Which video format will play on Windows and Mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by blaklaybul, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. blaklaybul macrumors regular

    blaklaybul

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    Im setting up a web page but I wish to know which video format I should use.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. JSchwage macrumors 6502a

    JSchwage

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #2
    I'd recommend using MOVs and encoding them using the H.264 codec. Almost everyone has QuickTime on Windows since a majority of people on Windows also use iTunes, which includes QuickTime.
     
  3. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816

    Silver-Fox

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #3
    wmv, or mov

    most people now own quicktime or flip for mac
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Flash is probably the most universal and the easiest for people to "upgrade" if they have an out of date version.


    Lethal
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #5
    If you use .wmv, then you have to use WMV 9 or older. Nothing on the Mac plays WMV 10 or WMV 11. There are certain groups of Mac users who have Flip4Mac installed, but I seriously doubt that they constitute a majority of Mac users. However, virtually every computer user can play .mpg out-of-the-box.
     
  6. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

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    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #6
    Flash would be the format to reach the widest cross platform audience, saying that I use H.264 but in terms of a wider audience for QT I'd choose MP4 - simply for webpage compatibility cross platform and certainly windows users tend not to update their software that often.

    I know a few windows users who can't view the H.264 Quicktime files on my website.
    And .wmv is a sin of webdesign!
     
  7. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #7
    Microsoft began endorsing it about three years ago when they discontinued their own version of WMP. I would think that more people are using it now.


    I always prefer QuickTime.
     
  8. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #8
    Flash: almost universal compatibility and great quality

    MPEG-1: universal compatibility, low quality

    MPEG-2: poor compatibility, good quality

    MPEG-4: moderate to good compatibility, good quality

    h.264 (MPEG-4 variant): moderate compatibility, good quality

    WMV: good compatibility, moderate to good quality

    -DH
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    Most people on this forum know the history quite well. However, we are a teeny-tiny minority of Mac users.
     
  10. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    Mar 11, 2005
    #10
    Almost any tech help section of major websites that use WMV or WMA now encourage people to download Flip4Mac.
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
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    USA
    #11
    And what percentage of users go to tech websites? And of those, what percentage go there for video viewing issues?
     
  12. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #12
    No, you're misreading my statement. Please look at it more closely.

    I'm talking about the video tech support section of a video segment section of a website of any topic, not just tech websites.

    EDIT: For example, CNN.com Live Video endorses Mac uses to download Flip4Mac. The linked page is what I'm referring to as the tech support section as it provides support and other information on how to get CNN.com Live to work properly.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Good for CNN.com. However, it is in the clear minority. The vast majority of websites that feature video only tell users which video format they are using, if that much. If their video doesn't play on your system, then you are SOL.
     
  14. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    Mar 11, 2005
    #14
    A lot of times, sites usually include links to download or upgrade the latest player.
     
  15. blaklaybul thread starter macrumors regular

    blaklaybul

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
  16. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #16
    .mov/.avi says nothing about the encoding of the video in question. Those are just container formats, which can hold many streams of video and audio encoded in various formats.

    .AVI is a decrepit VfW container that really needs to be taken out back and shot. It's definitely not a good choice for streaming media on a webpage, since it was never designed for that purpose.

    .MOV is of course the QuickTime container, which is great as long as the person viewing your site has QuickTime installed. Some Windows users don't, but a lot do. The question of which video codec you should use within a QuickTime MOV is another question entirely (I'd encourage H.264).

    .MP4 (with H.264 video and AAC audio) is probably a good bet. QuickTime can play it, and I believe Windows Media Player can as well (since Zune and the Xbox 360 support these formats).

    Frankly though, MOST people have Flash installed, so a Flash video (.flv) would probably be the best way to go for the widest compatibility.
     
  17. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #17
    .wmv would be a bad idea. Flash or quicktime is the way to go.

    And yes, I agree that the percentage of Mac users with Flip4Mac is probably way, way, wayyy lower than the percentage of Macrumors users who have it.
     
  18. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #18
    I would use either Flash 8 (VP6 codec) or Flash 9 Update 3 (H.264 codec). Although QuickTime (H.263 or H.264) runs beautiful on Mac, many folks still do not have it installed (or particularly beloved) on Windows PC.

    I think it's a mistake to tag "poor/good/great quality" with any particular codec. Although efficiency of codecs play large role in outcome, it is more important to choose the right encoder and settings. If you want smallest possible file size at decent output quality, Flash 9 Update 3 (H.264) is probably the way to go. But most people have older version of Flash installed, so I would go with VP6.
     

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