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Media Software Linux

Firefox 3.5 Beta Boosts Open Video Standard 281

Posted by kdawson
from the nothing-flashy dept.
bmullan writes "Dailymotion, one of the world's largest video sites, announced support for Open Video. They've put out a press release, a blog post on the new Open Video site, and an HTML 5 demo site where you can see some of the things that you can do with open video and Firefox 3.5. (You can get the Firefox 3.5 beta here.) Dailymotion is automatically transcoding all of the content that their users create, and expect to have around 300,000 videos in the open Ogg Theora and Vorbis formats."
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Firefox 3.5 Beta Boosts Open Video Standard

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  • by g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:07PM (#28187877) Homepage Journal

    There are some other sites which have had <video> support for a while now, such as omploader [omploader.org]. It would be nice if some big sites like youtube get rid of flash too, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Disclaimer: it's my site

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.youtube.com/html5

  • Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goldaryn (834427) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:08PM (#28187897) Homepage
    Firefox 3.5 Beta Boosts Open Video Standard

    Well, bye bye karma... but..

    How is this a Linux story/Firefox story? It's a new HTML standard. All browsers will support it, eventually.
    • Linux, yes, there is a problem because Firefox run on windows too. Firefox, the tag is correct, because only Firefox support these part of HTML5 for now.
      • Re:Linux? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bake (2609) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:16PM (#28188019) Homepage

        Really, only Firefox? Because I could SWEAR it was working for me in Safari 4 with Youtube's HTML 5 demo site.

        • by Tensor (102132)
          The page that the articel makes reference to (http://www.dailymotion.com/openvideodemo) works in FF 3.5

          IE8 tries to download openvideoframe.
          FF3, Safari 4 and Chrome 2 say you need FF3.5 (dont have Safari3 to test),

          So no, this wont work in Safari 4.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Try going to http://openvideo.dailymotion.com/ [dailymotion.com] in Safari 4

            That landing page requires FireFox, but the actual video pages work fine in Safari.

        • Re:Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:56PM (#28188571)

          Safari supports the HTML5 video tag, but doesn't include Theora support because Apple considers it a patent lawsuit magnet.
          Thus Safari users are shown better compressed, but definitely patented, h264 streams on those sites.

          IIRC some other WebKit browsers use GStreamer as the back end for their video tag support, and thus probably support Theora.

          • Re:Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:14PM (#28188801)

            Safari supports the HTML5 video tag, but doesn't include Theora support because Apple considers it a patent lawsuit magnet.

            Ummm... Apple doesn't include it because it REALLY doesn't want a free video/audio codec becoming widely used.

    • It looks like firefox is supporting the new standard faster than most other browsers, hence it possibly being a firefox story, but this story doesn't appear to be branded firefox, it looks to be branded linux,/media, which is really weird because firefox probably has more windows installs than linux ones, but it is open source and as we all know "open source = linux". (not really)
    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Just like they all support all portions of the previous 4 HTML standards, CSS, XHTML, etc...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:10PM (#28187925)

    Opera has supported for a while now. Stupid site says I'm not allowed to open it cause I'm not using Firefox.

    Hmm, does this seem familiar to anyone?

    • by cha5on (1219926) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:40PM (#28188325)
      If you actually read TFA, you might have noticed

      Do other browsers support this HTML tag? Yes, but our code works best on Firefox 3.5 beta and is not yet optimized for other browsers. We would be happy to work more closely with developers from Webkit and Opera.

      Considering that the demo is intended to show what an emerging standard can do better than current ones, it's understandable that they want it to look the best it can, which means they're going to want people to watch it using the optimized platform and not something that's barely going to run their demo.

      • by Locklin (1074657) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:25PM (#28190151) Homepage

        Considering that the demo is intended to show what an emerging standard can do better than current ones, it's understandable that they want it to look the best it can, which means they're going to want people to watch it using the optimized platform and not something that's barely going to run their demo.

        So, they intend to showcase an open standard by publishing something that only works on a single "optimized" platform??

        While I understand the pragmatism, it still seems odd.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by cha5on (1219926)

          So, they intend to showcase an open standard by publishing something that only works on a single "optimized" platform??

          While I understand the pragmatism, it still seems odd.

          That the standard is open does not mean that every browser implements the standard properly yet. If you intend to showcase an emerging standard, you want to actually showcase the emerging standard. As this is such a showcase, it's perfectly reasonable to restrict presentation to those browsers capable of displaying the page as intended.

          As I quoted earlier FTFA:

          We would be happy to work more closely with developers from Webkit and Opera.

          Based on that, I expect that we'll see similar demos running on those and other HTML5-capable browsers in the near future.

    • Actually their list [opera.com] of support for HTML5 doesn't include the video object only the audio object/element. And that includes up to the latest 9.64 version that has been released.
    • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:52PM (#28188507)

      That's not really the fault of Firefox or HTML5, it's the fault of the site, but really I do think HTML5 is indeed a step backwards.

      It reduces separation of the content and presentation layers and it increases parsing ambiguity by relaxing standards. Of course, ambiguity is bound to lead to a performance hit too, albeit perhaps rather small so may not really matter. This is really not great news as far as the web is concerned as it's exactly what we've been fighting against for the last decade with reasonable success - the web is certainly more portable and accessible now than it used to be.

      From what I've read previously of the HTML5 spec and comments surrounding it the idea is to make HTML development more accessible, but I'm not sure this is the right way to go about things. If we're going to increase the amount of people who can publish on the internet then a better option seems to be to improve the applications for doing this - whether they're web applications (i.e. Wordpress to Twitter to Facebook to MySpace) or whether we simply make better quality WYSIWYG desktop applications. If we do this on a spec that's better built for the real web developers - those who really need clear separation of concerns to ensure their sites are truly enterprise ready then we'll undoubtedly end up with a much better web.

      With tags like and so forth added it's meant to increase clarity, but really it doesn't, because ultimately it will never fulfil everyone's needs, someone will want or so on, this means they're back to something like

      meaning half your markup is in the div format and half not, or you could just ignore the feature but then effectively you may as well just carry on using XHTML anyway.

      Let web developers develop and let users use applications to publish - it's worked so well as many Web 2.0 successes have shown.

      Besides that there's also something that stinks about forcing a standard on the web too - open or not. I think I'd rather have market forces decide a standard over a small clique of people who have their own interests and agendas which may not necessarily be the best for the web overall.

      Standards should be lightweight, extensible and well defined, I would argued HTML5 is flawed in all of these areas, whereas with XHTML that is much less the case. HTML5 simply makes worse the very reasons we started to move away from HTML to XHTML in the first place.

      • by ardor (673957)

        Let web developers develop and let users use applications to publish - it's worked so well as many Web 2.0 successes have shown.

        Actually, it didn't. HTML 5 isn't actually suited for *web applications*. It is suited for *documents*. These two are entirely different entities - for example, there is no need for navigation buttons in a web application. HTML 5 reflects today's actual web needs much better. The web is no longer primarily made up of hypertext document, it is primarily made up of web applications.

        Also, the market forcing a standard ends up with closed standards that require licensing and whatnot. Even if the specs are open.

        • by ardor (673957)

          HTML 5 isn't actually suited for *web applications*.

          For some reason, Slashdot submit ate the <.
          It should read "HTML <"

        • by ClosedSource (238333) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:56PM (#28189885)

          Actually, no version of HTML is really suited for "web applications" but that's how we roll anyway.

          I'd love it if documents and web applications were really treated as "entirely different entities" (i.e. the only thing they'd have in common is the set of transport layers).

      • by pizzach (1011925)

        Besides that there's also something that stinks about forcing a standard on the web too - open or not. I think I'd rather have market forces decide a standard over a small clique of people who have their own interests and agendas which may not necessarily be the best for the web overall.

        According to the w3c site [w3.org], the members include:

        • Apple, Inc.
        • Microsoft Corporation
        • Opera Software
        • Mozilla Foundation

        I may be wrong, but I believe this encompasses all the major rendering engines on the web today. There are about 390 other members on the page too. I do not understand how this is a smaller clique of people than just having the developers of Webkit, Gecko, Trident and Presto doing their own things.

    • So it's not surprising....
      From here: http://www.dailymotion.com/openvideodemo [dailymotion.com]

      Featuring:
      * no flash involved
      * only the new HTML5 video tag
      * + javascript/CSS3
      * + some svg filters too
      * + animated PNG
      * easy to maintain
      * easy to extend
      * demos and skin from Mozilla and Dailymotion
    • by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:41PM (#28189087) Homepage

      Yeah, it's simply exchanging browser monopoly for browser duopoly - previously we've had "best viewed in IE", now it's "...in IE & Firefox". No real progress at all.

      Posting from a place where Opera is quite popular (8.5% here, 31.6% in neighbouring country (yeah, more than Gecko - 24.5%); most countries in the region have less than 50% IE usage); trust me, browser-agnostic web is a much better idea.

  • Styling the UI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:12PM (#28187949)

    How does the open video format handle styling the UI? One of the reasons sites love flash for video so much is that it gives them complete control over how the video is presented, e.g. available controls, positions, colors and themes to match the rest of the page, etc. Then you have the more intrusive things, like Youtube's overlay ads, text captions, and suggested videos after playback finishes.

    If open video means a widget that site owners have no control over, like Quicktime video embedding, then commercial site operators aren't going to be too keen on it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by db48x (92557)

      There's a default UI, but you can turn it off and use whatever HTML/CSS/XML/SVG you care to dream up.

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:29PM (#28188177) Homepage Journal

      If open video means a widget that site owners have no control over, like Quicktime video embedding, then commercial site operators aren't going to be too keen on it.

      HTML 5 Video [whatwg.org] states that a page can ask the user agent to show a built-in control widget (by providing a controls attribute) or hide it and provide its own widget that controls the video player through its DOM (by omitting the controls attribute).

    • How does the open video format handle styling the UI? One of the reasons sites love flash for video so much is that it gives them complete control over how the video is presented, e.g. available controls, positions, colors and themes to match the rest of the page, etc. Then you have the more intrusive things, like Youtube's overlay ads, text captions, and suggested videos after playback finishes.

      If open video means a widget that site owners have no control over, like Quicktime video embedding, then commercial site operators aren't going to be too keen on it.

      HTML5 video isn't a widget, which is the point. You can place anything you like over the top of the video and mess around with it using JavaScript. HTML5 video isn't a 'widget' in the same way that images aren't 'widgets'.

    • Heck you can do green screen [mozilla.org] style processing with Javascript in real time.
  • finally (Score:4, Interesting)

    by delirium of disorder (701392) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:15PM (#28188001) Homepage Journal

    Thank flying spaghetti monster. Flash is the only proprietary software I use. I can't wait for in browser ogg theora support to take off, and the online video market to embrace it. As soon as I see it working, I'll delete my google video account and self-host all my videos.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by blakedev (1397081)
      I can has video on FreeBSD plz? One of the major reasons why I don't use FreeBSD as my main os (even though I like it) is the lack of good support for Flash. I feel giddy.
    • You use openbios? How's that working for you?
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:26PM (#28188141)

    While I am happy to see that Mozilla and Firefox are setting the standards, let me remind readers that previous evaluations have found the Theora encoders inferior compared to contemporary video codecs. In particular, the reference Theora encoder has inferior picture quality and network frame rate control as of 2008.

    Ohh wait a minute...There is a Slashdotter who noted [slashdot.org] this as well.

    Frankly, it bothers me big time. Why not wait until the standard is "up to par" with the likes of Microsoft's Silverlight or Adobe's Flash?

    • by siDDis (961791) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:43PM (#28188379)

      Theora is great for embedded devices like cell phones since it is "cheap" when it comes to cpu cycles. For top quality video, Dirac should be used. I wonder when Firefox, Opera or Konqueror will have native support for Dirac.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I wonder when Firefox, Opera or Konqueror will have native support for Dirac.

        For Gecko (which means Firefox & friends): As soon as libogg supports it, which is pretty much
        now. However, it isn't part of the upstream stable libogg yet, so it will not ship with Firefox 3.5,
        but very probably show up in the version after that.

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:51PM (#28188479) Homepage Journal

      In particular, the reference Theora encoder has inferior picture quality and network frame rate control as of 2008.

      But as of 2009, Thusnelda is coming soon. The Thusnelda encoder has already fixed [slashdot.org] some of the problems that Theora inherited from On2's VP3, thanks in part to the flexibility that Xiph added to the Theora bitstream format. Sure, it's still inferior to x264 (50% bigger rate for same distortion as of about a month ago), but it's improving.

      Why not wait until the standard is "up to par" with the likes of Microsoft's Silverlight or Adobe's Flash?

      Because sometimes worse is better [wikipedia.org]. For example, worse can be better because it's Free and thus more available for deployment on devices other than PCs.

    • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:47PM (#28189165) Homepage

      While I am happy to see that Mozilla and Firefox are setting the standards, let me remind readers that previous evaluations have found the Theora encoders inferior compared to contemporary video codecs. In particular, the reference Theora encoder has inferior picture quality and network frame rate control as of 2008.

      The important thing is that we move toward open standards, away from proprietary solutions, because open standards allow us to do more cool stuff with them.

      Remember RealPlayer? Remember all the bitching about what a piece of crap it was? People had to have it, even though it sucked, because a lot of content was only available in RealAudio format. Today, RealPlayer is all but gone, and you can play the same type of content using whatever software you like. Why? Because when Apple added Podcast support to iTunes, Podcasts suddenly became hugely popular, and virtually all of the content providers that used to offer only RealAudio now offer Podcasts instead. This means that users are free to choose whatever software they want, and competition will drive the software to improve.

      In the same way, if web sites move away from Flash video players to using HTML5's video tag, it will mean users will no longer be dependent on Adobe's plugin to access the content. Unfortunately we still have patent issues to deal with; Ogg is unencumbered, but better quality codecs will be supported by most browsers, and if we can get content providers to get used to the idea of making their video content freely available (instead of wrapping it up in Flash), there can be competition among codecs too.

      It's not a perfect world, but it's one step closer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pizzach (1011925)
      I still do not why slashdoters think Theora has no worth as a baseline free video codec with less legal shackles? H264 is already in the standard. I doubt it's going to disappear. It would be nice if some free (as in beer) software could ship with a working video encoder that isn't illegal in some countries. Just toss the baby out with the bathwater guys...
      • >It would be nice if some free (as in beer) software could ship with a working video encoder that isn't illegal in some countries

        It might be nice, but it ain't gonna happen, unless google or someone gets really altruistic and foots the bill or MPEG LA changes their mind about licensing.

    • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:44PM (#28189765) Homepage Journal

      [smarmy]An objective evaluation of H.264, VP6 and WMV9 show that they are still not as free as Theora. While we hope that these codec's patent holders will continue to work on this defect and catch up, as of 2009 it is still premature to say that any of them will ever be "up to par" with Theora, which totally stomps those other codecs in all freeness tests. Why promote an "inferior" product?[/smarmy]

      Now for a little less smarminess: we're talking about interchange formats, used on the fucking internet where you don't know what OSes and archs either side is using. I know Theora is portable to everything and usable by everyone. I don't know about those other codecs. If you want to use WMV9 for your internal security camera, that's totally fine, but on the internet how could something like that be useful? What's the use in serving video in a format that people can't play? Theora doesn't have that problem.

  • Is it possible to set frame rate, size, and looping attributes inside the HTML? Does the video get anti-aliasing if the size is reduced?

    How about lossless video? is that supported? What codecs are supported?

  • by Krneki (1192201) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:49PM (#28188449)
    With Adobe every year my CPU is more loaded when I'm watching Youtube or similar.
    While using a different player, the movies uses 10 time less CPU cycles. I can't wait for something to replace that bloat from Adobe.
  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @05:52PM (#28188513)

    As soon as major sites such as youtube adopt this standard and drop that PoS adobe flash then flash will be practically relegated to crappy early 90s sites and annoying ads, which means that removing the flash plugin from any system will vastly improve your web experience. Good riddance.

  • by AndrewStephens (815287) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:09PM (#28188743) Homepage

    The video tag is great, but it has a fatal flaw (actually two fatal flaws, but one is much more important.) The attempt to standardize on a single codec was correct, but now that it has failed the video tag becomes much less useful. At least with flash you can host a video and be sure that most of your audience will be able to view it. With the video tag, even when browsers that support it become widely available, which codec do you encode the video in? Already the browsers are going in different directions, with Safari using Quicktime to play h.264.

    Hopefully it gets sorted out soon. Personally I would like to see h.264 adopted if the licensing issues can be sorted out.

    I blogged about this issue a couple of days ago [sandfly.net.nz], if anyone is interested in a longer version of this comment.

    (The other fatal flaw is that the video tag makes it easy for people to download the original video file - something none of the big content providers want. Yes, everyone knows how to do this with Flash videos, but the illusion of content protection is there.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Neither flash nor h264 will be opened unless competing alternatives gets strong enough. Implement html5 tags as options in your site and hope for the best.

    • by funkatron (912521)

      Personally I would like to see h.264 adopted if the licensing issues can be sorted out.

      I'm sure there's a non-GPL implementation of h.264 that microsoft can use. Licensing shouldn't be a problem at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by aztracker1 (702135)
        umn, there are several non-gpl implementations of h.264. The issue is h.264 is patent encumbered, and it's use in free systems would have consequences for the likes oif Mozilla. MS is already adding h.264 support to Silverlight, to go along with VC-1.
    • by tobiasly (524456)

      The attempt to standardize on a single codec was correct, but now that it has failed the video tag becomes much less useful. At least with flash you can host a video and be sure that most of your audience will be able to view it. With the video tag, even when browsers that support it become widely available, which codec do you encode the video in?

      Yeah, just like the lack of a single image format killed the <img> tag right? I think we'll see browsers coalesce around two or three codecs that all of them will end up supporting, plus they will all likely also hook into the OS to support whatever codecs it provides. Sure, it would have been nice if Theora was left as the blessed default, but with YouTube and DailyMotion supporting it you can bet it will become the de facto standard anyway.

  • Maybe I misread, but it seems to me that they're claiming this is somehow standards-based. This is a working draft that's basically implemented in a single browser... and it's not even complete. It's just amazing how everyone has already started trashing Microsoft for not implementing this "standard" when it's a complete paper tiger. This is an unfinished standard with no means of standard implementation.

    This is not "standards" behavior. This is calling random firefox features "standards" while Opera and We

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mystra_x64 (1108487)

      Safari and Opera are implementing this too. However article itself is too "Firefox hyped". Opera started playing with long before Firefox, AFAIR.

  • "standard" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:52PM (#28189223) Homepage

    While this new "standard" format is open, it's also something with almost zero support, especially across legacy browsers.
    This means Flash is here to stay, even /with/ new javascript capabilities.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have a really naive question.

    Is there any License that will prevent transcoding original video produced by me, to another format, like .flv?

    I'd like to make my videos open source only, including the "container".

  • We've badly needed a system with support for open video formats, and without
    the Flash prerequisite, for a long time now. This could potentially
    dramatically increase FreeBSD/Linux's market share, as well. I've been
    without Flash support since I first installed a month ago, and altho I've
    since learned how to install it for FreeBSD, it is not a trivial process.

    I am grateful to the Firefox developers for making this change, and can only
    hope that YouTube in particular decide to support it, since that is probabl

  • by Dwedit (232252) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:06PM (#28190917) Homepage

    So far, I have been completely and utterly unimpressed by Firefox's built in audio and video features. I'm using 3.5 Beta.

    Whenever it plays a WAV file, it plays for a few seconds, then skips audio and runs at 100% CPU usage, then plays again. Sounds like a really bad buffering issue, like they can't get something as basic as buffering correct. Audio which is intended to loop does not. OGG Vorbis files also skip the same was as WAV files.

    Video performance is dismal, even worse than Flash player. Videos skip and take more CPU power to play back than other players do. Upscaling the video is done slowly through software, even though Overlays surfaces have been around since 1997 with the NVidia Riva 128.

    From what I've seen, in terms of CPU usage, the best video player for the web is Windows Media Player, using non-microsoft video codecs (FFDshow).

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