This past week was amazing, not because of Google Wave, which everybody seems to be talking about now, and not because of Microsoft’s launch of the bing search engine, but amazing for the world of open video.
- YouTube are experimenting with the HTML5 video tag. The demo only works in HTML5 video capable browsers, such as Firefox 3.5, Safari, Opera, and the new Chrome, which leads me straight to the next news.
- The Google Chrome 3 browser now supports the HTML5 video tag. The linked release only supports MPEG encoded video, but that’s a big step forward.
- More importantly even, recently committed code adds Ogg Theora/Vorbis support to Google Chrome 3’s video tag! This is based on using ffmpeg at this stage, which needs some further work to e.g. gain Ogg Kate support. But this is great news for open media!
- And then the biggest news: Dailymotion, one of the largest social video networks, has re-encoded all their videos to Ogg Theora/Vorbis and have launched an openvideo platform. The blog post is slightly negative about video quality – probably because they used an older encoder. The Xiph community
has already recommended use ofrecommends experimenting with the new Thusnelda encoder and the latest ffmpeg2theora release that supports it, since they provide higher compression ratios and better quality.
- That latest ffmpeg2theora release is really awesome news by itself, but I’d also like to mention two other encoding tools that were released last week: the updated XiphQT QuickTime components, that now allow export to Ogg Theora/Vorbis directly from iMovie (I tested it and it’s awesome) and the new GStreamer command-line based python encoder gst2ogg which works mostly like ffmpeg2theora.
Overall a really exciting week for open media and HTML5 video! I think things are only going to heat up more in this space as more content publishers and more browsers will join the video tag implementations and the Ogg Theora/Vorbis support.