It looks like no one can agree on what is the best way to deliver video over the web. Why is this important? Because with ubiquitous fast connections and processors now available to most people, video is the preferred medium online for entertainment, and in many cases, information. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and a sound is worth a thousand pictures, then video is, well, you get the idea. If this weren’t so, TV and movies would not be at the center of the entertainment world. And because the Internet can deliver these media digitally, it is naturally the best way for consumers to access them. And that equates to big business.
So what do the people who have the power to establish the standards that allow everyone to benefit from video online do? They fight with each other, of course, since it’s much more important to own the whole pie than to create a level field for all to compete on. And the battle goes on.
First, it was Real vs. QuickTime vs. Windows Media. Then Flash stepped in and, because of YouTube’s adoption of Flash and the ubiquity of the Flash plug-in, it became the de facto web video standard. Today, it’s Flash vs. the H.264 codec, which plays without plug-ins in browsers via HTML 5.
So what’s the problem? In brief, Adobe wants to own the world of web video, and Apple doesn’t like this. Nor does Microsoft, which has designs on web media domination with its Silverlight technology. Several patent holders own the rights to H.264 and they can’t agree on anything, especially royalties. And the Firefox and Opera browsers support a format that few have even heard of (Ogg Theora – ugh).
We can only hope this mess resolves quickly, the way the format war between Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD did in recent years. But according to this article from Webmonkey, that doesn’t appear to be likely. So in the meantime, keep that Flash plug-in handy — although it won’t help if you own a mobile product made by Apple.
Full article: http://bit.ly/cgxcSu