The greatest disservice the web has given us so far in my opinion is video. Don't get me wrong. I use / search for video all the time on the web, but I have also lost an inordinate and non-returnable portion of my life trying to get some video with some crazy codec or another to play just the way it was meant to. That's just my personal frustration. Now multiply that by thousands of displays on our network with hundreds of users all trying to do the same thing. You get the idea.
Now, having said that, and knowing that our next release is moving away from a proprietary file format for our presentations and that we are going to standardize on HTML5 (why 5? we're following Google from Gears to 5 manifests for the caching) I am really hopeful that the gods that set the standards for HTML5 settle on one video format that we know we can expect every browser to understand and support. However, I may be pipe dreaming here as it still appears to be quite the raging debate as to what standard, if any, HMTL5 will settle on for video - current contenders are Ogg, Theora or H.264. One of the best synopsis of the situation that I have seen comes from my favorite crowd sourcing - a users response on a YouTube forum - check it out here. And some of the craziest arguments raging right now are which format is going to be sued the least. Check out John Gruber on one of my fav blogs for his thoughts and the counter argument here.
Other considerations include integrating an online service for codec conversion. Just found a really neat one from the Y Combinator pool, check out zencoder if your interested in a cloud based codec conversion service.
Given the debates above, our limited resources and the fact that our
next display player is based upon Chromium
we are probably going to
follow Google, but thoughts, opinions and advice are more than welcome!
- Free Software Foundation Urges Google To Free VP8
- Ogg Theora vs. H.264: head to head comparisons
- Open Video Alliance launches Wikipedia video campaign
- Web video issue remains deadlocked with IE9
- Open source video company Kaltura joins with Wikimedia to promote HTML5 video
- H.264 video codec stays royalty-free for HTML5 testers
- Nuanti brings HTML5 and Ogg Theora video to Silverlight
- Google (finally) nabs On2 video codecs
- Video Coming to Wikipedia -- Time to Learn about Ogg Theora and HTML5
- Wikipedia's Assault On Patent-Encumbered Codecs