15 June 2007

YouTube, screencasts and Ogg Theora

According to YouTube Help Center:

What video file formats can I upload?

YouTube accepts video files from most digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones in the .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG file formats.

So how about Ogg Theora?
In a moment of craziness I recorded a very short and excessively lame clip with Istanbul and uploaded it to se what it happens, the end result was unexpected: it worked.

For those reading my post via various Planets where the Flash object is not included and wanting a proof,a here is a direct link but you will not find anything interesting at its end. I think I will start doing more screencasts (if my underpowered desktop will let me record long clips).


  1. Use Google Video, it accepts Ogg files, and will allow people to download DivX versions of the file as well.

  2. Hadess, is a bad idea to use these services to convert video formats. Once uploaded the video has significantly decreased quality.

    Theora is free, but in terms o compression ratio, is bad and obsolete.

    H.264 (a.k.a MPEG-4 AVC) is the best video compressor available. And ffmpeg, MPlayer, and x264 are Linux utilities that read and write it.

    .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG are not video formats, but media containers. An .AVI can contain DivX/Xvid video, or H.264, or MPEG-1.

    Theora video format is very similar to Flash video. Actually, the last is an evolution of ON2's video format that was open sourced and merged into Theora.

    As far as I know, you can create H.264 screencasts with ffmpeg.

  3. Sigh. It's no use making nice Free Ogg files if you then upload them to a service which only allows viewing the files (not even downloading unless you use a browser hack) in a proprietary, patent-encumbered format. (Google Video is not much better there, at least it allows downloading without a hack, but not in any unencumbered format.) Can't you just offer the .ogg for direct download/streaming somewhere?

  4. Oh, and Avi Alkalay, H.264 is heavily patent-encumbered, at least in a certain huge Northern American country...

  5. Kevin, I understand your point, but:
    - the bandwidth may be a problem, so is best (IMO) to offer both: a YouTube version and a direct link to the Ogg Theora;
    - the brainwashed masses with Windows and its default media player have to install additional software;
    - discovery is important, a lot of people will search for videos from inside YouTube

    So my plan is: offer both Theora and Flash to reach an audience as larger as possible.

  6. I have been putting all my recent screencasts on blip.tv, they accept Ogg and heaps of others, and you also have the ability of Creative Commons Licensing built into their software... its everything i need.. :P

  7. Do it have those "social network" features like subscribing to a friend channel? I also kind of like youtube's integration in Mugshot...

  8. Thanks for the info but, then, once the video is uploaded, will it be playable by every user(for example users that don't have filters)? Or youtube converts them all to flv?

  9. Everything uploaded to YouTube is converted to flv