Michael Dale from Metavid has posted an article on why we are about to hit the tipping point for professional video producers to move to open media codecs. His statement is that it’s not just because the H.264 licensing grace period is about to end, but has a lot to do with the support that open media codecs are increasingly seeing on the Web, where the next big professional video market will happen. I totally agree.
The increasing amount of open tools on the Web for open codecs was all stimulated by the HTML5 <video> element and is based on year-long efforts that have gone into Annodex and applications using Annodex technology such as Metavid. There is now Firefox 3.1’s native support for Ogg Theora/Vorbis through liboggplay, there is the mod_annodex Apache plugin and the oggzchop CGI tool to serve time ranges of Ogg media over HTTP from Web Servers, there is the new firefogg Firefox Ogg Theora/Vorbis encoding plugin, and this all closes the tool-chain from encoding to publishing to viewing.
Native editing of Ogg Theora/Vorbis video is still a challenge, but any professional video producer will not want to move away from their favorite tool for editing video anyway, so it is a matter of having an export function included into these professional editors. While such export functions will take some time to emerge in these proprietary editors, the use of ffmpeg2theora and similar transcoding tools will be perfectly sufficient to fulfill these needs.
If you want to see why open source codecs and open video technology make such a difference, just go and check out Metavid, the best software around for wiki-style editing of time-aligned annotations for long-form video. I look forward to all the cool new applications that will emerge with open media software on the Web – applications that are not possible with proprietary video technology because of their lack of flexibility, interoperability, and adaptability.