22 January 2010

Video sharing, HTML5, Theora, YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv...

I see everyone's talking about YouTube experimenting with serving video with HTML5 and the justified outcry for not using Ogg Theora, which is a shame. Supposedly the video quality is bad, but since they keep away Firefox, Ephiphany (with WebKit) and Seamonkey, I can't look there. Not much missing.

Almost at the same time, Vimeo is doing the same thing: HTML5 but not Ogg Theora, but I don't really care, I think I can count the times I used Vimeo on my fingers. Probably without taking my shoes off.

In the meantime, I still struggle with blip.tv, which I use for sharing videos from the RLUG meet, they are the opposite, some Ogg Theora support but not HTML5. I complained the other day about conversion failures, tried to provide .flv versions manually, but it didn't work. And the reply from support was shameful enough (I noted I used the site specifically for Ogg Theora) that is deserves to be shown in public:

"We're big fans of open source and Ogg, however it can sometimes be difficult for us to transcode to Flash. You may want to try uploading a Quicktime or Windows Media version as your Source/Master with your Ogg Theora version as a secondary format."
...thanks for nothing!

As in Friday evening here, I will end in a funny note: do you know who was the main victim of my work on video editing and transcoding? My dog! Having to stay late at computer to supervise the CPU intensive activity and long timed operation, I had to leave the computer very late, after the pet food store closed so my dog had to eat cat food for a couple of days :D


  1. What about tinyvid.tv?

  2. how did you end up getting them on blip? did you follow their advice?

    i am still dying to upload my inkscape talk from fudcon toronto - but it always fails! :(

  3. dailymotion.com supports html5 and ogg

  4. In my opinion Mozilla chose the wrong format. Instead of the older, lower quality theora format, they should have gone for dirac, which is much better especially at HD. Sure dirac needs maturing, but instead of the effort to try to get theora up to speed, they would do better to optimize the more promising dirac format.

    Theora will never win from h.264, especially now Google (YouTube) and Vimeo have chosen to go with the technically better h.264. Dirac still has a chance to become the successor of h.264.

  5. Hrm, that YouTube html5 does not work with Epiphany is a bug. Either they're (at google) doing the detection wrong or WebKit sends wrong info about what it supports as the webkitgtk version used in F12 has both HTML5 video tag support; and as it's via gstreamer, then if totem can play h.264 epiphany should be able to as well.

    From my perspective what is mozilla doing wrong is that they're shipping ogg/theora/voribis with firefox instead of depending on some extendible system-wide multimedia framework like gstreamer (at least on *nix builds). If I had to guess whether mozilla or youtube wins the battle, I'd bet on youtube and h.264 (despite the fact that I'd prefer theora or dirac too)...

  6. @matej: no, did'n try it yet and tinyvid is not encouraging you by saying "this site allows you to thest the usage of the HTML5 video tag", this does not sould like a site which is here to stay for a long time.

    @mairin: so far I uploaded files and OGV, which worked fine for small files, for the large one covnersion fo FLV failed, so they are available only as OGV

    @ben: Dirac would be a bad choice *now*, a lot of existing computers do not have enough CPU power for it.

    @Martin: I thought so, this is what I tried Ephy, however it looks like YouTube is working with a whitelist. Mozilla did probably so because they want one version everywhere, and their primary target in Windows and the secondary target OS X (with Linux at a third rate platform), where Theora is not easily available.

  7. @mairin: where your upload fails? during the upload? then is the file larger than 1GB? after the upload, during the conversion to .flv?