talk as if you're not (apologies if you are) but why not just support both?
I mean, you have a video codec installed for both video formats, then you basically wrap up the video loader with the ability to call a customised module with the same interface for both video types.
then at runtime, load the appropriate loader, or preload both of them and depending on the video codec required, instance the appropriate loader and bingo, you can support both.
anyone who says this is "hard" or "impossible" is talking out of their arsehole, seriously, it's a no-brainer, anyone who has written an application that can open a jpg OR a png, OR a gif file will know how to build such a system, you have three loaders, the same "interface" for all three and depending on say the file extension, you load the appropriate loader
BaseLoader *loader = new JPG_Loader("myfile.jpg");
BaseLoader *loader = new PNG_Loader("myfile.png");
BaseLoader *loader = new GIF_Loader("myfile.gif");
or whatever, it's SUPER easy, the only reason they didnt do it is because they wanna play these stupid browser wars, in googles case, they dont want to make video available in more than one format.
but AGAIN, this is stupid, if chrome supported h264 and ogg, youtube would not require ANY transcoding, everything would just "work" and firefox, would continue to use flash, which basically wraps up h264 anyway.
so even googles argument for not supporting ogg/theora is ridiculous.
apple on the other hand, is just being difficult because it's what they do, just look at flash, they refuse to support it, refuse to help increase performance and then complain saying it's adobes fault flash doesnt run very well.
even more stupid since it runs REALLY well on windows, difference? microsoft provide help, debugging and a desire to improve flash performance on their platform whereas apple just want it to die, for unknown reasons, perhaps they just hate interpreted code for the sake of it (again, ridiculous)
@Chris Thomas Alpha
"if you had a "client" who practically refused to give you debugging information to help solve the problem, would you think it's YOUR problem, or YOUR Problem because of THEM?"
Apple publish all their APIs and if you're any kind of programmer at all then you can step through your program and find exactly where it is crashing (and why).
Adobe have no excuse. Everyone else who has written code for OSX has been in the same boat and it's pretty rare that anything other than Flash will crash...
I have an addon which prevents Flash showing in Safari unless I click on it. I've since realised that I only ever use Flash for viewing video. Since Flash is just acting as a wrapper around someone else's video codec anyway, why do we need it at all?
re: not adobes fault, apparently apples
You make it sound like Adobe is always part of the solution, rather than the problem. Look at something like http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/05/adobe_security_modest_proposal/ and I'm not so sanguine.
Anyway, there's been a lot of bad blood for a while now between Apple and Adobe - you only need to look at the rumpus caused over OS X creating PDF documents natively.
Most mobile phones do not support Flash
Most mobile phones do not support Flash *that are out there*. Almost all mid-to-top end phones noew ship with Flash (at least lite), and the Open Screen Project is going to bring the full v10 player to mobile *this year* on just about every platform.
Given that Adobe's position is that Apple doesn't work with them, unlike Microsoft (and, I assume, Linux developers, although you don't mention them), Flash on Windows and Linux should be fast and efficient, yes?
So why is it a slow bloated hog on those platforms as well?
Flash does h264
Ogg is dead in the water. No one except a handful of small fry will bother reencoding their perfectly good h264 content (as produced by virtually every modern media capture device in the world) into another format just for a small number of browsers that won't adopt h264. Companies that push video will only push h264. They'll do it either by harnessing html5, or by embedding Adobe Flash object in the page. It's kind of sad and ironic that Mozilla's idiotic stance on video codecs will see it increasingly marginalized by such sites. And to think it used to be IE that got the workarounds.
Yak yak yak
Where's the big "this guy has no sense of irony button"?
I see less and less to be got out of bashing Adobe for Flash's apparently poor showing with video. Adobe didn't invent the format but by adding support for video to it they certainly gave video on the web a massive boost as they pretty much ended the codec wars between Real and Microsoft and Quicktime. No server components required as long as your server could cope with clients streaming as fast as they can. Video becomes mainstream, pipes become thicker and we start worrying about the resolution. And all of a sudden it's Adobe's fault?
Enter HTML5, driven along most notably by the Firefox and Opera pragmatists. And now we are looking down the barrel of another codec war with Apple and Microsoft favouring the potentially pay-to-play but impressively standards sounding H.264, Firefox and Opera favouring the presumably free but proprietary and distinctively sounding Ogg and Google happy to jump into bed with anyone who'll look at them and apparently Adobe has got it all wrong? With the weight of content producers and software manufacturers behind it, H.264 is odds on to win but someone will still need to write a plug-in for Firefox and other less trendy operating systems or devices. Will we really be better off?
I'm not a fan of Adobe or Flash but the company has produced lots of software which people are happy to pay for to use and Flash added something to websites that wasn't available any other way* at time and with Flex is as up there with the rest of them. I still maintain that Adobe can drop Flash any time it wants to and generate othogonal standards-compliant content with their tools. And if video servers still require seek support and other goodies, what's to stop them still selling Adobe Media Servers? Apart from Apple, Microsoft or Google lock-in tools? "This film runs best with...." Adobe has got of a proven track record of getting it's stuff working on any many systems** as possible because as they have vested interest in proliferation. One of the reasons why they are such heavy users of Qt.
* Not true, of course, you could do it with Java but designers couldn't code it and programmers couldn't design.
** YMMV and botched implementations are known
RE: Yak yak yak
"Enter HTML5, driven along most notably by the Firefox and Opera pragmatists. And now we are looking down the barrel of another codec war with Apple and Microsoft favouring the potentially pay-to-play but impressively standards sounding H.264, Firefox and Opera favouring the presumably free but proprietary and distinctively sounding Ogg and Google happy to jump into bed with anyone who'll look at them and apparently Adobe has got it all wrong?"
Umm. I decided to do a little experiment, I downloaded a few video files that normally Flash would play for me. They say they are .flv files. When I look inside them, the video codec used is... H.264 (for almost all!)
So Adobe hasn't got it wrong, they (or programmers who use Flash) have picked exactly the same video format as the HTML5 guys. Adobe have however, inserted an unnecessary layer around the video. Why do we need it?
Well considering you can't actually use h.264 inside the flv file format that's an amazing feat.
(flv only uses sorenson h.263 and on2 vp6)
Flash happily plays h.264 in the form of mp4, mov, f4v etc. So no, you're entirely wrong when you say Adobe inserts an unecessary layer around the video.
FLV does support H264.
If you would care to examine page 8 of the FLV specification (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flv/pdf/video_file_format_spec_v9.pdf) you will see that one of the video options is AVC, AKA H264.
So developers, knowing that all us dribbling dweebs want to see cute kittens and fascinating caught-on-camera car wrecks are implementing a <video> tag to try to work around a lack of having done so before (enter Flash), yet the developers are running in two incompatible directions with this? Good God, it's like the late '90s all over again. Only not only do we have browser wars starting up again, we have encumbancies which could end up making a mockery of the open ethos the web is supposed to represent.
I think I'll stick with Flash (which works well enough (but then, I didn't buy Apple...)) for now. At least, until HTML6 rolls around and we know which side won.
Sticking with flash
Well "buying Apple" is clearly no longer a minority activity, for the people with "more money than sense" (more money than _you_, perhaps - but since you're professing an intention to specialise in Flash, there's no evidence that this is the same thing). Like it or loath it, the iPhone is clearly no 'flash' in the pan, and iPad will probably be a huge success, too.
Hell, even if they do have more "money than sense", isn't that exactly the sort of people you want to be writing ad-driven, commercial Web content for? We're in a recession, and sensible money doesn't always follow sense. Why build stuff for people on the dole?
However, I do take your point: just because the rest of the world is buying Datsuns, doesn't mean its a bad idea to specialise in Morris Minors... Just don't be surprised if you end up trading out of a range of old buildings somewhere outside Tunbridge Wells.
Hey, Tunbridge Wells is a nice place - and there's enough creeping horrors, out there, that are written in Flash, that Flash could become the COBOL of the Web. I've never met an unemployed COBOL programmer (I've never met a happy one, either, but that's by-the-by. To be honest, most of the COBOL programmers, I know, own iPhones! Except one. He bought a Windows phone. Now, he's REALLY unhappy!)
Too damned right!
There's an obvious mind-numbing stupidity here.
Let's just suppose for a moment that Ogg Theora did not, as yet, exist. HTML5 would, of course, implement H.264 as a "no brainer" and all browsers would natively support H.264. Now explain how writing Ogg Theora in that world would be anything other than an exercise in futility.
Now take the world we actually have and think about the future. Yes, we really should have stuck with plugins (aka. the devil we know) rather than adding bloat* to browsers.
Some standards exist to ease cooperation, some only serve to stifle innovation despite the intentions of their authors. I believe that HTML5 video is firmly in the latter category.
*Also, feel free to substitute the words "increased attack surface" for the word "bloat".
Not a Standard
Except H264 isn't a standard so long as it has royalty payments per copy.
what kind of drival is this?
It is a standard, maybe not one you like, maybe not an OPEN standard, but it is a standard.
(FTR: I am opposed both to settleing on h.264 and not settleing on a required codec)
Flash and Apple
Oh dear, downvotes ahead... :-)
I mentioned Apple because oh so many times when Flash is being slagged off, it is by an Apple user. This has been pushed to the max by Jobs himself declaring his lack of love for Flash, so much so that the piece of crap iPad won't run it. And before you slam me for my thoughts on hardware I've never seen, keep in mind that without Flash support it won't run YouTube or BBC iPlayer or a number of *simple* web radio interfaces, embedded music players... you'll find Flash doing rather a lot more than just playing crap animated adverts. And, for me, the costs - in terms of processor time - is outweighed by the advantages.
For sure, Flash is fairly lame for video, in a large part because it doesn't treat video as something like MPlayer would. It is rendered differently, the slow way, in part so that people can add stupid annotations and other nonsense, and in part because it wasn't really designed to be a video player. More a multimedia jack-of-all-trades. But, you know, with advert blocking enabled, my websites come though nice and fast. YouTube works perfectly well in 360p and 480p. My computer isn't up to 720p, and that's playing MPEG4 native, never mind via Flash. It just works, and as a post of mine last month demonstrates, it works windowed and full screen without horrible CPU utilisation. Multiple simultaneous plays are possible (although WHY would be a question...). For those who have such difficulties as to loathe and detest Flash, you might want to stop picking holes in Adobe (easy target, granted) and start asking questions about your operating system's capabilities.
@ Daniel 1 - I am not "professing an intention to specialise in Flash". I am professing an intention to *use* and keep using Flash while all you HTML5 wannabes battle it out to see which direction it will take. The major browsers are split in two camps - those who embrace H.264 and those who don't. As soon as sites start appearing with HTML5 <video> embeds, we may suddenly find we are reliant on multiple browsers to get anything done. You can't stick a VHS tape into a Beta deck. And, eventually, this will piss everybody off and some enterprising bloke will write a plugin so browser <x> can use video codec <y>. Which is pretty much what Flash does now.
So, fine, evolve, slam Flash, beat yourself senseless over the mess that the <video> tag is going to be. But don't pick on me if I should be stupid enough to decide to stick with what "just works" until something better THAT JUST WORKS comes along.
Final point - I can see the drool'n'click luxury of video support in a browser. One big package does on the 'net and does it all. But, in real terms, isn't a plugin better? Reasons - browsers are starting to look an awful lot like an exercise in code bloat; you can update the plugin without necessarily updating the entire browser, whether it be for security or to support additional functionality like hardware accelation; implementation specifics, I might have a chipset supported by a special version of the plugin so I could install that version instead of the standard build for extra speed; and last but not least if I don't WANT video, I can just not install the plugin...
Replying to my own post, oh dear...
I was playing around getting Xubuntu to deal with MP3s. The instructions on their site were nice and concise.
Then I saw the following explanation and thought about this (HTML5/video) topic. Oh dear...
"Ubuntu's commitment to only include completely free software by default means that proprietary media formats are not configured 'out of the box'."
This is a reply, it doesn't need a title!
"Firefox and Opera favouring the presumably free but proprietary and distinctively sounding Ogg"
Eh? OGG is open-source, not proprietary. H.264 is proprietary, not open-source. One is free, the other is not. One you have to (as far as I believe) pay to encode/decode (the pay to part hasn't kicked in yet... but it WILL), the other you don't. Can you guess which is which?
Theora (the video codec, OGG being the container) is, visually superior to H.264 at the same bitrates, much like Vorbis (the audio codec) is audibly superior to MP3 at the same bitrates (Vorbis also gives a nice, richer, warmer sound).
Who, in their right mind, would choose H.264 over Theora?
Sorry, I phrased myself poorly. I meant "sounds propietary" when referring to Ogg. *I* know it's free and unencumbered but many people out there don't. In marketing terms it's not a good start.
As for who would choose one format over the other - most of the existing Flash content is already in H.264 so swaping containers isn't an issue. But also H.264 is being promoted by the content owners who have a vested interest in it.
H.264 is open...
...but patent encumbered and you need a license if you are encoding for anything other than personal use. At least that is my understanding.
And sorry to burst your bubble, but OGG.Theora is inferior, it is based on tech that precedes H.264 by a good few years (OGG.Theora is base on On2's VP3 codec, they were at VP8 when Google bought them: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/20/google_nabs_on2/).
Why choose H.264? Hardware support, pure and simple. None exists for OGG (Theora or Vorbis) and there is plenty floating about for H.264 (and MP3). This makes the encoding/decoding a much easier proposition. Xiph simply isn't in a position to bargain for OGG Theora/Vorbis hardware support, and there is not point in using OGG as there is no hardware support. Chicken, meet egg.
It would be nice if OGG won (and even nicer if Google released VP8 under irrevocable license), I won't argue that. But I fear it won't happen. Vested interests, money and shafting the consumer once again are much more important to Google et al.
When I was your age...
"And sorry to burst your bubble, but OGG.Theora is inferior, it is based on tech that precedes H.264 by a good few years"
Older technology is not always inferior.
Get a high-quality source video (preferably one with a good deal of action in it), and best-of-breed encoders for OGG.Theora and H.264. Encode the video at the same bitrate for each codec and then check the resulting files for size and video quality. Then tell me which one is inferior.
live video? content protection?
what options are there today for live video streaming using Ogg Theora? For raw H.264, Flash, Windows Media (Silverlight) there are a number of hardware and software solutions
for on-demand video while a lot of content is youTube there's services like iPlayer or Netflix that require content protection - geoblocking, player authentication etc. Again, Flash, Silverlight offer this but with raw H.264 and Ogg there seems to be a lack of answers.
HTML5 <video> is a great starting block - once the standards align - but people still need to make money. By making protected content much harder the only people who make money are Google by selling ads next to your content and maybe giving you a small cut ... what's that going to do for content creation ecosystem especially with the investment required for live events?
Been there done that for all sorts of test cases, and I agree with most other true video professionals (as opposed to freetards with a religious axe to grind) that h.264 provides superior results for a given bandwidth across all scenarios.
Theora generally needs far greater bandwidth (up to 50%) to provide similar quality. As video bandwidth is the main cost for video providers, why should they pay substantial extra costs to keep a fractional element of religious loonies happy?
Have a look at any correctly configured test e.g http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~nick/theora-soccer/ for a good overview. There are freetard comparisons out there that try desperately to weigh a comparison in favour of theora, but any intelligent analysis shows they have inevitably (and probably deliberately) incompetently and disingenguously configured the h.264 encoders parameters incorrectly.
You're quite patently (heh) insane if you think Theora is superior to h.264.
It's not surprising really, freetards have a warped mindset that'll do anything to support their flat-earth vision of how proprietary is always bad and free is always good, no matter how much real life experience. scientific theory, or plain ol facts present themselves to prove otherwise.
How do FOSS loonies explain results like the following (carried out by a google employee no less)
@AC 29-03-10 21:53
Technically you are incorrect, Brightcove would only need to store video in two formats when delivering to HTML5/OGG, HTML5/h.264 as their flash player would plays the h.264 video. Just like YouTube does.
So it's HD vs Blu-Ray all over again
Only this time the contenders are H.264 vs Ogg Vorbis.
And it seems that, surprise, surprise, the big money is going towards the codec that requires a license. Color me shocked.
The only little grain of sand in this clockwork play is that the medium is the Internet. This is not some living-room issue where the likes of Sony can shoehorn their solution with a trojan game console under the noses of the clueless.
The Internet has a marked tendency to prefer open and free.
But hey, this battle will be faught for decades, so be sure to grab lots of popcorn.
The "Brightcove Experience"
Prepare for insertion.
Video 2000 was better as well
The best has nothing to do with this...And Adobe could have had it all if they weren't so stubborn. This is a clear message that serious content producers are taking these devices very serious and 'get it' unlike some developers who like 'the best'....
Personally I never liked the flash container for video, but hey it did its trick...If they don't play the game, flash will only be left on silly kiddy sites and silly online game sites....Don't underestimate the power of lobby with SJ...
the real reasons...
forget for a moment which platform is better... what this is about the browser markets protecting their own market shares and limiting new players into the market.
Not too many years ago, the chioce was Firefox or IE... opera was and still is a minor player.. Now Google came along and produced a browser that can play with the other big boys.and its ate into the two big players market.
The way I see things is that if H.264 becomes a web standard in html5. If I wanted to and started programming my own browser, i would have to pay to use H.264 to be able to keep to standards. Because of the pricing of this licence, it has to restrict new players to the market.
When you take into account that in many respects ogg is superior to H.264, and costs nothing to use then why exactly are they pushing for H.264?
That's not really true
Unless you also intend to licence your fonts, code your own scrollbar, etc. To my knowledge, both of the significant commercial OSs ship with H.264 decompressors which can be leveraged by applications to whatever end they see fit.
Glad you pointed that out
I've been reading this stuff, and similar in other places, wondering why browsers like Firefox don't just use the system's built-in h.264 codec if it's available and support it that way. Is it just politics, or would doing that still run them into licence issues?
"HTML5, specifically intended to support non-Flash "
There's nothing to stop Adobe using HTML5 and open standards - apart from greed and a complete lack of programming ability.
It all does not make much sense.
You have a website. Which costs money.
You can get money back by doing something on the website (advertisements, webshop, etc).
But in order for this to work, you need a large potential market share. That is lot's of people need to be able to access your site. And of course this access should not come as a cost to you.
So you use open webstandards as ip/tcp, http and html since they are free. If adobe would charge visitors of a website for flash nobody would use flash. The same goes for H.264.
So how much lower in price than free (in the freedom and gratis sense) can you get? Opting for the "free" ogg and HTML5 is a business no brainer. By using free technology people can access your site more easily. Which means, larger potential market share. Only at lower costs for you as an additional benefit.
I would definitely start recording video's in ogg from now on. Recoding what you already have in H.264 only makes sense when you need to start paying for H.264. Switching to ogg today makes sure you pay less when that happens.
The h.264 fee is included in your encoding software.
Encode once to h.264 and store one file that can be played back by html5 or flash, which covers most normal users.
Or you can pay for twice as much storeage and a lot more bandwidth for Theora's inefficiently coded files, and alternative file formats for the majority of people that aren't wrapped up in a FOSS chest beating frenzy.
Using h.264 is the -real- business no brainer for real video site operators, as opposed to ivory tower FOSS zealots that shout a lot but don't actually have to pay operation costs.
Just to point out..
The Linux version of Opera 10.50 uses system installed GStreamer libraries that DO support H,264 (as well as OGG).
The Windows version of Opera 10.50 uses Opera deployed GStreamer DLL's that only do OGG.
I assume it's because the libraries are already there on Linux, that Opera don't have to worry about the problems that H.264 licensing brings, however they can't deploy these on WIndows without opening a can of worms....
Presumably if Brightwotsit were actually a 'Video giant', you wouldn't need to explain who/what they were.
I've never heard of them.
Content protection is still the black hole in HTML5
I think the most important thing is that while Brightcove might *support* HTML5, it's up to the client to turn it on, and very few media companies will as they don't want their streams to be ripped - they'll be turning on RTMPE and SWF Verification instead in Flash.