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YouTube Now Transcoding All New Uploads To WebM 267

theweatherelectric writes "According to the YouTube blog, YouTube is now transcoding all new uploads to WebM, whereas previously the focus was on 720p and 1080p video. Google's James Zern writes, 'Transcoding all new video uploads into WebM is an important first step, and we're also working to transcode our entire video catalog to WebM. Given the massive size of our catalog — nearly 6 years of video is uploaded to YouTube every day — this is quite the undertaking. So far we've already transcoded videos that make up 99% of views on the site or nearly 30% of all videos into WebM. We're focusing first on the most viewed videos on the site, and we've made great progress here through our cloud-based video processing infrastructure that maximizes the efficiency of processing and transcoding without stopping. It works like this: at busy upload times, our processing power is dedicated to new uploads, and at less busy times, our cloud will automatically switch some of our processing to encode older videos into WebM. As we continue to transcode the remaining inventory, we'll keep you posted on our progress.'"
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YouTube Now Transcoding All New Uploads To WebM

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  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @06:43AM (#35878494) Homepage

    When you have critical mass, use it. Microsoft and others can bitch about their patent encumbered format 'til they are blue in the face, but Google knows when it comes to video on the web, Youtube is the first thing people think of and the first place they look.

    If no other move makes a difference in this html5 format war, this move is the blitzkrieg that will pretty much end it quickly and definitely.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @06:51AM (#35878518)

    "Geeks" have the problem of not knowing how to market things properly. Let's take two examples everyone knows: OGG/Vorbis. What's the penetration of this open and free format out in the music player industry? Zero. Another example: Theora. Penetration? Zero.

    Vote troll all you want, but these are facts - as much facts as the reality that current WebM encoders do a worse job in terms of video quality than x264 does for H.264. End-users' experience doesn't matter, I take it.

  • Waste of energy... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @06:58AM (#35878550)

    Until computers/phones have hardware to decode it this will just result in shorter battery life for everyone.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @06:58AM (#35878556) Homepage

    In this case, Google isn't selling a product -- just making content available. (They do sell advertising, not that I see much if any of it) It's "their content" and they can put it into any format they want and make it available to anyone who wants to see it. They will just need a browser with support for WebM... whether that is in the form of a plug-in or native to the application. It will work for everyone and will cost the users nothing.

    Antitrust cannot really be used to require the use of proprietary or patent encumbered stuff. Well, it "can" but I don't think it would fly.

  • by some_guy_88 ( 1306769 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @07:04AM (#35878574) Homepage

    Fact: Google is a huge company whose services are used by MANY people

    Highly likely: Whatever format Google choose for YouTube will become extremely popular.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @07:35AM (#35878700)

    From TFA ... let's translate.

    one of our key aims is to deliver great content to you wherever you are - regardless of device, browser or other technical specification

    So let's take a step backwards here from the ubiquitous, standards-backed h.264 to something that currently exists only from us and only in battery-sucking Flash format.

    Its openness allows anyone to improve the format and its integrations, resulting in a better experience for you in the long-term.

    It will be no time at all before people "improve" the codec by adding things to it that won't work on your particular player or device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @08:16AM (#35878916)

    Grandpa can always re-upload his videos (for free!) if he's not satisfied by the quality of the (free!) transcoding.

    You aren't using a (free!) web service without keeping a local copy, now are you?

  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @09:28AM (#35879608)

    H.264 is produced, managed and licenced by a consortium of companies with excellent documentation and a low barrier to entry of said consortium. Patent liabilities are well-known.

    Why do people keep trolling with this garbage? H.264 is patent encumbered and the organization is constantly and clearly trying to position it to leverage for massive royalties down the road. They openly admit that. Its also closed sourced.

    WebM is produced by one firm, controlled by one firm, has had no real determination of patent liability, and is documented well by... no-one.

    What you mean is, it appears to be equally patent free, guarded by one of the largest tech companies on earth who clearly have an extremely important vested interest in its health and survival, is extremely well documented given that the source is freely available. Furthermore, anyone can use the codec in their project (modified or unmodified) for anything.

    and there has been little to no effort to determine who may be owed what (legally speaking) for its implementation or deployment.

    And this is just bullshit and stupidity. A company the size of Google, as standard practice, is absolutely going to perform patent searches and evaluate their current and future liabilities. Unless you have proof they specifically did not do what every large company does, you're trolling and talking about your ass. What a surprise.

    tl;dr H.264 is far more open than WebM.

    Except in the real world where is absolutely is not unless you're a complete fucking idiot.

    The bottom line is, WebM is already competing with H.264 in visual quality. WebM's encoding performance (time) is worse than H.264 but still acceptable. On the other hand, WebM has superior decoding attributes and is on par with H.264 (software vs hardware). With newer hardware which now supports WebM, WebM provides a superior decoding experience which directly translates into better battery life. Future hardware is expected to widen the gap even more.

    The combination means WebM has visual parity with H.264 while providing superior battery life. For the majority of the world, no one gives a crap about encoding time and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter at, all so long as its good enough. Add to the fact its perpetually royalty free, open source, freely available licensing, and seemingly, patent unencumbered (which is technically on equal footing with H.264), WebM looks better than H.264 anyway you want to look at it so long as you're not a complete fucking idiot.

    Hell, the fact that the H.264 consortium is going out of their way to patent troll WebM and has yet to state they've found anything is yet more proof of WebM's unencumbered patent status.

    So please, stop with your fucking idiocy and stop spewing lies and trolling. H.264 is only more attractive if either you're a complete fucking idiot or you have a vested financial interest in H.264. For the rest of the world, WebM is the winner.

  • by RicoX9 ( 558353 ) <rico&rico,org> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @09:56AM (#35879936) Homepage

    Except for the whole patent encumbrance bear trap in h.264.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears