Web Video Patent War Continues

As explained in a previous post (Google Chrome Chooses Sides In HTML5 Video) the battle over Internet video formats has Apple and Microsoft choosing .mp4 with the H.265/AAC codec and Mozilla and Google (Firefox and Chrome browsers) choosing Ogg, with Google also pushing its own WebM (VP8 codec) which it claims is patent-free.

The idea behind Mozilla and Google’s refusal to use the H.264 codec is because of the patents that control it. Those patents are owned by a consortium called MPEG LA.

Well, MPEG LA has fired the first shot across the bow of Google by forming a patent pool, requesting submission of patent claims from companies who believe the VP8 infringes on their patents.

MPEG LA essentially claims that ANY codec developed lately HAS to have some type of patent infringement due to the nature of compressing video for Internet streaming.

Since this patent pool is just forming, there’s no telling how long this process will take.

As usual, you and I are stuck in the middle of another standards war, like the ferryman in “The Outlaw Josie Wales” who has to sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie” with ‘equal enthusiasm’.

Further Reading:

First legal shots fired at Google’s VP8 codec.
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How To Make A Viral Video

Came across this on YouTube. It’s hilarious!

1. Average looking star – or an animal of any kind

2. Use a catchy title – like “Boob Sex”

3. Look into the camera

4. Originality is for losers!

5. Use an eye-catching still shot

6. Use lots of jump cuts

7. Use extra-amateurish music

8. Keep it short – “Anything over 2 minutes is basically considered a feature length film”

9. Add some random nonsense

10. Wrap it up – and end abruptly.
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Google Chrome Chooses Sides In HTML5 Video

Google has just picked a side in the fight over the supposed “standardization” of the HTML5 video tag. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s supposed to eliminate the browser plug-ins required to play video at the present time.

As I mentioned in a previous post (HTML5 – Easy On Them, Tough On You), browser companies are fighting over supported video formats that they will use as their standard.

For HTML5, Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 will support the H.264 codec in MP4 video while Mozilla Firefox and now Google Chrome opt for Ogg Theora, with Google Chrome also supporting it’s own preference, WebM (VP8).

According to Google

Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

These changes will occur in the next couple months but we are announcing them now to give content publishers and developers using HTML <video> an opportunity to make any necessary changes to their sites.

Make any necessary changes? And Google still hasn’t said if they will be supporting plug-ins that allow H.264 to play in their browser, since it’s not what Google and Mozilla consider “open codecs”. Plug-ins? I thought HTML5 was supposed to cure that.

All this infighting is placing a huge burden on webmasters all over the world! Now, instead of the old way of streaming video (a Flash player/container with either an FLV or MP4 video in it) we now have to create TWO videos, PLUS code that figures out which browser your visitor is using so it can stream the proper video, PLUS fallback code and/or video for those with older browsers PLUS maybe code for smartphones and THEIR OWN specially sized video. Sheesh!

I’m still looking for a web video player that will reliably do all that.

In the meantime I recommend publishing your videos to YouTube and, if you want, embedding them into your site. EVERY browser will play YouTube videos or face the wrath of web surfers.

For those of you, like me, with videos inside membership sites that can’t use YouTube, all I can say is I’ll keep you posted.

Further reading:
Google Chrome to drop H.264 support; roadblock to HTML5?
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/google-prepares-to-ruin-chrome-browser/10920

Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

These changes will occur in the next couple months but we are announcing them now to give content publishers and developers using HTML <video> an opportunity to make any necessary changes to their sites.

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I just updated the members area with a new tutorial video on how to edit video on your Vista or Windows 7 computer using the free Windows Live Movie Maker.

Windows Live Movie Maker is an update to Windows Movie Maker which was designed for XP computers. WLMM has a new interface with a ribbon menu on top and a combined storyboard/timeline work area.

You can edit, add transitions, visual effects, audio and even pan and zoom on pictures. There’s also an ‘AutoMovie maker’ that does most of it for you, including title and credits.

The main drawbacks are the lack of ability to change the hue of your video and that there’s only one audio track. There’s also no layering of video like in advanced video editors.

But it’s free with your PC and does the job for limited editing.

Members can find it under Video/Index of Tutorial Videos.

If you’re not a member you can sign up here..
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How To Download YouTube Videos

I’m often asked how to download YouTube videos. Well, it couldn’t be easier if you have the right browser plugin.

Your options for Internet Explorer are extremely limited, but if you are using Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera or Safari then I recommend using the appropriately named Easy YouTube Downloader.

Go to that link using any of the above browsers and choose the link to that type of browser to take you to an installation page.

Once installed, the add-on/extension adds a download link directly onto the YouTube page…

YouTube download add-on

I like this addon because it gives you the option of downloading the video in .mp4 format which is more versatile than .flv

To use a different add-on go to Tools/Add-ons or Extensions/ and click on something like Get or Add More. Do a search for ‘YouTube download’ and you should have a number of options you can try..
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