Microsoft mocks Google's H.264 decision

Discussion in 'General Software' started by IKT, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. IKT

    IKT Member

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    http://www.builderau.com.au/news/so...s-H-264-decision/0,339028227,339308576,00.htm

    My first thought was: look who's being a hypocritical **** :rolleyes:

    http://www.zdnet.com.au/google-pulling-h-264-video-out-of-chrome-339308526.htm

    So it's firefox, opera and google vs apple and microsoft, and we all know how well apple and microsoft would get on as a tag team, for some reason I just don't have the same arrogance? ignorance? as the microsoft evangelical, so really it's all up to apple.

    http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2010/05/19/open-web-open-video-and-webm/

    But it doesn't really matter, all that matters is that a free open video codec is firmly set well in its way to becoming the standard for web video, and this makes me happy :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  2. stmok

    stmok Member

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    Ahhh, the <video> tag war of HTML5...

    Firstly...
    Microsoft or Apple evangelist = Its their job to belittle others and encourage third-party developers to code for their respective platforms/solutions. I've had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting them (from both sides) in person. :sick:

    Secondly...
    Yeah...

    Microsoft + Apple + MPEG-LA

    VS

    Google + Mozilla + Opera + a number of others...

    Internet standards are supposed to be free from royalties and open to everyone. Regardless if you're a guy/gal with a laptop to multi-billion dollar companies...That's the original intention of the various people who developed what most of us take for granted today. The goal is to have a level playing field for all.

    But some, (like the patent troll: MPEG-LA); don't want that. They want things under their terms...They want everyone to adopt H.264 until we are too dependent on it and locked-in. Then, when the time is right; ask for royalties or even jack up prices as they see fit. (MPEG-LA sees it as a potential income stream. They are going to try to quashed WebM via patents.)

    While IE9 and Safari users won't have WebM supported out-of-the-box (as neither Microsoft or Apple will support it); The WebM project team are working on plug-ins for those browsers...Effectively, this leaves Apple products using iOS not supporting WebM.

    More about the Chrome HTML Video Codec Change
    => http://blog.chromium.org/2011/01/more-about-chrome-html-video-codec.html

    This is what things look like from a browser's standpoint...

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full size!


    Time will tell on who is the real winner...Or maybe common sense will prevail?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Comment on Slashdot: "Pot, meet kettle. Guess what? You're both black."

    Honestly, nothing amuses me more than <giant_corporate_1> complaining that <giant_corporate_2> is doing something-something unfairly in the market. Regardless of who my personal favourites are, they're all a bunch of babies throwing tantrums when someone else steals their rattle.
     
  4. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    As a video professional all I can say is this is either one of the stupidest decisions made by any company or else Google has some sinister motive and is playing a very large number of people for mugs.

    1) H.264 is free to use. The license is somewhat confusing or at least used to be, it uses the word "commercial" which to me and many others read as we could not use the encoded content for anything we were charging a fee for without paying additional royalties.
    So to try to clear this up I emailed MPEGLA and a few days later someone from MPEGLA rang me, wished he'd realised it was 2:30 AM down here. Anyways no, no fees, even YouTube don't pay a nickel to use H.264. Commercial broadcasters do but that is embedded in the realtime encoding hardware. Any camera that uses H.264 or AVCHD does but that's covered when you buy the camera and you can sell or do whatever you like with your video encoded by the camera. Same goes for your NLE of choice.
    MPEGLA have brokered a deal that extends the free use license until the patents expire.

    2) MPEGLA is not a patent troll. All MPEG variants are a patent nightmare, just read through all the parties who get a slice of the pie from the old mpeg-2 used for DVDs. Without MPEGLA we'd all have to negotiate with each one of them and even then another patent holder could appear out of the woodwork and stake a claim.
    This has happened and fortunately the courts found that the patent holder was given ample opportunity to claim and didn't so tough luck to them.
    Worth also keeping in mind that MPEGLA is an NPO. I'd also add the chap I spoke to was very helpful and listened to what I had to say about how confusing the wording of the license was, that only a lawyer would grasp the intent. I doubt it was from my input but I notice some of the licenses of late are a bit more plain English.

    3) VP8 is a dog, the quality sucks and it may not even be royalty free.

    4) Google are continuing to support Flash. WTF!
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Playing devil's advocate, there's no guarantee that it will always be.

    But yes, this point is very strange. Why take the moral high ground on H.264 and then continue to use Flash? That makes absolutely no sense.
     
  6. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Well patents do expire. MPEGLA have extended the current license to 2016 and I think have recently issued a statement confirming the terms will not change before the patents expire. Reading the FAQs on their site I simply cannot see legally how this could happen anyway. The deal only permits an increase of 10% every 5 years and free +10% is still free.


    Even Flash is basically free. ON2 who wrote VP8 also had a quite nice Flash encoder that I use. There's really no moral high ground here anyway, VP8 is not a new work from the ground up.
     
  7. SiliconAngel

    SiliconAngel Member

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    Because if they dropped flash support their browser would be dropped by a substantial portion of the user base in a nanosecond. That would be like face cutting nose your off spite to, or something...
     
  8. Camm

    Camm Member

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    HTML5 isn't being used yet, flash still is. Doesn't really matter what browser your using for content at the moment, but in a few years it will, and this is what the WebM vs h.264 argument is.

    I for one support WebM, its the more open standard of the two - and when developing an open codebase such as HTML5, is one of the most important considerations do have.

    (On a sidenote, don't be suprised if both standards are supported eventually)
     
  9. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

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    Because flash is used for more than just video playback. In fact for many reasons flash is a downright terrible way to approach video playback.

    Microsoft has a decent amount invested in H.264. I can totally understand where they're coming from, but really elvis summed it up perfectly here:



    Ultimately I/we don't really don't really care how we watch video over the internet, as long as it works well and we don't cook our phone/pad/laptop with the high cpu usage of a badly written implementation.
     
  10. yoink

    yoink Member

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    So for large video sites, it is most cost effective to encode to just once codec (think 10,000+ videos per years).
    H.264 has the following benefits:

    1. It is available in 3rd party encoders (incl. hardware) right now
    2. It runs on just about all WebKit mobile browsers

    Because of this, in order to create a video solution that stretches across all browser platforms, it can use H.264, with Flash on the browsers that don't support it in native HTML5. All this means is that Chrome and Firefix + Opera will be sporting Flash players, whereas other platforms can use H.264.

    I'm assuming this doesn't affect the Android WebKit browser???
     
  11. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And get extended. There are cases of certain technology patents in the US lasting "75 years after the author's death". These ridiculous time frames make people nervous.

    "Free" has two definitions:
    1) $0
    2) Liberated.

    It's definition #2 that Google and many other developers care about.

    "Basically free" is not "entirely free". And for the internet to be available to all people on all devices, it needs the latter.

    HTML5 is rapidly working it's way up as a feature-for-feature replacement for flash. I'm questioning why Google don't push that as aggressively as they are WebM/VP8.

    Speak for yourself. I personally care quite a lot. :)

    The day when I can browse the internet with all features available, without the need for a single proprietary codec/plugin will make me a very happy man.


    Actually, a huge benefit yo H.264 is the file size to quality ratio. While I'm a huge proponent of open source, I would be lying if I said that Theora, Dirac, VP8 and all the other free software implementations of next-gen video and MPEG4 delivered the same quality video for the same file sizes as H.264. Particularly for Theora, I know that to achieve the same quality as H.264 I'm looking at an extra 10-30% on the file size.

    For online video sites, that means more storage to hold the videos, and more bandwidth to transfer them. It's easy to understand why some would take the pragmatic stance over the more idealistic/political one in this case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  12. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    I know of no such case. I think you're confusing copyright with patents.

    Sorry but I completely fail to find any logic in that at all, in fact possibly quite the contrary.

    1) If you think Google care about any of this then you're being used by them. Like everyone else they're in it to make a buck and they'll use any and every means to do so. History shows that the most altruistic are generally the most devious.

    2) Anything liberated can be captured and held to ransom. It is much harder when someone already owns it. The US patent office is a joke, they'll grant patents for just about anything with only a cursory glance. Once issued the only redress is the courts.

    Gee I wonder why? Google will push whatever suits their commercial interests. The quality of the shit on YouTube thanks to their lacklustre encoding is proof enough that they care only about their bottom line. They want VP8 to save them money on power consumption. The more content that flows down the pipes that they own and get a toll for use, the better for them. The less it costs them to create the crap that goes down the pipe the better for them.
     
  13. mr_wrxman

    mr_wrxman Member

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    What do you think the push behind open source, GNU and similar movements are? Elvis is right in saying for a completely open standard it's important for you to be able to do whatever you want with the standard, i.e. you are free to modify or change as you please without having to seek prior permission.

    While the patent owners of H.264 allow you to use it for free, you still are under their licensing terms which they may decide to change at any time.

    While that may seem like a moot point for you, there's a crowd out there pushing very strongly for open-ness and if you fail to see the significance, I wouldn't be calling others wrong.
     
  14. Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Member

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    as usual, the winner of this battle will be decided by the choice that the porn industry makes.
     
  15. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    No, I'm not. There are plenty of cases in the US where various groups are wanting to extend PATENTS to these absurd time frames.

    I'm all for copyright. But it's clear people are out to abuse the patent system, and it needs to be stopped.

    Read the GNU General Public License, and understand why your statement is wrong.

    You're coming in very late to a very old movement. Much work has been done already to ensure liberty of software. It sounds like you need to do some reading on what's already out there, and why it's working.

    Here's a real world example for you.
    http://news.cnet.com/Open-source-split-of-Mambo-software-begins/2100-7344_3-5846006.html

    "Mambo" was a software CMS (content management system). The owner of Mambo decided that he would close the source, and make the product proprietary.

    Thanks to the GPL, the source could be "forked" from Mambo's last open source moment into a new project - Joomla. Mambo is now all but dead, and Joomla continues to have great successes as one of the world's most popular CMS offerings.

    Why did this work? Because it was licensed under the GPL. That licenses ensures even the original author of the software cannot recapture it and hold it to ransom, and that all users of the software are permanently liberated.

    Similar, even less restrictive licenses like the BSD license offer similar protection. And Google's VP8 codec and WebM container are all licensed under the BSD license. If at any time Google were to have a complete melt down and attempt to make their software entirely proprietary, anyone can take the previously BSD licensed version and do as they please with it. And even Google as the original creator is powerless to stop them.

    http://www.webmproject.org/about/

    So again, you appear to need to go and do some reading, and catch up on the last 30 years of what's been happening in the world of free software and software licensing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  16. Rezin

    Rezin Member

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    Didn't they say that about HD DVD vs. Blu-ray, with Blu-ray stating that there would be no porn on BD?
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    NOT WORK SAFE!
    http://www.adultbluray.com/
    NOT WORK SAFE!
     
  18. Rezin

    Rezin Member

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    Yeah positions have changed now, but I thought that was the Blu-ray group's position at the start. HD DVD was originally picked by the porn industry, so to say it's whoever they pick isn't correct.
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Ah I see.

    They certainly assisted in the push for VHS (over Betamax) and 3G over competing standards. Maybe this one was the anomaly?
     
  20. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

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    Then bring it on, but you can't really just drop flash support, while many major websites still rely on it, not to mention ones that you actually own.

    That's my point. We all want it to just work. We don't want to worry about the cpu usage or the codec or whatever, we just want to see Rick Astley singing about how he's never going to give us up. And naturally I want to do all that for free, because I'm a stingy bugger.
     

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