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Google Technology

YouTube Revamp Imminent? 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-about-3D dept.
An anonymous reader writes "YouTube's latest blog post indicated that some changes are on the way. Google has opened up a call to submit and vote on ideas. HTML 5 open video with Free formats has dominated the vote, maintaining over twice as many votes as the next-highest item almost since the vote opened up. You may vote here (Google login required). Perhaps we don't even need to since their blog post comes suspiciously soon after their revised merger with On2. Could these improvements be a completely overhauled YouTube 2.0?"
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YouTube Revamp Imminent?

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @09:49PM (#30760178)

    There seems to be a rather loud outcry for HTML5 in the idea list. Many of the top ten ideas use that phrase and nothing else of substance.

    There's only one problem. It ain't finished yet. So we've got the same problems 801.11n had a few years ago. It's hard to implement a moving spec.

    This is like the open source proponents who mentioned Ogg Vorbis a few years ago as a solution to DRM, and it's clear now that DRM-free watermarked MP3 is the winner in the marketplace today. Even worse, it's the same people behind it... Ogg's video spec 's used to be called out by name for being used in HTML5 [wikipedia.org] and that's still under debate. Open Source fans including Mozilla support it, while owners of other video codecs of course think they shouldn't be locked out.

    So... really, HTML5 doesn't solve Google's problems with YouTube. Using HTML5 without calling for a codec is like an incomplete function call. You need to say which codec you want YouTube to use, or we could just see HTML5 + Flash on YouTube while other sites use other codecs....and not make much of a change.

    Standards are good... but we're still in a format war over HMTL5 that makes it nearly impossible to implement it right now.

    • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:05PM (#30760254)

      Open Source fans including Mozilla support it, while owners of other video codecs of course think they shouldn't be locked out.

      Isn't it ironic that owners of other video codecs who are renowned for locking the public out of their formats, by keeping them secret, or trying to charge fees for their use, now don't "want" to be locked out?

      If they want their codec to be one included by an open standard such as HTML5, then the absolute requirement should be that they open their codec's specifications and make implementation of the codec gratis of any royalties, and just as free and open as the HTML recommendation.

      I don't want to exclude any codec who will do that.

      But the standards bodies owe it to the internet to exclude any codec who refuses to do that, and to recognize the popular codecs who will do that, by choosing the most suitable ones for inclusion as a critical element for video-enabled HTML5 renderers.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by LostCluster (625375) *

        Here's Ogg's problem: They want to control their own spec. Get mentioned in HTML5 and they're frozen at whatever version number the spec uses for anything that uses HTML5. If they're not done yet, they're not ready for the W3C's adoption. Do they want the usage or control of their jobs?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mysidia (191772)

          Is Ogg not done?

          A format that is in constant flux, is not stable, and not ready yet.

          Only a mature version of the spec should be used, one that the software industry already has positive implementation experience with.

          Of course HTML5 should mention a specific minimum base version of the Ogg spec.

          Renderers may support future versions of Ogg that validated by the W3C, but the renderer implementation must be backwards-compatible (able to read Ogg files made using an encoder that followed the old v

        • by pclminion (145572) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:34AM (#30761454)
          "Done?" I don't think you understand this "technology" thing.
        • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @05:50AM (#30762374) Journal

          From OGG theora home page:

          The bitstream format for Theora I was frozen Thursday, 2004 July 1. All bitstreams encoded since that date will remain compatible with future releases.

          Theora 1, like MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and so on is fozen and finished. The bitstream will never change.

      • by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:15AM (#30761376) Homepage

        Actually, people who know a thing or two about video codecs tend to dislike Ogg because it isn't a particularly good codec. Its original owners, On2, open-sourced the product, because it was a 10-year-old technology that couldn't compete with any modern product.

        Coincidentally, the internet's benevolent overlords, Google, are in talks to purchase On2, who own the IP to a few codecs that are considerably more modern than Theora (supposedly competitive with H.264 and VC-1). The idea of Google open-sourcing its newly-acquired property is certainly within the realm of possibility, especially if they can squeeze it into the HTML5 spec.

        If YouTube only offers HD content using the new codec, there will be significant impetus for users to switch to HTML5-compliant browsers, or install plugins that enable similar functionality.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)

      This is like the open source proponents who mentioned Ogg Vorbis a few years ago as a solution to DRM, and it's clear now that DRM-free watermarked MP3 is the winner in the marketplace today.

      A lot of the reason why people wanted OGG so badly is because OGG easily worked on Linux. In the days before Ubuntu, Fluendo and easy codec installation, finding, installing and using an MP3 codec was generally difficult and legally questionable. Now that it is really easy to install an MP3 codec in most Linux distros, people have toned down on the OGG evangelism for music.

      Ideally, HTML5 standards would use an open, patent-free standard for use with video. The point of standards is to allow different

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by alvinrod (889928)
        Ideally yes, but for everyone with a smart phone or other device that can't afford to waste CPU (And by extension battery life.) on decoding video when it has a perfectly good H.264 hardware decoder, Ogg is not a good solution.

        Linux desktop market share is maybe 1% at most. Linux actually has a good showing in the mobile phone space, but these devices all include H.264 hardware decoders so they don't run into the same issues as desktop Linux.

        The only place Theora makes any real amount of sense is on t
      • by tangent3 (449222)

        Ideally, HTML5 standards would use an open, patent-free standard for use with video. The point of standards is to allow different systems to communicate effectively, the fact that it is open is a requirement of any standard meant for benefiting users. Right now, Theora is about the only major codec that seems to fit the bill.

        Theora is actually based on patented VP3. However, the source code has been BSD'ed and from Wikipedia, "On2 also made an irrevocable, royalty-free license grant for any patent claims it might have over the software and any derivatives, allowing anyone to use any VP3-derived codec for any purpose."

    • by Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:11PM (#30760286)
      Standards are good... but we're still in a format war over HMTL5 that makes it nearly impossible to implement it right now.

      I think that, given Youtube's weight, any codec Google chose would probably win the format war.
    • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:13PM (#30760316) Journal

      This is like the open source proponents who mentioned Ogg Vorbis a few years ago as a solution to DRM, and it's clear now that DRM-free watermarked MP3 is the winner in the marketplace today.

      Missing the point. Vorbis is not, and never was, about DRM. It's about having a patent-free codec. It's about having a format that works out of the box on something like Ubuntu, legally, anywhere in the world.

      Contrast with MP3 -- it's actually very likely not legal to include mp3 support in open source software at all, at least if you're going to keep it free (as in beer).

      The only technical reason to prefer MP3 to Vorbis is device support. The way to improve device support is to raise awareness about these issues and get people to actually use Vorbis.

      Even worse, it's the same people behind it...

      Who?

      that's still under debate.

      Actually, the debate is pretty much over. HTML5's <video> tag specifies codec and format precisely as much as HTML4's <img> tag specifies image format -- that is, not at all.

      HTML5 doesn't solve Google's problems with YouTube.

      Which problems would those be?

      Using HTML5 without calling for a codec is like an incomplete function call.

      Wow, even worse than BadAnalogyGuy. Really?

      You need to say which codec you want YouTube to use,

      No, I really don't.

      I mean, yes, it might help to do so -- but that's unlikely to get anywhere. There currently isn't a free video codec that matches the proprietary ones, technologically, and even if there was, it seems incredibly unlikely that YouTube would go to the trouble of transcoding all of their video -- again.

      If YouTube were to implement HTML5 support with, say, h.264 in an mp4 container, they'd have to do no transcoding, probably not even re-encapsulating. It would Just Work on Chrome and Safari, and there's no technological reason it couldn't work on Firefox -- only political assholes who refuse to implement such support, even in countries which don't respect software patents. If IE ever decides to support HTML5 at all, I very much doubt that Microsoft doesn't have h.264 licenses. Only Opera really has an excuse here.

      Now, technically, if they went with Theora, it could be supported everywhere -- every browser which supports HTML5 supports Theora out of the box, except Safari, and it's trivial to install a QuickTime plugin. But the question then becomes whether it's worth it for Google to do HTML5 at all, if they have to transcode everything to get the best browser coverage.

      we could just see HTML5 + Flash on YouTube while other sites use other codecs....and not make much of a change.

      Surely you're joking.

      There may be legal hurdles, but any browser that wants to could simply hook into a third-party codec library. On Windows, that's DirectShow. On OS X, it's QuickTime. On Linux, it's GStreamer, Xine, or ffmpeg. All of these support every codec that's even being considered for HTML5, and many more.

      It would basically make it as easy to embed videos as it currently is to embed images. After all, <img> doesn't specify a format -- why aren't you waging a "codec war" about image formats?

      It would also get us the ability to use purely open source software for our web browsing again, or at least for our YouTube -- no need for Flash. It'd also give us the ability to right-click and do something like "save video as", or click+drag a video to our desktop, or email. It'd also greatly simplify anything else which just wants the video -- for example, any sort of set-top box, etc, now only needs a web browser, or even just something that can scrape the YouTube HTML, instead of a web browser and a Flash port.

      Do you honestly believe that HTML5, even without specifying a codec, would change nothing? Do I have to explicitly

      • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:13PM (#30760728)

        Now, technically, if they went with Theora, it could be supported everywhere -- every browser which supports HTML5 supports Theora out of the box, except Safari, and it's trivial to install a QuickTime plugin. But the question then becomes whether it's worth it for Google to do HTML5 at all, if they have to transcode everything to get the best browser coverage.

        There we are. You need to tell YouTube to use Theora. As somebody else posted, if YouTube picks a codec, that codec will have enough support to win the format war that's currently raging. If you want to endorse HTML5 go ahead, but please tell them about Theora because that's much more important to them.

      • Actually there was a bit of a format war about .gif [gnu.org], which is why we have .png [wikipedia.org] available. Though, to be honest having support for ogm and mp4+avc (h.264) would probably mean decent coverage overall, which seems to be the two formats with the biggest support. Though MS could pretty easily slip VC1 in there. IIRC MS provides their codec implimentations of VC1 and mp4/h.264 for free (as in beer for windows, osx and linux).
        • There was indeed a war about GIFs, but the point of the GP poster was that we don't need to worry about it now. You just specify <img src="..."> and the browser supports all the majors.

          I remember when Compuserve, excited that the genie seemed to have gotten out of the bottle and everyone was using GIFs on the web, tried to extract licensing fees from hundreds of shareware/freeware software authors who had implemented the specificaiton. You're right that PNG came out of that era because the market
          • Actually, IMO you completely misread the result of the GIF battle. The upshot was nobody cared about the IP issues, except the GNU/Free software types. Everyone else's software worked with GIFs just fine, and they just waited until the patents expired. The only thing PNG had going for it adoption-wise was superior features like transparency.

            Final score: 1 IP Overlords, 0 GNU/Hippies

            So yes, you can go through the same drama with video formats. The question is, do you have the stomach to wait it out 15 years

      • There currently isn't a free video codec that matches the proprietary ones, technologically

        Sure, Theora is no H.264, but it handily beats the H.263 that YouTube currently uses for downlevel Flash Players and comes close to MPEG-4 ASP (e.g. DivX, Xvid).

        there's no technological reason it couldn't work on Firefox -- only political assholes who refuse to implement such support

        You appear to have just called the members of MPEG-LA "political assholes".

        even in countries which don't respect software patents.

        How much would it cost to move Mozilla Corporation and Mozilla Foundation out of the United States?

      • by CSMatt (1175471)

        If YouTube were to implement HTML5 support with, say, h.264 in an mp4 container, they'd have to do no transcoding, probably not even re-encapsulating. It would Just Work on Chrome and Safari, and there's no technological reason it couldn't work on Firefox -- only political assholes who refuse to implement such support, even in countries which don't respect software patents. If IE ever decides to support HTML5 at all, I very much doubt that Microsoft doesn't have h.264 licenses. Only Opera really has an excuse here.

        Really? What exactly is Opera's excuse? Not enough revenue? I doubt that. They probably aren't making much on their desktop browser, but their mobile browsers, combined with their deal with Nintendo to provide their technology for the DS and Wii, should make them more than enough to secure a license with MPEG-LA.

        Firefox, however, can not provide AVC support because of legal hurdles. I haven't read the MPL, but I know that the GPL and the LGPL have an all-or-nothing stance about patents. Either MPEG-LA

    • Hardware decoding will dictate where HTML5 goes.

      Broadcom has their Mini PCI-e decoder cards for all 3 OS's. NVIDIA has VDPAU on Linux and something on Windows, ATI has their thing. Flash has preliminary suport in 10.1.

      As far as I know, none of them do hardware decoding of OGG, but do do H.264.

      • by LBt1st (709520)

        Not to mention Android and iPhone can also decode H.264. It would be sweet if it was selected as the standard for those and I'm sure other mobile devices as well. No more having clunky apps just to view YouTube and such. Embedded videos would just work, even on your phone.

    • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:28PM (#30760802)

      There's only one problem. It ain't finished yet. So we've got the same problems 801.11n had a few years ago. It's hard to implement a moving spec.

      Apparently not. [google.com] For those too lazy to follow link, its an addon for Chrome (dev version) that makes youtube videos run in HTML5. It cuts cpu usage in half too.

      Seems to me the best way to proceed is for someone to just do it, and let everyone else try to catch up. Its not like people will stop using youtube.

    • It's hard to implement a moving spec.

      Is there any such thing as a "non moving" specification?

      Especially in the constantly evolving tech world?

      Specs *should* continue to evolve as the technology and theory changes and improves. Especially the open ones. If they don't, they will die of obsolescence.

      That's where open specs are better than closed ones. Everyone can see what is changing, and everyone can contribute. (Cue comments about "closed minded devs don't like my idea XX her

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:02AM (#30761282)

      Oh come on. What on earth speaks against this:
      <video>
          <source="elephanteatspoop.ogv" type="video/ogg" />
          <source="elephanteatspoop.mp4" type="video/mp4" />
              Get a decent browser.
              <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" ...>
                    <param name="src" value="player.swf?file=elephanteatspoop.mp4" />
                        No video for you.
              </object>
      </video>
      Usable right now, plays in almost all browsers. Of course you can always make it more complicated [camendesign.com] to include edge cases, but I don't like that. It's good to push people to update their browsers and get rid of opaque insecure plugins.

    • by Shimmer (3036) <brianberns@gmail.com> on Thursday January 14, 2010 @01:10AM (#30761338) Homepage Journal

      Using HTML5 without calling for a codec is like an incomplete function call.

      That doesn't make any sense to me. The <IMG> tag doesn't specify a particular format (JPEG, GIF, PNG, etc.). Why should the <VIDEO> tag specify a format?

  • Google talk (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @09:59PM (#30760228)

    Google seems to have a policy of talking about new ways to do things, and not making changes suddenly. Afterall, YouTube is the dominant video sharing site right now, and they don't want to let an open source format make them risk their status. So, it looks like HTML5 is going to get a good kick from Google telling them "Hey, we'll use whatever you tell us... but you've got to finish the spec first!" We'll see what this does to that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:11PM (#30760296)

    At all things interface.

    1) YouTube: look up the term "aspect ratio". One would think somebody at Google would have heard of this. Many of their videos are uploaded in the wrong ratio. Let us override the specified ratio so we can watch videos in the correct proportions.

    2) Multiple monitor support. It turns out that some people these days have more than one monitor. Some of these people might want to do something else with their computers while using one to watch a full screen video. So don't minimize the full screen video unless we tell you to. Bonus points for supporting more than one screen of video.

    3) The More From and Related Videos boxes should scale to take advantage of big screens, both horizontally and vertically. Since often one is searching for other videos in a series, put them in some kind of order-- alphabetical would be a nice option.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dnwq (910646)
      on 2), multiple monitor support - that is an Adobe Flash issue, not a Youtube issue.
      • by MadUndergrad (950779) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:50PM (#30760578)

        Adobe Flash is a Youtube issue.

      • Adobe flash has many issues.

        For instance, the right click menu for changing the flash settings offers an option called "hardware acceleration" Yet, the CPU usage is evidently much higher for simply switching to full-screen. What exactly is the hardware accelerating if it doesn't even use hardware scaling?

        Neat trick for linux users: use the scroll wheel screen zoom function in Compiz instead of the website's "full screen" button to save battery juice on laptops or get away lighter CPUs.

    • 2) Multiple monitor support.

      While I agree that it's really annoying, that's Adobe's fault, not Google's.

      It's fine to throw blame around, just make sure it lands in the right lap.

    • by freaker_TuC (7632)

      Multiple monitor support

      Oh yes, vote me in on this one.. Very annoying on my laptop when watching videos in the meantime..

      Any keystroke brings the video player back to normal size .. drives me nuts!

    • 1) YouTube: look up the term "aspect ratio". One would think somebody at Google would have heard of this. Many of their videos are uploaded in the wrong ratio. Let us override the specified ratio so we can watch videos in the correct proportions.

      Can we also fix the "Tilt yer Head" series of videos? This isn't Google's problem... it's a PEPKAC situation. Users fail.

      2) Multiple monitor support. It turns out that some people these days have more than one monitor. Some of these people might want to do something else with their computers while using one to watch a full screen video. So don't minimize the full screen video unless we tell you to. Bonus points for supporting more than one screen of video.

      Again, not YouTube's problem. Your browser is doing this for you. They need to fix it.

      3) The More From and Related Videos boxes should scale to take advantage of big screens, both horizontally and vertically. Since often one is searching for other videos in a series, put them in some kind of order-- alphabetical would be a nice option.

      Again, user error. If it's a series, it should be uploaded in order. Go to the user's page. Related episodes sorts the series by content, not sequence. More form this user gives you the most recent episodes. If you want the back catelog, you want the user page.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027)

        If it's a series, it should be uploaded in order.

        That's not always possible, especially in the case of videos that get replaced with a newer video containing revisions.

      • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
        It would be a very tiny bit of code for the uploader to tag a set of videos as going in a certain order independent of the order uploaded.
      • by Graff (532189)

        it's a PEPKAC situation. Users fail.

        PEPKAC eh? Sure you don't mean that it's a PEBKAC problem - Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair?

        You fail. ;-)

    • by dargaud (518470)

      YouTube: look up the term "aspect ratio"

      Which is why I love Media Player Classic on Windows where it's very easy to adjust the aspect ratio.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:15PM (#30760340) Journal

    I loathe it with all my being, please for the love of god do this, somehow!

    • by maxume (22995) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:23PM (#30760386)

      Have you considered drinking?

    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:31PM (#30760450)

      You get the point. Flash is a patent-encumbered format that is slowing down the growth of YouTube... new players are coming out that don't want to implement flash such as TiVo and iPhone, so YouTube has got to re-encode videos to play on this, and that's a mess they'd rather have a better solution to.

      So, really it's a codec war. If there's something more universally accepted than flash... please stand up.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Flash is the container. The Codec is H.264. .mov is the quicktime container. The Codec is often H.264. .mkv is a container, the Codec is often DivX.

        Container formats != Codec.

      • I don't give a crap about patent-encumbered codecs.

        However, it does mildly trouble me that my dual-core mac cannot play a 320x240 video without stuttering, as does the fact that VLC's crappy reverse-engineered codec can play the same FLV file 20-30x more efficiently.

        Given that modern PCs have supported processor throttling for several years now, I have to imagine that the environmental impact of all the extra CPU cycles wasted due to Flash must be staggering.

        I welcome Silverlight if only for the reason that

  • Google I love you. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by starbugs (1670420) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:21PM (#30760378)

    YouTube usable without flash.
    My only reason for using a proprietary OS.

  • Likely to be x264 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nemesisrocks (1464705)

    Youtube has a large (and ever-increasing) following on mobile devices -- iPhone, Symbian, etc. These low-powered devices are generally able to play video using hardware acceleration.

    One guess as to which codec is likely to have more widespread hardware acceleration.... Youtube is unlikely to alienate mobile users by picking Ogg Vorbis.

    On the up-side; since Internet Explorer is unlikely in the near future to support HTML5 (let alone <video>), I predict that if Youtube does go the HTML5 path, there wi

  • I'm curious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Whuffo (1043790) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:31PM (#30760448) Homepage Journal
    How many of you logged in and voted? Out of those, how many looked at the address bar to determine if you were on a Google site?
    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Good point. Too bad it the whois says it's owned by google. I'd love for it to have been a trojan site.
    • I logged in and voted and I didn't bother to check whether the site was owned by Google; but then I don't really use my Google account for anything, so it's not a highly-valued token for me.

    • Re:I'm curious (Score:4, Informative)

      by afidel (530433) on Thursday January 14, 2010 @12:52AM (#30761244)
      The linked site was not a Google URL, the login page was a Google page with proper SSL certificate (and yes I did check to see if any of the obvious fake SSL cert techniques had been used)
  • I have an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:37PM (#30760492)

    What about improved content? Junk is still junk even if delivered via open standards.

    • by freaker_TuC (7632) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:43PM (#30760542) Homepage Journal

      It's their job to get all content online ; It's your job to filter through all the junk ... .. Not theirs .. We don't need a Youtube quality police; just like we don't need any fashion police.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333)

        "It's your job to filter through all the junk"

        From a business perspective, we are youtube's "product". If that product isn't delivered to advertisers, it will fail. So yes, to be successful for Google, it's their job to deliver the content we want.

    • by localman (111171)

      One man's junk is another man's favorite video of the week.

      Also note that the addition/removal of a million videos you don't like doesn't have any effect at all on the number of videos you like.

      Content filtering is a bad idea.

      Cheers.

  • by gig (78408) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:48PM (#30760562)

    Google already said that they can't do YouTube in Ogg because the Internet does not have enough bandwidth. The back end of YouTube is MPEG-4 H.264. No matter what format you upload your video in, it's converted to H.264 and that is the primary copy. The upcoming YouTube redesign has also been revealed to be essentially porting the mobile version of YouTube to the desktop. That means HTML5 and MPEG-4, which is what mobiles all use.

    An ISO MPEG-4 audio video player is already built into EVERYTHING, there is no opportunity to change it now. Blu-Ray, set-top boxes, smartphones, iPod and other media players, GPU's, Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime, iTunes, game consoles, Safari, and Chrome all have H.264. If you don't publish MPEG-4, you might as well send your video encrypted with AES-256 and don't send the key. Nobody can play it if it's not MPEG-4. Ogg is a hobbyist format, suitable for ripping your CD/DVD onto a Linux box and watching them yourself, not suitable for sharing. Sharing requires that you use the community codec, which is what MPEG is all about for 20 years now.

    Also, aside from the players, there is the whole professional toolchain of cameras, recorders, editing suites, encoders, servers. All of it is MPEG-4 because it's the standardization of QuickTime and that was already built into all the tools. Tools that supported proprietary QuickTime were upgraded fairly easily and quickly to support open ISO MPEG-4. Audio video is bigger than the Web. Audio video standardization is more successful than Web standardization. The idea that the W3C is going to tell Pixar and Dolby and such how to make audio video is insane. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, not the entire world.

    And if we want to close one eye to professional content producers, we can open the other to amateurs who have, for example, a Flip camcorder that creates MPEG-4 H.264, or an iPhone camcorder that creates MPEG-4 H.264 and emails clips right from the iPhone. Users are not going to do a round trip through a PC so they can convert that MPEG-4 to Ogg before they share it. Especially not when all their video players have H.264 in their hardware already. That is why an iPod can play more hours of MPEG-4 H.264 than many laptops: the iPod has an "MPEG-4 CPU" so to speak, a dedicated chip that decodes the video with maximum efficiency. It doesn't have a big general purpose CPU like a PC. Multiple codecs is an AUTHORING side thing, not a consumer side thing. You use various codecs on a workstation to get your editing done, you don't demand that the consumer have a dozen codecs in their video player, it's not practical. The community agrees on one consumer codec and we all use it, just like CD/DVD, and everybody wins. Not the Linux community, the free software community, or the Web community ... the audio video community: MPEG.

    This whole debate happened 10 years ago already. You're way too late to change the consumer audio video standard to something other than MPEG-4 H.264/AAC. And you certainly can't change it to something that isn't at least technically superior. Consider that Adobe Flash was the de facto HTML4 video player that is being replaced by the audio and video tags and associated JavaScript API's in HTML5. The video codec in Flash is ISO MPEG-4 H.264/AAC for some years now. The Web is already an ISO MPEG-4 player in HTML4. It will continue to be in HTML5 because that's the format all the video is stored in. Including YouTube, iTunes, Blu-Ray, and all the movies people are shooting with their camcorders.

    In short, Ogg is out for technical reasons: it requires too much bandwidth, it doesn't exist in the players, it doesn't exist in the cameras, it doesn't exist in the editing tools, it is not in the game at all.

    • Beautifully put.
    • by Urza9814 (883915) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:16PM (#30760738)

      Half of your argument is that things are recorded in MPEG-4 and people aren't going to convert before uploading. But that doesn't matter. Youtube _already_ converts your video when you upload if it's in the wrong format. Hell even if it's in the right format I think they still convert it to make sure it's the right size and bitrate and such. So why does it matter if they're converting MPEG-4 into MPEG-4 or MPEG-4 into Ogg?

      • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:45PM (#30760902)
        The resulting file size. YouTube already helped spark Internet speed increases because we were "clogging the tubes" with MPEG-4 video implemented in Flash. Ogg's file size is larger, so it requires more bandwidth. Do you want more usage caps?
        • Maybe, combined with some legal pressure, our ISPs would actually start upgrading their backbone, and delivering on their promises (or promising more reasonable things).
      • by alvinrod (889928)
        It matters because the smart phones, iPods, and other small devices that are becoming a major way that people consume content don't have Ogg Theora hardware decoders. These devices do have H.264 hardware decoders and won't have to use the CPU to decode and playback the video, saving a lot of battery life.

        As far as I know, there aren't even any Theora hardware decoders in existence, or if there are they aren't being mass produced. There's also not a lot of point in making one either as Ogg isn't a widely
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tsj5j (1159013)
        The above author clearly did not read the post fully, for it's clearly not "half-his-argument". The main argument is that Youtube probably can't/won't convert their existing video collection, which is likely t be huge. The second argument is that many viewing devices only support H264. The third argument is that OGG uses more space and hence bandwidth, increasing pressure on ISPs and depleting your bandwidth cap faster. The fourth argument is that it's already a standard adopted by many commercial devices,
    • I don't agree with your point of view.

      An ISO MPEG-4 audio video player is already built into EVERYTHING, there is no opportunity to change it now

      So? I don't see any reason why you can't just upgrade to a video player that can play Ogg Theora.

      Ogg is a hobbyist format

      I could be wrong but console game makers use Ogg Vorbis for their audio files. Maybe not all of them, but I was pretty sure Lego Star Wars does.

      there is the whole professional toolchain of cameras, recorders, editing suites, encoder

    • MPEG-4 is still patent encumbered. So if we switch to it, we aren't really gaining that much. How about we finally go to audio/video standards that people can use without worrying about being sued?
      • by BondGamer (724662)
        Everyone has already switched to MPEG4, that was the entire argument. The market has already determined that MPEG4 is the best out there and everyone is running with it. Until something comes along that blows MPEG4 away in most aspects, there is not going to be a change. Just because it isn't open source does not make it a bad pick.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BikeHelmet (1437881)

      FYI, ogg is a container. Like .avi and .mp4

      You're talking about Theora (video) and Vorbis (audio)

      Vorbis appears to be superior to everything but the most optimized AAC encoders - at least at semi low bitrates employed in streaming. Youtube sounds about like 40kbit vorbis. (really bad) But that also means they could shave almost 100kbit off their stream bandwidth by using it rather than mp3. The downside is it takes twice as long to encode.

      Theora is another story. H.264 is so superior it's ridiculous - but i

  • DMCA Reform (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) <mark.seventhcycle@net> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:51PM (#30760582) Homepage

    How about calling for reform of the DMCA system on YouTube?

    Currently, it's possible for a content creator to have his or her video taken down for copyright infringement from what is functionally an anonymous party. While YouTube's DMCA claim form DOES ask for name, phone number and address, none of these items are verified before YouTube goes ahead and takes these videos down.

    Because of this, there's a lot of False DMCA action on the site from people who are only interested in suppressing others viewpoints.

    Since people on slashdot for the most part care about Freedom of Speech, I urge you all to upvote the DMCA reform issue on there.

    Thank you.

    • Start sending fake DMCA notices? If no one thinks its a problem except a bunch of basement-dwelling nerds, the problem won't go away until someone shows the braindead masses who browse youTube that there is a problem.
    • Re:DMCA Reform (Score:4, Informative)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:32PM (#30760842)

      Google's doing what the DMCA requires... what would be nice is if they had to provide proof they hold a copyright on something, and therefore reveal their identity so false claims could be taken to court.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cruciform (42896)

        If it's another user waving the false flag of DMCA for one of their own YouTube submissions, can't they just be told to bugger off using the following section from the terms of service?:

        You also hereby waive any moral rights you may have in your User Submissions and grant each user of the YouTube Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such User Submissions as permitted through the functionality of the Websit

  • Don't forget how out of hand the DMCA notices have gotten. Videos that are clearly fair-use are have their entire audio tracks wiped out, even when audio is a major component of the video.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Google will announce automated comment generation as a new feature, citing users' complaints that it is too time consuming to type out grammatically incorrect sentences and spam.
  • Uh oh (Score:3, Funny)

    by the brown guy (1235418) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:58PM (#30760614) Journal

    ""Slashdot -style comment moderation and filtering."
    trreeves, Portland, OR - "

    He must be new here...or have no idea what /. is about

    I suggested More porn...

  • by Nimey (114278) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:09PM (#30760692) Homepage Journal

    Youtube is a byword for horrifyingly stupid and banal comments. The best Youtube comments still make Slashdot seem like a collection of Nobel prizewinners.

  • First, come up with a way to detect duplicate videos. I'm so tired of thieves recopying videos and siphoning off hits from the original content provider. Second, I'd love for a way to find my past comments. There's currently no way to do this. Yes, there's a lot of idiocy on YouTube but I love browsing videos for laughs and even the commercials have been kept to a respectable limit. People get to post stupid, funny, cute, and creative movies that normally only family members or friends would get to enj
    • by Nimey (114278)

      You did post that to the suggestions page, didn't you?

      Tell me you're not one of those people who piss and moan about bugs on various fora but never submit a bug report.

  • The homepage. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akira Kogami (1566305) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:59PM (#30760964)
    How about they fix the bloated, slow-to-load youtube.com homepage and replace it with something clean and simple like the Google homepage?
  • After going to vote, it's extremely obvious that slashdot crowd has taken reign over this voting page.

    Can you PLEASE STOP posting specific highly technical changes that the average user will not understand.

    Sure, blabber on about H.6969 decoding formats while you're in your basement with your friends. BUT LISTEN PEOPLE. If you want Google and Youtube to change, and change for the good of the Open Source and Freedom of speed world, lets keep our suggestion to "Use HTML5 for video, not flash". or somethi

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