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Vimeo Also Introduces HTML5 Video Player 369

bonch writes "Following in YouTube's footsteps, Vimeo has now introduced its own beta HTML5 video player, and like YouTube, it uses H.264 and requires Safari, Chrome, or ChromeFrame. The new player doesn't suffer the rebuffering problems of the Flash version when clicking around in the video's timeline, and it also loads faster. HTML5 could finally be gaining some real momentum."
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Vimeo Also Introduces HTML5 Video Player

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  • Excellent. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Friday January 22, 2010 @01:51AM (#30856716) Homepage Journal

    Now if only FireFox will get support.

  • Re:Adobe... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:01AM (#30856752) Homepage

    Don't. IE will not support HTML5 for many years, if history is anything to go by, making Flash at least a fallback requirement for any remotely popular video site for the forseable future.

  • by Endymion ( 12816 ) <slashdot,org&thoughtnoise,net> on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:02AM (#30856756) Homepage Journal

    That's the sound of you getting passed by.

    I'm a total GNU fanboy most days, and generally agree with the moral move they are trying to make with OOG formats, but in this case it is a losing strategy. H264 video has gotten a momentum that is hard to break, similar to how MP3 got a momentum in the past. It has nothing to do with technical features, morals, licensing, or other commonly-argued things. Instead, it's about a critical-mass of popularity. H264 video the new pop thing, even in cases where people don't even know terms like "H264".

    By not finding a way to make video work properly, Firefox is saying they want to be left behind. No, I highly doubt people like google or others will re-encode video into Theora. They will make the business decision that not only is it a lot of work, it's not necessary as firefox is supported with Flash.

    If the Firefox people want to make a good moral stand with this issue, they should pull something similar to the crypto situation and make an "international" version. That version could serve as an embarrassment to the restrictive patent system, and a useful political talking point. At a minimum, though, they should simply remove all codec processing form the project, leaving that particular can of worms to an external project (gstreamer? embed mplayer/vlc/other? some new project created specifically for this purpose?).

    I love firefox. I really do. So please don't choose to be non-player in the video arena!

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Winckle ( 870180 ) <> on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:12AM (#30856808) Homepage

    This is a big thing for me. I don't give a damn about their ideology or their patent concerns, if youtube choose h264 then h264 has won this mini format war, and firefox better swallow their pride and licence it.

    If they don't, i'll end up on chrome for windows, and I already use Safari on mac because their mac UI team are atrocious.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Korin43 ( 881732 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:17AM (#30856826) Homepage
    Honestly, as much as I'd like to stop using Flash immediately, I'd rather have Mozilla try to stick this out. Somewhere around a third of all people on the internet use Firefox (and I assume a higher number of Youtube users). If Mozilla can push Google to support Theora it will be worth the wait.
  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:24AM (#30856866) Homepage Journal
    Everybody transcoding their videos = not going to happen.

    If firefox do not support H.264, they're going to become irrelevant as far as video goes.

  • Re:Adobe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:25AM (#30856874)
    And you can't write videogames in HTML5. Flash will be around for a while.

    The real problem with Flash, stupid menu widgets, irritating ads, and non-html website frontpages, won't disappear until sites can recreate equally annoying equivalents via some other method.
  • Re:Excellent. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:25AM (#30856876)
    Too bad theora sucks compared to h.264
  • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:32AM (#30856896) Homepage

    Mozilla should just link to the distribution's provided ffmpeg and just let you decide what codecs you compile in. That would mean that at least in FOSS operating systems the problem is sorted.

    That would also mean less code to manintain, and to give an advantage to FOSS operating systems.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Korin43 ( 881732 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:32AM (#30856898) Homepage
    Using Theora for new videos doesn't seem like such a big deal though. The article says that Vimeo's new HTML5 stuff doesn't work on 35% of their videos. I assume that has something to do with the encoding. The problem is that if we just accept the formats that require thousands of dollars for licensing, we'll never get to use free ones. Unless they're forced to (by a company like Google), Microsoft and Apple will never support a free format, because they can easily afford the licensing fees and they know that Mozilla can't.
  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:49AM (#30856962) Homepage Journal
    Google has no incentive to go theora either, as it means transcoding all their stuff - and they clearly already have a h.264 license anyway.

    The authoring tools for .ogg are not there either.

    So really, open source people can whine all they want, it will make no difference - Firefox can buy a license, or they can become irrelevant. Or maybe start their own video hosting to compete, but my bet is that will be more expensive than a h.264 license.

    Or hell, they can just use whatever codecs are available on the host platform.... and get back to what they should be worried about - writing a web browser, rather than getting involved in a codec war they have no chance winning

  • It's unreasonable to expect pop culture to shift because it's choice is inconvenient.

    Trying to change perceptions like that didn't work with Vorbis-vs-MP3, and it won't work here either.

  • that WOULD be an improvement over what they are doing now, which is to simply not play anything!

    The proper response, though, is not to put up some sort of error message, but to use an external solution such as mplayer, ffplay, vlc, gstreamer, or whatever, and make it "someone else's problem".

    Chrome up and coming is an even bigger issue because of this. If it works well with youtube, and firefox doesn't, then firefox will lose dramatic market share to Chrome.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javilon ( 99157 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @02:56AM (#30856994) Homepage

    This will of course benefit ChromeOS and will force Microsoft into implementing html5 and H264 negating its strategy of killing adobe and becoming king of the online video.

    But there is a bad smell about this. Google could achieve this as well by adding Theora to the supported codecs. Google is putting Firefox in a position where it is either encumbered with patents therefore losing the status of "pure" open source project, or looking bad in the feature front. I don't like this.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:14AM (#30857068)

    are you fucking kidding?

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:19AM (#30857092) Homepage Journal

    and firefox better swallow their pride and licence it.

    Why should they license it when an embeddable player is available on every OS with noticeable marketshare?

    They just need to enable the HTML5 video tag to use that. Oddly enough I couldn't find this bug at BMO with a quick search.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:23AM (#30857130) Homepage Journal
    Or firefox could have.... a plugin architecture for whatever codec the user likes, preventing us from being stuck with some shitty 2010 codec technology 5 years from now.
  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:29AM (#30857154)
    Also, Ogg Theora is just less good than h264 on several levels. For one thing, there are hardware decoders for h264, but more importantly for me, h264 just indisputably looks better. Seriously, in this grudge match of Firefox v. Google (and now others), Firefox is on the losing side. I hope the developers realize this soon. Maybe Google is not intervening because they're happy to let people say "fuck it, I guess I'll try it with Chrome" - as I'm about to.
  • Re:Excellent. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:42AM (#30857214)

    How could anyone possibly lean to Theora being a better codec?
    Fixing your patent system is the solution, not using Theora.

  • by Rocketship Underpant ( 804162 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:54AM (#30857252)

    I agree 100%. Mathematical algorithm patents are not recognized in most countries outside the US, so make an international Firefox version that only visitors who claim to be outside the US can download.

  • Re:Adobe... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by .tekrox ( 858002 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @03:57AM (#30857274)


    Don't whine that it's slow - Chrome, Opera, Safari and Recently firefox now have very fast javascript engines.
    Don't whine its not powerful enough - ActionScript (Flash Scripting) is Javascript. And Flash isn't very quick at interpreting it either...

  • by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @04:02AM (#30857294) Homepage Journal
    It would be "1 more" transcode that makes no business sense.

    Look, ditching h.264 is simply not going to happen. there are way too many hardware devices out there that do h.264 and no ogg. All I'm hearing is bitching from the firefox camp about how they're not going to support it for reason X rather than looking for a solution to the problem.

    Simply not supporting h.264 is an option, sure. I just don't think its going to end well for firefox.

    AS to host code not being exposed to the web... run it with least privilege in a sandbox. My bet is that any copy of theora embedded into the browser is exactly the same reference code as used else where in any case (and if its, not, then its not as well tested...), so that point is pretty moot.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by master5o1 ( 1068594 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @04:34AM (#30857384) Homepage

    How does using HTML5 + H.264 negate their attempt to draw people away from Flash for video? It just doesn't aide their Silverlight efforts.

  • by eihab ( 823648 ) * on Friday January 22, 2010 @04:48AM (#30857436)

    it's the likes of YouTube and other online content providers that really have the last word, and they have chosen h.264

    YouTube is not the only video site in town []. DailyMotion went with Theora and others may follow that example.

    The web is supposed to be open, if we kowtow to patent encumbered formats just because Google says so, then I'm afraid the last 10 years we have spent trying to get up from under Microsoft and the browser wars would have been a complete waste.

    We're basically going to head back to "This site is best viewed by X or Y", only with different values for X and Y.

    The reason a "plug-in" solution is redundant stems from the fact that you can already serve H.264 content using plug-ins _today_. The whole point of the <video> tag was to standardize and open up the mess video has become (Flash, Quicktime, WMP, Silver light, etc.).

    If you shun browser makers (and content producers) with patent encumbered formats, then you might as well call Flash a standard and be done with it.

    It amazes me that the general sentiment against MS's closed-"open" office formats was highly negative (which was well deserved), but when Google basically says F-U to What-wg and does whatever it wants anyway with a patent encumbered format then Firefox is at fault for not paying for royalties.

    The day YouTube moves to HTML5 and only serves H.264 content (which will not happen any time soon, thanks IE) is the last day I'll visit that site. Thanks, but no thanks, I'm not going back to the dark ages of the web to watch a dog skate-board.

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CowboyBob500 ( 580695 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @05:01AM (#30857478) Homepage
    And a majority of that third live outside the jurisdiction of the US patent system so the license issue becomes moot. Personally I'd rather the rest of the world stick 2 fingers up at the US system and continue to use browsers that support H.264 and don't pay any patent licenses to anyone.

    For example, why not make a US and non-US version of Firefox with the non-US version having H.264 support. US people will still manage to get the working version and Firefox will still have the required support.
  • Re:H.264 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Andreas Mayer ( 1486091 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @05:14AM (#30857518) Homepage

    Everytime this topic comes up I am amazed at how many people think that it's somehow Mozilla's fault that Firefox doesn't support H.264.

    It is.

    Repeat after me: H.264 is NOT FREE, not by a long way. If Firefox included H.264 support then Firefox would also NOT BE FREE. It would be illegal for most of us to distribute a copy.

    They should just use the video framework provided by the OS.

    But they don't want to. Because then they wouldn't get to push their 'free' (albeit inferior) OSS codec.

  • by Sits ( 117492 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @06:01AM (#30857684) Homepage Journal

    A Mozilla developer has pointed out several drawbacks of using Directshow for HTML5 video []. Among them was that some Directshow codecs are of questionable quality, it can be source of security bugs and would mean a different backend for every supported platform.

    The Opera folks have said Directshow is not well geared to streaming videos [] so Opera has gone with a minimal gstreamer port for HTML5 video [].

  • patenting how to manipulate bits is not ok

    the free exchange of ideas is the only thing underpinning any sense of philosophical integrity in modern liberal democracy. besides, you basically lie when you say its expensive to develop this stuff. a university professional could do this, and by publishing it, for free (in an ideal world) he cements his academic credentials, which is the only reward anyone deserves for the advancement of ideas

    capitalizing on those ideas is a secondary game that does not overlap, and should not overlap (in an ideal world) with the primary game of development of better ideas

    ideas should not be patented

    manipulating bits is simply an idea, not a marketable product

    YOU'RE doing it wrong

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @08:09AM (#30858274) Homepage

    Mostly it seems Mozilla just do not want to support anything but Theora, and they're making up weak excuses for why they shouldn't use platform libraries to play video.

    I sure hope they grow out of it soon.

  • kaiser soze (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoFoQ ( 584566 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @08:15AM (#30858288)

    hmm...I'm testing out this vimeo html5 player and I'm looking at the source...I see calls using mootools 1.11 to a mootools class named "Kaiser Soze".....gotta love programmers with a sense of humor.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @08:24AM (#30858322) Journal

    PNG was easy. Want alpha channels? Use PNG. Want better compression? Use PNG. Want more than 256 colours? Use PNG. Oh, and by the way, it's royalty free so you won't get hit by those fees that everyone's starting to have to pay for producing or reading GIFs.

    Theora is hard. Want good quality? Use H.264. Want multiple implementations optimised for different profiles? Use H.264. Want hardware accelerated playback on mobile devices? Use H.264. Oh, and there's a small license fee that you'll have to pay if you live somewhere with software patents.

    VC-2 is a bit easier to sell. Similar quality to H.264, lossless profile, hardware acceleration close to market, royalty free. Even then it's not quite clear that it's superior because you can play back reasonable quality H.264 on a much lower-spec'd machine and the current generation of handhelds all come with H.264 decoding (and, in some cases, encoding) hardware, not VC-2 hardware.

  • by shish ( 588640 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @08:25AM (#30858328) Homepage

    Mozilla would have to add a closed-source component to Firefox for it to be able to work.

    Or they could hook into each OS's native codec libraries -- IIRC windows 7 supports h264 out of the box, and most linux distros have a gstreamer-x264 or whatever package easily available ("easy" as in "will prompt to be installed the first time it's required", in ubuntu's case at least)

  • Re:Excellent. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CowboyBob500 ( 580695 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @08:26AM (#30858332) Homepage
    Because Mozilla Corporation is headquartered in the United States

    Tough luck for them. I't won't be long for a fork to appear that includes the H.264 codec - possibly released by Canonical or other interested party . The US seems to be rapidly heading towards some kind of lawsuit singularity which it needs to pull back from or simply disappear.

    several European countries appear to recognize patents on H.264 and AAC as well.

    Citation? I can't find anything concrete to support this statement.
  • The 2 are linked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Friday January 22, 2010 @09:10AM (#30858496) Homepage

    Because HTML5 + VIDEO tag draws people away *from Flash* and *into an open standard* that can be found everywhere.
    What Microsoft would have liked would be, drawing people away from Flash and *into one of their own proprietary* technology, marketed as much better.

    The core strategy of Microsoft is not just killing random IT companies for the fun of it (although it's not always obvious), but killing other companies in order to get bigger themselves in the process.

    Silverlight is their optimal solution to lock more customer in Microsoft solutions.
    HTML5 is their nightmare.

  • Because HTML5 + VIDEO tag draws people away *from Flash* and *into an open standard* that can be found everywhere.

    H264 is not an open standard. The video tag is just another lock-in, masquerading as an easy to use core feature.

    It's all moot anyway. Without agreement on a codec, the video tag is dead in the water anyway. Lack of a common standard means that the video tag essentially equates to what we already have; the ability to "embed" video which may or may not play in the users browser. Google and Apple killed proper web video because they put their other business interests before giving web users the tag they really wanted. They're not browser companies after all.

BLISS is ignorance.