I admit that the nexus is a bit tenuous, but if you’re an Apple Final Cut Pro producer, you’re undoubtedly producing for the Web. Over the past few months, you’ve been hearing that Flash is going away, H.264 is going away, and soon you’ll have to produce all your video in an open-source video codec called Ogg Theora (of all things). Well I’m here to tell you why that won’t happen, so you can push away all those scary, vicious rumors and go back to what you do all day.
This is a two-part article. Part 1 will take a look at HTML5 and what it can and can’t do, and part 2 will focus on the future of Ogg Theora.
Figure 1. Browser market share.
Starting from the beginning
Let me start from the beginning. Until about a year ago, most video playback in a browser occurred via a plug-in—usually Adobe Flash, but also Windows Media, Apple QuickTime, and Microsoft Silverlight. What’s new about HTML5 is that it implements a video tag directly in the HTML code on the web page, so no external plug-in is required to play the video. However, instead of relying upon a plug-in to decode the video, the browser would have to ship with the codec necessary to decode the video.
In a perfect world, there would be one video codec, it would be free, and all the browser vendors could simply include the decode component with their browsers. We could all encode to that one format and the video would play in every browser, no plug-ins required.
Continues @ The Future of Web Video, Part 1.