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Google Software The Internet Technology

Google To Drop Support For H.264 In Chrome 765

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the shot-in-the-air dept.
Steve writes "Google just made a bold move in the HTML5 video tag battle: even though H.264 is widely used and WebM is not, the search giant has announced it will drop support for the former in Chrome. The company has not done so yet, but it has promised it will in the next couple of months. Google wants to give content publishers and developers using the HTML5 video tag an opportunity to make any necessary changes to their websites."
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Google To Drop Support For H.264 In Chrome

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  • Pretty soon... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jnpcl (1929302) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @07:59PM (#34842204)
    ... we will need to have every browser installed, because every other website on the intertubes will be using different technologies that are only supported by one browser.
    • Re:Pretty soon... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:02PM (#34842234)
      Or back to the era of having to install a huge number of plug ins. I'm personally, not happy with this move. H.264 is not a free codec and consequently, you have to pay if you wish to encode content in it or decode content encoded with it. They just are gracious enough not to charge you for streaming it.

      Consequently, it's not supported by Firefox natively nor in any other browser that cares about being sued and can't or won't pay.
      • Re:Pretty soon... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by _xeno_ (155264) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:43PM (#34842632) Homepage Journal

        Back? Have you ever tried using HTML5 video? It's completely fucking useless.

        No, really, it is. OK, first off, we have the codec issue. If you want to support all browsers, you need to encode to the following formats: H.264+AAC, VP8+Vorbis, and Theora+Vorbis. You're stuck with all three if you want to hit all browsers.

        Then there's the part where the HTML5 spec forbids allowing JavaScript to fullscreen the video. Which means that you're stuck with either using the lousy solution YouTube uses (blow up the video to screen size, and assume the user can figure out how to fullscreen their browser on their own), or just dropping the feature all together.

        Both suck. Users are used to being able to fullscreen the video, and they do NOT want to jump through the two-step hoop just to get fullscreen video.

        Of course, most browsers allow the user to fullscreen the video on the context menu. But that's still really a two-step process: right click on the video, and then click on "Full screen." And to add insult to injury, most HTML5 video toolkits manage to block this option anyway by the way they generate their UI. (Including YouTube, in fact.)

        So instead, you just use H.264 and a Flash-based player. Now you hit every major browser including IE, you don't have to encode your video three fucking times, and you don't have to have continuously explain the hoops required to fullscreen the video.

        But what all this also means is that by ditching H.264, Google really doesn't lose anything anyway: if you were trying to support more than just Chrome and Safari with HTML5, you were already encoding to at least Theora anyway. So all this does is mean that Chrome will now be stuck with the same crappy, blurry Theora video you already had to encode to anyway to support Firefox. Or maybe, if they're lucky, they'll get the WebM video, which while worse than H.264 at the same bitrates, is still better than Theora.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PenguSven (988769)

          If you just want to play the video back (as opposed to those who insist they have to use their own very specific player) , and you're relying on the Browser's native controls, a decent browser will have a full screen option.

          if that isn't the case maybe you should blame your browser maker, or get a better browser.

      • You lost me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:56PM (#34842790) Homepage Journal

        H.264 is not a free codec and consequently, you have to pay if you wish to encode content in it or decode content encoded with it. They just are gracious enough not to charge you for streaming it. Consequently, it's not supported by Firefox natively nor in any other browser that cares about being sued and can't or won't pay.

        Google's motivation is obviously to try to establish an open source, free (as in speech) codec as the web standard for video. That way, we won't have the silly issues you mention above. So why are you not happy with this move?

        Keep in mind that browsers like Firefox, Konquerer, Seamonkey, etc., because they are open source, cannot legally integrate H.264 into its browser. On the other hand, there is nothing stopping Microsoft, Apple, Opera, and Google, and anyone else who wants to from integrating WebM into their browsers. It simply boils down to an administrative decision to do so.

        So if you want your web-based video to "Just Work," you absolutely must support WebM. Or more precisely, you absolutely must not support H.264 unless MPEG releases it to the public domain or under a free (as in speech) license, which I think there's exactly zero chance of happening.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sexconker (1179573)

          Horse shit.
          If the Mozilla foundation wanted to support H.264, they'd release a plug-in that ties into codecs installed on the system.

          MS did exactly this.

          The plug-in can be open or closed source, and the codec can be open or closed source. Whether or not the codec the end user has is open, closed, or legal doesn't matter, and has no bearing on the openness or legality of Firefox itself.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DJRumpy (1345787)

            Add to that that they will continue to bundle the proprietary Flash support, and claims of an 'open' internet smell more like bullshit. Had they truly been motivated by an open and free internet, they would have removed flash support as well.

          • Re:You lost me (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @11:42PM (#34844150)

            If the Mozilla foundation wanted to support H.264, they'd release a plug-in that ties into codecs installed on the system.

            MS did exactly this.

            Of course Microsoft did that. That's exactly what they want. If Firefox did that too, then you'd end up with the situation where Firefox users running on Windows would be able to view H.264 and Firefox users on a Free operating system would not. And all the websites with "Firefox" as a tick box on their compatibility checklist would happily tick it and be on their merry way. Meanwhile, bye-bye cross-platform web. Can't possibly think why Microsoft would like that and Mozilla wouldn't.

      • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:50PM (#34843308)

        H.264 is not a free codec and consequently, you have to pay if you wish to encode content in it or decode content encoded with it. They just are gracious enough not to charge you for streaming it.

        For...branded encoder and decoder products sold both to End Users and on an OEM basis for incorporation into personal computers but not part of a personal computer operating system (a decoder, encoder, or product consisting of one decoder and one
        encoder = "unit"), royalties (beginning January 1, 2005) per Legal Entity are 0 - 100,000 units per year = no royalty

        The maximum bite for an encoder/decoder is 20 cents a unit.

        MPEG LA is geared for licensing production and distribution of H.264 video on a commercial scale. They don't give a damn about your wedding videos until you become a national franchise.

        They don't give a damn about the geek's freely distributed Star Trek fan-flick.

        For..where an End User pays directly for video services on a Title-by-Title basis (e.g., where viewer determines Titles to be viewed or number of viewable Titles is otherwise limited), royalties for video greater than 12 minutes (there is no royalty for a Title 12 minutes or less) are...the lower of 2% of the price paid to the Licensee (on first Arms Length Sale of the video) or $0.02 per Title (categories of Licensees include Legal Entities that are (i) replicators of physical media,
        and (ii) service/content providers (e.g., cable, satellite, video DSL, Internet and mobile) of VOD, PPV and electronic downloads to End Users).

        Where an End User pays directly for video services on a Subscription-basis (not ordered or limited Title-by-Title), the applicable royalties per Legal Entity payable by the service or content provider are 100,000 or fewer Subscribers during the year = no royalty

        For...where remuneration is from other sources, in the case of Free Television(television broadcasting which is sent by an over-the-air, satellite and/or cable Transmission, and which is not paid for by an End User), the Licensee (broadcaster...) pays...according to one of two royalty options: (i) a one-time payment of $2,500 per AVC transmission encoder..or...annual fee per Broadcast Market starting at $2,500 per calendar year per Broadcast Markets of at least 100,000 but no more than 499,999 television households

        The Enterprise Cap for H.264 in 2011 is $6.5 million a year. H.264 is deeply entrenched in theatrical production. Broadcast, cable and satellite distribution. Industrial and military applications. Home video.

        There are over 900 H.264 licensees and collectively they dwarf Google.SUMMARY OF AVC/H.264 LICENSE TERMS [mpegla.com]

        • by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @10:45PM (#34843744) Journal

          The maximum bite for an encoder/decoder is 20 cents a unit.

          And with a maximal of 6 billion units, that works out to around 1.2 billion (ignoring things like having multiple units (one on the computer, one on the smart phone, one on the game system, etc)). Care to pay that for everyone?

          MPEG LA is geared for licensing production and distribution of H.264 video on a commercial scale. They don't give a damn about your wedding videos until you become a national franchise.

          Ie, if I put my wedding video on youtube in H.264 and it becomes popular and gets 2 million page views, I'll risk having to pay $40,000? Golly, I wonder why anyone would have a problem with that.

          They don't give a damn about the geek's freely distributed Star Trek fan-flick.

          Unless the website hosting it has ads of any sort; then it's commercial.

          The Enterprise Cap for H.264 in 2011 is $6.5 million a year. H.264 is deeply entrenched in theatrical production. Broadcast, cable and satellite distribution. Industrial and military applications. Home video.

          Which begs the question, why isn't licensing such that Google, Firefox, etc don't have to pay? It's certainly not like MPEG LA is getting insufficient money. The simple point is, MPEG LA wants the chance to spread into the online world to make even more money. I can appreciate this. But, when you start counting the possibly millions or even billions of units to be sold in the future, that "dirt cheap" is no longer dirt cheap--why else would the per unit rate be so low, anyways?

          The simple truth is, allowing H.264 to effectively tax all internet-video devices is one of those anti-free market things that will only slow down innovation and growth. It's no different than any other pervasive fee in a system.

        • by lennier (44736)

          The maximum bite for an encoder/decoder is 20 cents a unit

          Which is 20 cents more than can legally be charged any encoder/decoder implementation built using GPL source code.

        • by Draek (916851) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @01:56AM (#34844904)

          Thanks for proving the GP's point but, just so you know, "cheap" isn't "free" and it most certainly isn't "Free".

          But hey, if you like paying through your nose for watching and uploading videos just so you can feel "popular" go right ahead, I'm sure MPEG LA will be happy to sell you a license. Or prosecute you for breaking the law.

    • Re:Pretty soon... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:34PM (#34842542) Journal
      As long as the browser allows to save any file it can't read, I have no problem with that. Reading a video is not a browser's job anyway.
  • Market Share? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnG (93975) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:01PM (#34842226)
    Does Chrome really have the market share required for this move to have any effect on the decisions of web designers?
    • Re:Market Share? (Score:5, Informative)

      by diegocg (1680514) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:17PM (#34842390)

      Yes, note that firefox doen't ship H.264 either. In Europe, Firefox + Chrome share is 52.69%, IE 37.52%.

      Also, Google owns Youtube and is working to make every video available in VP8.

    • Re:Market Share? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:30PM (#34842522)

      Does Chrome really have the market share required for this move to have any effect on the decisions of web designers?

      Yes. Chrome is rapidly eating market share: in just about 2 years since launch, it's at 13.5%. This is twice the share of Opera and Safari combined. But the decision to drop H.264 doesn't put Chrome "versus the world", as they already had Firefox and Opera in their camp (which also lack H.264). Opera + Safari + Chrome make over 50% of the browsers used today, in market share.

      This is substantially different than the previous situation, where Google, Microsoft and Apple all had a H.264 browser, and Firefox looked like the odd one out, while Opera was quietly awaiting the market to decide (they'd have no choice but support H.264, if Firefox did it).

      However, the battle is still not over for H.264. The common wisdom is that Google is pushing their WebM standard and that's why they drop H.264. If they really think it's that simple, they have not done their math right.

      The growth is with mobile devices. The leaders among them is Apple with iOS, and Google with Android, both of which come with hardware support for H.264, and no WebM hardware support (future support in... theory, but I can say, count Apple out). So what are web content owners left to do? Maybe encode all content twice: WebM and then H.264. Imagine the hassle of, ironically Google's very own, YouTube, having YET another version of every single video they have in their library: FLV, H.264 and now WebM.

      No, actually web authors will opt for the simplest choice, that's least amount of work: the same H.264 video everywhere, making use of hardware support for H.264 in mobiles, exposed via HTML5, and ... Flash on the desktop, which also support exactly the same H.264 videos.

      So, in attempt to push WebM, Google may end up accidentally (or not..?) cementing Flash's position on the desktop as the video player for the foreseeable future.

      I used to think Flash will considerably fade away once IE9 becomes mainstream (which comes with GPU accelerated renderer and H264 support), but now things are suddenly interesting again for Adobe.

  • Open standards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by philj (13777) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:04PM (#34842250)
    I love how they harp on about doing this because they support open standards - They bundle Flash with Chrome!

    Double standards or what?
  • Chrome+Firefox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrsam (12205) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:08PM (#34842284) Homepage

    Google is obviously betting that WebM in Chrome and Firefox can carry enough weight to compete against H.264 in MSIE, Opera, and Safari.

    Google, obviously, has enough web-surfing based data to factor into this judgement call. Whether or not Google is right on this call, one thing is certain: Google wouldn't do this unless they were fairly confident in WebM's chances against the looming patent trolls.

    This, I think, is the noteworthy aspect of this bit of news. A patent troll going after WebM will now have to expect to have to deal with Google's well-funded lawyers.

  • by FunnyStrange (974343) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:08PM (#34842300)
    John Gruber over at Daring Fireball [daringfireball.net] asks some very relevant questions about this. The most interesting is: if Google is so concerned about open standards, will they also be dropping the embedded Flash player from Chrome?
    • by tapo (855172) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:20PM (#34843064) Homepage

      The reason Chrome has Flash integrated is because a significant number of security exploits today are of Adobe products, specifically Flash Player and Adobe Reader. By integrating Flash, Google has managed to integrate it with their silent update system and the Chrome sandbox (sandboxed Flash is in the beta channel [computerworld.com]). As for PDF viewing, Google wrote their own simple, sandboxed PDF viewer with none of Adobe's issues and shipped it in Chrome 8 [makeuseof.com].
      Honestly, this is a lot better than users getting both of these manually and having vulnerable versions lying around.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      John Gruber over at Daring Fireball asks some very relevant questions about this.

      You mean John Gruber the Mac fanboy who's too much of a zealot for other fanboys [whydoeseve...ngsuck.com] has an issue with a Google product.

      Colour me unsurprised (and unconvinced).

  • by 3.1415926535 (243140) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:09PM (#34842306)

    Google To Cede Web Video Market To Adobe

  • Doing it now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:11PM (#34842326)

    Maybe it's better to weed out all the half-free proprietary stuff now before they have a chance to go all Unisys on you.

  • A really nasty trick (Score:3, Interesting)

    by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:13PM (#34842344)

    This serves two strategic purposes for Google. First, it advances a codec that's de facto controlled by Google at the expense of a codec that is a legitimate open standard controlled by a multi-vendor governance process managed by reputable international standards bodies. ("Open source" != "open standard".) And second, it will slow the transition to HTML5 and away from Flash by creating more confusion about which codec to use for HTML5 video, which benefits Google by hurting Apple (since Apple doesn't want to support Flash), but also sucks for users.

    It is, in other words, a thoroughly nasty bit of work. It's not quite as bad as selling consumers down the river to Verizon on 'net neutrality, but it's close. And if Google is actually successful in making WebM, not H.264, the standard codec for web video, they're literally going to render hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, etc. with H.264 hardware support obsolete.

    "But wait!", the OSS fans are saying. "Isn't Google really standing up for freedom and justice, because H.264 requires evil patent licensing?"

    No. Expert opinion [multimedia.cx] is that WebM infringes on numerous patents in the H.264 pool, and will need a licensing pool of its own to be set up, just like Microsoft's VC-1 did. So the patents are a wash. This is Google manipulating the market entirely for selfish advantage here, and it's all the worse because they're pretending otherwise. And it's going to be really frustrating watching people fall for it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:38PM (#34842594)

      Will people please stop citing an x264 developer's rant as an "expert opinion" on the video quality or patent risks of WebM? Next thing we'll indulge the musings of a Coca-Cola Company executive on health issues related to PepsiCo products.

      • by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:56PM (#34842776)

        Huh? You seem to be under the impression that "x264" is some for-profit organization that owns the rights to H.264 or something. That's now how these standards work; H.264 was developed by standards committee, not by some particular organization.

        x264 is an open source GPL-licensed H.264 encoder. I'm posting the opinion of an open source developer familiar with the technical and legal issues surrounding video codecs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, x264 is an open-source project. And we all know open-source projects never attract egomaniacs, and major contributors wouldn't derive significant value from their importance, which would be lost if their project was replaced by a competitor, right?

          Oh, wait.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EricJ2190 (1016652)
        I agree. He is an expert in video compression, not patent law. I think his argument as to VP8's patent status is flawed. He claims that VP8 is likely covered by patents because it shares many features with H.264. However, I suspect that these common features are those that are covered by known patents. A list of all known H.264 patents is available on MPEG-LA's website; therefore, it is public knowledge what features of H.264 are protected by known patents. However, nobody has been able to name a specific
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jrumney (197329)

      And if Google is actually successful in making WebM, not H.264, the standard codec for web video, they're literally going to render hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, etc. with H.264 hardware support obsolete.

      WebM can use many of the same acceleration blocks as H.264, it is a matter of writing the codecs that use the hardware.

      • by TD-Linux (1295697)

        WebM can use many of the same acceleration blocks as H.264, it is a matter of writing the codecs that use the hardware.

        Hence why it also is likely to run afoul of some H.264 patents. It's a pretty unoriginal ripoff of H.264.

        • by Nemyst (1383049)

          Or, you know, you can't reinvent the wheel thirty times without eventually falling back on the same basic concepts and H.264 and WebM share unpatented portions? You can't seriously believe every single thing H.264 does is patented, can you?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This serves two strategic purposes for Google. First, it advances a codec that's de facto controlled by Google at the expense of a codec that is a legitimate open standard controlled by a multi-vendor governance process managed by reputable international standards bodies. ("Open source" != "open standard".) And second, it will slow the transition to HTML5 and away from Flash by creating more confusion about which codec to use for HTML5 video, which benefits Google by hurting Apple (since Apple doesn't want to support Flash), but also sucks for users.

      "Isn't Google really standing up for freedom and justice, because H.264 requires evil patent licensing?"

      You say "patent licensing" as if it was just signing a legal agreement. Their license requires significant royalties to be paid and which we must all pay. We all pay a MPEG LA tax when we buy any of the devices or software that has to decode H.264.

      While those that despise Adobe Flash are desperate to see it replaced all I know is I've never had to pay a penny to use the Flash plugin.

      I have no problem with the standard being controlled by Google since they are making it available gratis. Apple / Microsoft a

      • by lennier (44736) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @11:47PM (#34844172) Homepage

        You say "patent licensing" as if it was just signing a legal agreement. Their license requires significant royalties to be paid and which we must all pay.

        And more importantly, if a patented piece of software requires payment of any royalties whatsoever, it instantly violates the "no further encumbrances" section of the GPL. If that software derives from or includes any GPL components, poof, it instantly loses the right to be distributed.

        So if you want video on a Free Software system at the moment you must choose one of the following four options:

        1. Abandon the GPL and any dreams of having a fully free desktop system. Just bow, accept that The Market Has Spoken And Freedom Is Dead.

        2. Abandon the USA as a market for a regime which doesn't recognise software patents, and hope international treaties don't impose US-like silliness on the world.

        3. Abandon the law. Resign yourself to breaking the law and either living like a fugitive, accepting the penalties or trying to make a test case out of your lawsuit.

        4. Abandon the known patent-tainted H.264 for a (hopefully) non-patented alternative like WebM, or one for which the patent imposes non GPL-violating encumbrances.

        (or, as a temporary solution, sequester the video-rendering component in third-party "dirty" code, like a Flash plugin, written using no GPL libraries, while you initiate a proper project to replace it).

    • Expert opinion is that WebM infringes on numerous patents in the H.264 pool

      It's not an expert option because he's not a lawyer.

    • by roca (43122)

      WebM is a multi-vendor standard: multiple independent implementations exist, and people outside Google have contributed to both the libvpx implementation and the evolution of the codec. Work is ongoing to publish a spec through an official standards organization.

      Dark Shikari's inferences about patents are FUD. Notice that despite being an expert, he could not identify any specific patents VP8 is alleged to infringe. No-one else has either.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:25PM (#34842470)

    Wow, that is exactly the kind of thing that Microsoft would do before it finally got the idea that standards are good. Like the way Windows Movie Maker would only save in WMV format. Although MS used to ignore the standards, only to add them in later rather than blatently removing support in an existing product.

    But I can understand why Google might do this. It is annoying that we have the situation (yet again) where you have to choose between one standard that is more commonly used with better device support, and a more open standard (without patents) that is not quite as good (mostly because it doesn't get accelerated). It is the MP3/OGG situation again. And Google's solution is the same that open source audio software did - they will rely on plug-ins like LAME to add support.

    Also the similar thing happened when the GIF format patent became a problem. It got dropped from a lot of programs where they didn't want to have to pay for a licence.

    I'm not sure why TFA said that it was controversial that Microsoft added H.264 support to Firefox. It seemed quite reasonable to allow Microsoft's patent licence to be used in software installed on their operating system.

  • by macentric (914166) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:16PM (#34843030)
    Does anybody really think that there won't be a new next-generation video codec to supersede both h.264 and WebM by the time the royalty free licenses expire in 2014? The reality of the situation is that Google is continuing to assert their strong position in the marketplace to potentially negatively affect the consumer, and all of their existing devices, to potentially positively affect their bottom line and that of their shareholders. To all of those who believe that Google is a "good" company, please remember that they are a publicly traded company that is really only beholden to benefit of their shareholders.

    Open Source != (Open) Standard

    Whether a tool is open source or not doesn't make it a standard, open or otherwise. What makes something a standard is when a group of people, companies, etc... (IEEE, ISO, ITU,etc...) get together propose and ratify a standard. In the case of h.264 the MPEG-LA and its members contributed their technologies and processes to the pool to build many of the wonderful products we like today. The only way that all of these different products by different manufacturers work is if they all support the standard. All of these companies built these technologies to make money.

    What Google did with WebM was buy a company and provide one of their newly purchased products as open-source. This product may, or may not, come under scrutiny for various IP issues. Many have stated in the past that a number of WebM's algorithms are very similar to those of h.264 and its "freeness" may come in to question.

    Googles actions today are not for you or for me. They are for the positive gain of Google as well as the negative impact on all of Google's competitors. This would not be a bad thing if this did not take into account the fact that millions, if not billions, of people already own products that make use of h.264 and therefore negatively affects consumers if they are forced to buy new products.

    In the long run, will it matter? Won't there be something new by 2014 anyways? I doubt the MPEG-LA members are resting on their laurels and not working on h.265 or MPEG-5 or whatever is next anyways.

    I wish people would wake up and stop believing the "don't be evil" mantra when Google is as bad as Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and/or Oracle.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:39PM (#34843220)

    Bottom line: This gives Flash (Player, at least) a shot in the arm.

    Up to date versions of Flash player can handle h.264/mp4 video just fine - no Flash wrapper necessary. So you encode an mp4/m4v file, then add a softlink that ends in ".flv". Just one encode and your bases are covered - no Flash encode, no WebM either.

  • by iamacat (583406) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @09:46PM (#34843270)

    In between IE specific sites and Apple boycotting flash it's already hard to access information on the web with a device one happens to have at hand. Now with this, Android users will be locked out of content owned by anyone who managed to kick dependence on both Adobe and Microsoft. All that remains if for Apple and Microsoft to block Google search and Internet will go to good old walled garden days of CompuServe and AOL.

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