WebM vs H264?

kristoffer4

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 17, 2006
993
131
Denmark
Hey everybody. How is performance of youtube WebM vs HTML5 H.264? Any tried it out? :D

I can't wait for Firefox 4 and all of youtube in WebM. :D
Hopefully this will mean lower CPU Temp. on my 2008 MBW.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,496
31,531
Boston
I think google is making a mistake by dropping H264.

They're trying to gain marketshare but they suddenly put their browser behind the 8 ball. This will make it more frustrating for people to use their browser so they'll switch.

As for the differences between the two, I know very little. I'm just happy when my browser works as expected.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
I think google is making a mistake by dropping H264.

They're trying to gain marketshare but they suddenly put their browser behind the 8 ball. This will make it more frustrating for people to use their browser so they'll switch.
Actually, I think they are doing a good move by dropping H.264. We don't need to repeat the GIF fiasco of many years ago. This will encourage devs to use WebM for their websites, since now over 35% of browsers out there won't display H.264 (Firefox/Chrome/Opera) and in the remaining 65%, Internet Explorer will be able to display WebM, leaving something like 5% of Internet users without support (Apple... hello ?).
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,785
211
UK
I really don't care. I don't actually see whats wrong with flash or silverlight either. I've had no problems with any.
 

KeithPratt

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2007
800
3
We don't need to repeat the GIF fiasco of many years ago.
MPEG LA have said that for free web video, content creators will never be charged royalties. (Though I don't know what that's worth if the license is subject to review on a 5-year cycle.) Additionally, MPEG LA claims WebM may infringe numerous copyrights.

This will encourage devs to use WebM for their websites
Are all the major streaming services who have hardware and architectures set up for H.264 suddenly going to switch to WebM? I think "suddenly" is an important part of that question, because if a shift doesn't happen quickly H.264 will only continue to solidify its place as the video deliverables standard. And last I saw — which admittedly was several months ago — WebM was at a pretty crude level in its implementation and had only Sorenson of the major compression vendors supporting encoding to the format.

now over 35% of browsers out there won't display H.264 (Firefox/Chrome/Opera) and in the remaining 65%, Internet Explorer will be able to display WebM, leaving something like 5% of Internet users without support (Apple... hello ?).
All browsers will play H.264 via Flash. If there's a winner here, it's Adobe.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
MPEG LA have said that for free web video, content creators will never be charged royalties. (Though I don't know what that's worth if the license is subject to review on a 5-year cycle.) Additionally, MPEG LA claims WebM may infringe numerous copyrights.
MPEG-LA is fudding. They have done so for VP3 since the early '00s, they will do so with VP8. There's no big surprise there. Let them actually sue if they have something instead of just making empty threats.

As far as the MPEG-LA promising things, how is that different from the GIF fiasco and Unisys' LZW compression patents ? Commercial vendors still have to pay outrageous prices, and that includes streaming sites. They have to pay to stream you the content, so either they go paid subscriptions or switch to WebM.

It's PNG vs GIF all over again. Luckily this time, 95% of browsers will support WebM, vs the paltry support PNG got thanks to Microsoft not playing well with other players.

Are all the major streaming services who have hardware and architectures set up for H.264 suddenly going to switch to WebM? I think "suddenly" is an important part of that question, because if a shift doesn't happen quickly H.264 will only continue to solidify its place as the video deliverables standard.
Who owns Youtube gets to dictate what happens next. Others will just follow the leader. And who owns Youtube ? ;)

All browsers will play H.264 via Flash. If there's a winner here, it's Adobe.
Then HTML5 will not take off. I think Apple would rather implement WebM than see that don't you think ? ;)
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,596
3,219
Actually, I think they are doing a good move by dropping H.264. We don't need to repeat the GIF fiasco of many years ago. This will encourage devs to use WebM for their websites, since now over 35% of browsers out there won't display H.264 (Firefox/Chrome/Opera) and in the remaining 65%, Internet Explorer will be able to display WebM, leaving something like 5% of Internet users without support (Apple... hello ?).
Big difference. GIF was used because it was free (and that changed suddenly). h.264 is used because it is standard, there is plenty of hardware that supports it, and it is of known quality. The cost of h.264 is well understood. WebM doesn't even have a proper spec today; in many parts the so-called "spec" is just a bit of optimised and therefore unreadable C code. That is not a spec, it is just a disaster. And it is only competitive with base-line h.264.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
Big difference. GIF was used because it was free (and that changed suddenly).
It was known early on that GIF was patent encumbered and yet it still kept being implemented. GIF was used because Microsoft never bothered to implement PNG at all until late into the game and when they did it, they forgot to implement important features like the Alpha channel support (full 8 bit alpha channel support, Microsoft implemented it like GIF, a on/off BOOL bit).

h.264 is used because it is standard, there is plenty of hardware that supports it, and it is of known quality. The cost of h.264 is well understood.
And subject to change on the whims of a single consortium. The open web should not be under the control of a commercial entity. Watch Android handsets gain hardware decoding for WebM soon. These hardware decoders are not gate logic, they're mostly firmware based implementations or programmable DSPs. Most of the hardware that decodes H.264 is a flash away from decoding WebM.

WebM doesn't even have a proper spec today; in many parts the so-called "spec" is just a bit of optimised and therefore unreadable C code. That is not a spec, it is just a disaster.
FUD. Mozilla and Opera don't seem to have had a problem getting WebM implemented following the "disaster" of a spec. Seriously, this point is only made by people that are backing H.264 in one way or the other. Unbiased analysis of the spec ? Yeah right.

And it is only competitive with base-line h.264.
It doesn't need to be competitive with any other profile. The Web and streaming technologies it uses only use H.264 baseline. That's all we have bandwidth for.

No one is wanting WebM to be implemented in commercial Cable TV VOD services, satelitte TV or Blu-rays. H.264 is fine for those application. We're only talking about the Web here.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
MPEG LA have said that for free web video, content creators will never be charged royalties. (Though I don't know what that's worth if the license is subject to review on a 5-year cycle.) Additionally, MPEG LA claims WebM may infringe numerous copyrights.

MPEG LA whin.

As for them being free only to End user. Browsers like Firefox would have to pay 5 mil a year + yearly increase. So Mozilla said nope. Oprea followed suit and it looks like Chrome just followed it.

That is 35+% of the browsers in the general public and well over 50%-60% of the geeks. IE can support WebM. That leaves less than 5% of the market that can not support it and even smaller among the geeks and nerds.

As for the mobile side yet again only Apple is not supporting it and iOS is not exactly gaining market share.

WebM is great for the Web plain and simple. It is not meant to replace h.264 for things like DVD and blue ray. Or downloaded movies. It is meant for the web.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,584
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
MPEG LA whin.

As for them being free only to End user. Browsers like Firefox would have to pay 5 mil a year + yearly increase. So Mozilla said nope. Oprea followed suit and it looks like Chrome just followed it.

That is 35+% of the browsers in the general public and well over 50%-60% of the geeks. IE can support WebM. That leaves less than 5% of the market that can not support it and even smaller among the geeks and nerds.

As for the mobile side yet again only Apple is not supporting it and iOS is not exactly gaining market share.

WebM is great for the Web plain and simple. It is not meant to replace h.264 for things like DVD and blue ray. Or downloaded movies. It is meant for the web.
There's a problem with your theory. Microsoft is behind h.264 - they even released a plugin for Firefox to support h.264, what does that tell you?

So that means the browser world will be neatly divided into the webM and h.264 camps. Do you think web developers will encode their videos into h.264 and webM?

Think again. They will simply keep them as they are and use Flash to deliver h.264 videos to the browsers that don't support it.

And thus strengthening Flash further.

This move helps no one except Adobe.
 

*LTD*

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Feb 5, 2009
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Making things difficult for Apple/iOS users is a really bad idea. Once again, Google does something they didn't quite think through all the way.

Any Web developer who uses WebM and in doing so excludes the (most) valuable iOS user demographic ought to be fired.

Back to plugins, are we?
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
There's a problem with your theory. Microsoft is behind h.264 - they even released a plugin for Firefox to support h.264, what does that tell you?

So that means the browser world will be neatly divided into the webM and h.264 camps. Do you think web developers will encode their videos into h.264 and webM?

Think again. They will simply keep them as they are and use Flash to deliver h.264 videos to the browsers that don't support it.

And thus strengthening Flash further.

This move helps no one except Adobe.
only a matter of time before good turns off h.264 youtube. That will say iOS can kiss using it good bye until Apple changes. Also kills Safari off as well.

Lets face it for web browser safari is so low that it is not even worthy of being tested any longer. If it works in FF, Chrome and IE nothing else is worth testing. Them releasing a plug in for FF tells me the MPEG LA is running scared and knows with 95% of the broswer market works with WebM compared to only 65% working with h.264 they know that WebM will win out.

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148)

Making things difficult for Apple/iOS users is a really bad idea. Once again, Google does something they didn't quite think through all the way.

Any Web developer who uses WebM and in doing so excludes the (most) valuable iOS user demographic ought to be fired.

Back to plugins, are we?
Umm hate to break it to you but iOS is quickly becoming a minority player in the world of mobile web.
When you add in Android blackberry and palm together that cover well over 50% and as time goes on it seems iOS is losing more and more ground.

Only Apple fanboys call iOS the most valuable group.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
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Melenkurion Skyweir
only a matter of time before good turns off h.264 youtube. That will say iOS can kiss using it good bye until Apple changes. Also kills Safari off as well.
You have a point re: iOS, though I don't see that happening - if Google switches to webM and it proves to be the prevailing codec, Apple will most likely include it in a iOS update.

As for Safari, you do know it supports Flash... right?

Umm hate to break it to you but iOS is quickly becoming a minority player in the world of mobile web.
When you add in Android blackberry and palm together that cover well over 50% and as time goes on it seems iOS is losing more and more ground.

Only Apple fanboys call iOS the most valuable group.
Look at the author of the post. And save your energy in the future.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
So that means the browser world will be neatly divided into the webM and h.264 camps. Do you think web developers will encode their videos into h.264 and webM?
Let's see. On one side, you have : Chrome/Opera/Firefox/Internet Explorer. About 95% of the web browser ecosystem out there. This is the WebM side. On the other side, you have Internet Explorer/Safari. About 65% being H.264 compatible.

Which do I choose to reach the broadest audience possible...

This is a good move by Google, an attempt to free the Web. Apple needs to stop protecting its profit and start thinking about its users instead. They need to implement WebM and participate in an open web like they like to claim they want to do. Put your billions where you mouth is.

EDIT: Well lookee what just showed up on Slashdot. Google will write a Safari plugin for WebM :

http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/01/14/google.webm.plugin.for.ie9.safari.due.soon/

How nice of them. They'll even make one for IE9, I guess in case the users don't have the codec installed.
 

dolphin842

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2004
1,168
27
One of the issues we've yet to discuss is the one that Gruber raises, namely inertia on the part of content providers. Currently providers can serve everyone with h264, whether it's via the <video> tag or flash. Why would anyone other than Google spend time and storage on re-encoding their video in another format when they can just default to flash when <video> tag support isn't present? All the WebM-plugins in the world won't change the fact that, like it or not, the legality of the format is still uncertain from a corporate perspective (Google's refusal to indemnify users isn't all that encouraging either).
 

*LTD*

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Rodimus Prime said:
ravenvii said:
There's a problem with your theory. Microsoft is behind h.264 - they even released a plugin for Firefox to support h.264, what does that tell you?

So that means the browser world will be neatly divided into the webM and h.264 camps. Do you think web developers will encode their videos into h.264 and webM?

Think again. They will simply keep them as they are and use Flash to deliver h.264 videos to the browsers that don't support it.

And thus strengthening Flash further.

This move helps no one except Adobe.
only a matter of time before good turns off h.264 youtube. That will say iOS can kiss using it good bye until Apple changes. Also kills Safari off as well.

Lets face it for web browser safari is so low that it is not even worthy of being tested any longer. If it works in FF, Chrome and IE nothing else is worth testing. Them releasing a plug in for FF tells me the MPEG LA is running scared and knows with 95% of the broswer market works with WebM compared to only 65% working with h.264 they know that WebM will win out.

*LTD* said:
Making things difficult for Apple/iOS users is a really bad idea. Once again, Google does something they didn't quite think through all the way.

Any Web developer who uses WebM and in doing so excludes the (most) valuable iOS user demographic ought to be fired.

Back to plugins, are we?
Umm hate to break it to you but iOS is quickly becoming a minority player in the world of mobile web.
When you add in Android blackberry and palm together that cover well over 50% and as time goes on it seems iOS is losing more and more ground.

Only Apple fanboys call iOS the most valuable group.
We tend to spend $$$.

As for the rest of your post, the iPhone alone is holding its own against a sea of Android phones, while locked to a single carrier in the US.

The game is about to change, now that Verizon will offer the iPhone.

For some reason you seem to be discounting iPad growth.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,785
211
UK
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148)

Making things difficult for Apple/iOS users is a really bad idea. Once again, Google does something they didn't quite think through all the way.

Any Web developer who uses WebM and in doing so excludes the (most) valuable iOS user demographic ought to be fired.

Back to plugins, are we?
Wat? OS X and iOS is the minority. And iOS is the minority. Maybe not in America, but worldwide, Android based phones pretty much rule the Smartphone market, with Nokia being a very close second.

Why please the minority? That makes no sense.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Wat? OS X and iOS is the minority. And iOS is the minority. Maybe not in America, but worldwide, Android based phones pretty much rule the Smartphone market, with Nokia being a very close second.

Why please the minority? That makes no sense.
150+ million iOS devices. iOS has 1.7% share of the web. Global mobile is split between iOS and Symbian.

This "minority" drives industry profits, btw.
 
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roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,785
211
UK
150+ million iOS devices. iOS has 1.7% share of the web. Global mobile is split between iOS and Symbian.

This "minority" drives industry profits, btw.
yeyeye. okay. I wouldn't expect you to believe otherwise anyway. Getting you to accept that Apple isn't the be all and end all is like trying to divide by zero. I'll stop wasting my keystrokes.
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
One of the issues we've yet to discuss is the one that Gruber raises, namely inertia on the part of content providers. Currently providers can serve everyone with h264, whether it's via the <video> tag or flash. Why would anyone other than Google spend time and storage on re-encoding their video in another format when they can just default to flash when <video> tag support isn't present? All the WebM-plugins in the world won't change the fact that
Please, Gruber is all but paid by Apple. I sometimes him and *LTD* are connected at the hip or something. Google is the biggest content provider. When Youtube does something, others follow. If 35% of browsers is suddenly H.264 free, as people move away from Flash for video, WebM will become prevalent since it will work on 95% of browsers out there without Google's plugin. Safari is the only browser that will need that plugin, since the IE team basically said that the <video> tag will work with any system installed codec, including WebM.

And at least Google is trying to free the web from patent encumbered technology. It's funny how people here just try to kick them when they are working for a Free (as in freedom) web just because Apple happens to have a hand in H.264 and wants to protect their profits.

Apple does no wrong I guess. :rolleyes:

like it or not, the legality of the format is still uncertain from a corporate perspective (Google's refusal to indemnify users isn't all that encouraging either).
The legality of the format is not uncertain. Until there's a lawsuit from the MPEG-LA, they're just playing "boy who cried wolf", like they have done with other codecs in the past. Don't participate in or believe the FUD. It's one of their best weapons to keep H.264 on top and they are using it. Google is calling their bluff.
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,807
79
A company which lined up with Verizon against net neutrality is now suddenly promoting an 'open web'? how comical. Google isn't fighting for a 'free' web. It is just launching an attack against Apple and Microsoft by trying to force it's own product that is in essence; a buggy, technically inferior bastardization of H.264 on to everyone, so it can have complete control/dominance of web video without having to answer to anyone. By claiming that paying what is in actuality, a nominal 'royalty fee'...considering Google's bank account, is 'expensive'.

But the mindless Googlebots will lap it up and scream at the top of their lungs OPEN/SCREW PROPRIETARY. Even though, H.264 is actually an open platform. If it is all about open why are they not refusing to bundle Flash...a massively proprietary product with their browser :rolleyes:

You people make me laugh.
 
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jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
Let's see. On one side, you have : Chrome/Opera/Firefox/Internet Explorer. About 95% of the web browser ecosystem out there. This is the WebM side. On the other side, you have Internet Explorer/Safari. About 65% being H.264 compatible.
When did Microsoft announce support for WebM in Internet Explorer? Everything I've read said Google would have to supply a plug-in.

In practicality, all WebM does is prop-up Adobe Flash and it defeats the purpose of the <video> tag.

So if you're using Safari and Internet Explorer (the default browsers on the two largest desktop operating systems), you'll need Adobe Flash to view WebM content.

If you're using Firefox, Chrome or Opera on either platform, you'll need Adobe Flash to view H.264 content.

Who wins here? Users? Nope. Adobe? Yep. Google? Yep. This is a purely tactical business move on the part of Google. Apple better wise up. There's no doubt Google is out to get Apple.
 
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