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Ogg Theora In Firefox, With Wikimedia Support

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the cause-for-optimism dept.

Mozilla 339

An anonymous reader writes "Ogg Theora support for the HTML5 <video> tag is in the Firefox 3.1 nightlies. Theora is the only video format allowed on Wikimedia Commons, so Wikimedia people are pushing Wikipedia readers to download a nightly and try it out. Break it, crash it, report bugs, get it into good shape and nullify Apple and Nokia's FUD the best way possible. They may have gotten the words 'Vorbis' and 'Theora' removed from the HTML5 spec, but the market will tell them when their browsers are sucking."

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YouTube (4, Funny)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24420861)

It would be nice if YouTube supported in-browser Theora once Firefox 3.1 is released. It would also be nice if Theora were a good enough codec for that to be practical for them.

Re:YouTube (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24420919)

No way Youtube is going to let Joe Sixpack easily download whatever video he wants to his computer.

Re:YouTube (1)

Blice (1208832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421199)

Why not?

I mean- They already take down copyrighted stuff... So it isn't copyrighted stuff people would be downloading, right? These are videos that are always there that you can always go back to watch- What's the difference besides the (small) ad-revenue lost? You're probably only going to watch a video once anyways- And it's more convenient to send a friend a link to it than send the .ogg...

And if they end up getting forced to present videos in this format they can easily write it off as a feature, too. "Now you can easily download videos!"

Eh?

Re:YouTube (5, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421369)

Youtube's business model (such as it is) revolves around keeping you coming back to their site to watch the videos, and view the associated ads while letting them track what you're watching. They are most certainly not eager to help you make them less money y letting you easily download. You may as well ask why your local cinema doesn't give you a copy of the DVD with your movie ticket.

Re:YouTube (4, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421953)

Youtube's business model (such as it is) revolves around keeping you coming back to their site to watch the videos

And Firefox relies on the power of customization to offer add ons such as Video Download Helper [mozilla.org] which allows you to download media on a page with two clicks. I find excellent for saving hard to find music videos on YouTube, reminds me what DVDs to look for when I visit my local independently owned record shop [buymusichere.net] .

Re:YouTube (1)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421221)

Then why do they even have videos up on their site, then, when any Joe Sixpack can easily get a tool that gets the video for him, and another that'll convert the flv to avi? Or better yet, a simple to install codec pack so he doesn't have to do conversion?

Re:YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421419)

Because the average Jow Sixpack doesn't know about those tools.

Re:YouTube (2, Insightful)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421961)

Same way average "Jow Sixpack" (sic) wouldn't be able to figure out how to download a Theora file and play it.

Re:YouTube (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421249)

oh jeebus, that is ALREADY EASY.

If joe sixpack cant type "youtube downloader" into google and find a product to buy or get for free than he is a drooling moron.

youtube has no protections for their videos, just like vimeo and the others, it's trivial to nab what you want off those services.

Granted nobody wants the horribly pixelated and low quality files on youtube, and that is their protection.

Re:YouTube (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421677)

Granted nobody wants the horribly pixelated and low quality files on youtube, and that is their protection.

Actually, some of their "high-quality" files are quite good, to be seen in a 40" LCD TV (1080p capable) full-screen with AppleTV.

Re:YouTube (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421461)

No way Youtube is going to let Joe Sixpack easily download whatever video he wants to his computer.

You checked the contents of your browser's cache folder recently?

Re:YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421663)

Joe sixpack can already do exactly that with any number of firefox plug ins....

Re:YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421761)

http://www.keepvid.com

Re:YouTube (0, Redundant)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421163)

please explain

Re:YouTube (4, Informative)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421587)

Ogg Vorbis is an awesome music codec, producing smaller files than MP3 for the same level of quality. Ogg Theora is a rather mediocre-to-poor video codec, producing larger files than most alternatives (MPEG4, for instance) for the same level of quality. To top it off, it also taxes the CPU more than alternatives, which is still important for really high bitrate videos. Given the current level of quality of the Theora codec, it wouldn't make any sense for YouTube to switch to it for its videos, even if YouTube had the desire to do so.

Re:YouTube (1)

jorgevillalobos (1044924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421219)

It'd be great, but it's unlikely to happen any time soon. IE is still the dominant browser, and YouTube can't just avoid their major audience.

The first big step is to get Microsoft to support the audio and video tags, so that we can eventually be free from Flash for those specific cases. But since they are now pushing Silverlight, I think it's very unlikely.

Re:YouTube (2, Informative)

andy9701 (112808) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421917)

It'd be great, but it's unlikely to happen any time soon. IE is still the dominant browser, and YouTube can't just avoid their major audience.

Why couldn't YouTube support both formats? GameTrailers [gametrailers.com] does something like this - I know off hand that it supports QuickTime, WMV, and Flash (and another I think, but I'm not positive on that). I believe that it auto-detects which one is best given your OS, browser, and what is available. For example, I generally visit the site on my MacBook in Firefox, so I generally get the Quicktime version. Sometimes I get the streaming one instead (I assume because either the Quicktime version isn't available, or I only get Quicktime when streaming isn't available).

It shouldn't be that hard for YouTube to do something similar, and provide the Ogg version to FF3.1 users, and Flash to everyone else.

Re:YouTube (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421985)

I think the idea is to get Youtube to provide Theora in addition to Flash.

Vorbis is alright, but Theora is the suck (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24420917)

You should see the doom9.org results of Theora. It's like... watching 1990s RealMedia clips or MPEG-1.

Ahh.. the fairness of slashdot. (5, Informative)

a nona maus (1200637) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421389)

Ah, nothing like Slashdot to bring out the best in humanity. The doom9 comparison is four years old... that would be like comparing something to the MPEG reference code. The latest work [mit.edu] on Theora shows a pretty clear doubling of quality per bitrate vs theora from a few months ago... but since this is Slashdot, I'm sure that little details like that won't slow anyone down. Good job, Nokia.

Re:Ahh.. the fairness of slashdot. (1)

ezh (707373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421751)

thanks for the link, looks good! Let's hope this updated version will make it into FF soon!

Re:Vorbis is alright, but Theora is the suck (1)

ezh (707373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421675)

Trolls at work? :-)
Theora wasn't the best codec at doom9.org comparison [doom9.org] , but such comparison was done 2.5 years ago! I am sure things have changed since then. Any recent & decent comparison link, anyone?

Ugh (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24420967)

I hate to burst your guys bubble but Theora is a pretty lousy codec. This isn't like Vorbis which holds its own. I have no interest in it at all.

Now Dirac / "That guy with a cat who's name I can't spell" I'd be interested in.

Re:Ugh (1)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421403)

I hate to burst your guys bubble but Theora is a pretty lousy codec.

In what way? Please explain in further detail as I am genuinely curious to hear arguments against it.

amount of content (3, Informative)

geniice (1336589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24420973)

Wikipedia doesn't have that much Theora content yet so if this is going to become more universal more work on the content side is probably needed.

Re:amount of content (5, Funny)

interiot (50685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421459)

Wikipedia needs your penis movies [wikimedia.org] . You would think that with anonymity and with the rare opportunity to flaunt their packages in front of the world, people would be tripping all over themselves to upload their junk, but sadly it just isn't so. </sarcasm>

Theora still lacks good creation software (5, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24420999)

I've put more Theora videos on Wikipedia commons than almost anyone else. The problem is, ffmpeg2theroa [v2v.cc] (which is the most direct way of generating theora videos, by transcoding them from other video formats) is not all that great. I've tried to get three features included in ffmpeg2theora with no success at all. The developers don't have bugzilla and don't respond to email. (For anyone interested, those three features are: [1] a command line option to use whatever resolution the target video uses rather than manually specifying it [2] the ability to rotate by 90 degrees, and [3] because many cameras (including mine) tend to set a couple of bits wrong when creating quicktime movies, ffmpeg2theora need to be less picky about following certain file specifications. Right now, it errors out without producing any output)

So yes, this is good news. But until there's more content to actually view using this - and that necessitates better production-side software - it's not all that big of a deal.

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (1, Redundant)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421141)

Ah the joys of open source.....

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421179)

Well, use VLC media player, that can do 1, 2, and 3.

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (4, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421195)

Since the purpose of ffmpeg is to convert to/from many video formats, why isn't the conversion to Theora simply added as another codec to ffmpeg? I guess I don't understand why ffmpeg2theora needs to exist at all. (I've just used ffmpeg a few times, so I don't know too much about it, just curious.)

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (4, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421307)

ffmpeg does support conversion to ogg theora. The problem is that (a) ffmpeg is Linux only, which means that it won't serve any more than a niche audience for the purposes of putting content on Wikimedia commons, and (b) ffmpeg is an 800 pound gorilla. Trying to read through its man page to figure out the correct options to output to theora is *painful* (on the occasions I've used it, I had much more success simply googling for the right command)

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421527)

(a) ffmpeg is Linux only

No, it isn't. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ffmpeg [wikipedia.org]

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (3, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421665)

It's "available for Windows" in the same sense that all open source software is -- they provide the source, and (assuming you have a compiler on your windows systems) you do the job of compiling it yourself. That's so far from usable for the vast majority of windows users that I do not count it.

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (3, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421857)

It's "available for Windows" in the same sense that all open source software is they provide the source, and [...]

then other people compile the binaries for you. Not hard at all to find or use, and it works very well. When compiled with MinGW you don't even need to bother with Cygwin's libraries.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ffmpeg+windows [google.com]

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (1)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421873)

What? Binaries are readily available, and they work fine. Read the link you responded to. Or did you mean that it's not usable on windows because it doesn't come with a GUI?

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (2, Interesting)

a nona maus (1200637) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421251)

Have you seen the video conversion instructions [wikimedia.org] on Wikimedia commons? They appear to include instructions that cover all of your complaints, including rotation. If those instructions are lacking ... whats that Wikipedia motto? You can edit? Your Wikipedia userpage says you're a PHD in computer engineering? I suspect hat "you can edit" also applies to ffmpeg2theora. :) Good points though!

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (5, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421433)

The instructions you cite were originally copied from the English Wikipedia guide [wikipedia.org] (and its associated talk page), which I wrote :)

My current solution is a bit more elegant than the ones on that page. I wrote a python script (which wraps around ffmpeg) to convert directories full of quicktime movies (which is what my camera creates) to ogg theora.

Re:Theora still lacks good creation software (1)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421261)

This is why forks were invented. So if the original developers screw off or stop listening to the users, the latter can work on the program themselves and get what they want out of it.

MEncoder can do all that (1)

ink (4325) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421487)

The command-line options for mencoder are a bit scary, but it can do almost anything. It has dozens of video filters, one of which is rotate ("-vf rotate=1"), and it will copy the resolution from src->dest by default. I've built a few web apps that wrap mencoder to make it easy to transcode from any container/format to any other container/format. It is also very forgiving of errors, and provides copious debug output if you like.

Re:MEncoder can do all that (3, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421577)

After some time spent googling and figuring out how to use Mencoder and Ffmpeg to do the rotation and theora transcoding, I wrote a Python script [udel.edu] to do the heavy lifting. So that takes care of my problem, but that won't work for 99.9% of people who have this problem.

That is nice (0, Offtopic)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421005)

Have the fixed the bug that causes crashes in Yahoo Mail Beta?

Re:That is nice (2)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421051)

And the constant Flash crashes in Ubuntu...

Re:That is nice (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421105)

How would Mozilla developers fix a crash in closed-source Adobe code?

Re:That is nice (5, Insightful)

jorgevillalobos (1044924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421165)

How would Mozilla developers fix a crash in closed-source Adobe code?

They may not be able to fix the problem, but at the very least they should be able to prevent Flash from crashing Firefox.

Re:That is nice (1)

odiroot (1331479) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421279)

Exactly. Just throw this in some kind of wrapper (OMGWTF!? - hardcorz) and let Adobe do rest of the job. Just make it more independent from the browser.

Re:That is nice (3, Informative)

funaho (42567) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421827)

Those of us on x86-64 already have this, because Adobe doesn't feel a 64-bit flash is important and we have to run 32-bit Flash via nspluginwrapper. When flash crashes for me all that happens is that any flash objects on open web pages disappear and turn into empty white squares. I just hit reload and it starts up flash again.

Re:That is nice (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421283)

There is a request in Bugzilla for Firefox to run Flash content in a separate process so a Flash crash won't crash the whole browser. Does any browser do this? Wouldn't it be easier for Adobe to simply fix its buggy plugins?

Re:That is nice (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421743)

IIRC Konqueror does that (runs each plugin under nspluginviewer).
Fixing buggy closed-source plugins is _hard_.
And _expensive_.

Re:That is nice (1)

SignOfZeta (907092) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421921)

You'd think that. But Adobe won't care until Flash crashes Internet Exploder. Or perhaps I'm just jaded by tech support from years of using Macs and Linux.

Re:That is nice (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421299)

You can thank Netscape's plugin spec for that -- it runs the plugin binary in the same memory space as the browser.

Re:That is nice (1)

amitofu (705703) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421387)

How would Mozilla developers fix a crash in closed-source Adobe code?

They may not be able to fix the problem, but at the very least they should be able to prevent Flash from crashing Firefox.

The problem of preventing Flash from crashing Firefox and fixing the closed-source Adobe code are one in the same. If, for example, the Flash plugin dereferences an invalid pointer, there is nothing Firefox can do to prevent itself segfaulting short of running the Flash plugin in a separate process--which would cause all sorts of other problems.

Re:That is nice (1)

jorgevillalobos (1044924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421539)

Yes, that's kind of the point. Plugins should run in some kind of sandbox that prevent the parent program from crashing. I'm sure it's more complicated than that, but that is certainly the way to go. I remember reading somewhere that the plugin architecture in Firefox was going to be modified to support something like this, but I don't have the reference at hand.

Re:That is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421417)

To solve that you need another process for plugins. I don't know the internals of Firefox, but I think that would take more than a developer coding for a day or two. That effort would better be spent to improve gnash.

Re:That is nice (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421849)

Just copy it from nspluginviewer :-)

Re:That is nice (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421641)

That is one of the side-effects on nspluginwrapper for linux. While its main use is for running 32 bit binary plugins on 64 bit, even on 32 bit it has the advantage of shielding firefox from crashes of wrapped plugins.

Re:That is nice (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421375)

Users don't care about that.

Besides, when some ActiveX control made IE freeze no one had any problems blaming it on Microsoft and demanding they fix it. Ditto for just about any application error or driver boo on Windows.

Re:That is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421747)

Users don't care about that.

Besides, when some ActiveX control made IE freeze no one had any problems blaming it on Microsoft and demanding they fix it. Ditto for just about any application error or driver boo on Windows.

Microsoft is to blamed in your example. They control ActiveX and IE. There's no reason they can't fix ActiveX if it crashes IE.

Re:That is nice (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421883)

Users don't care about that.

Besides, when some ActiveX control made IE freeze no one had any problems blaming it on Microsoft and demanding they fix it. Ditto for just about any application error or driver boo on Windows.

Yeah, they only had problems when Microsoft sat quietly and did nothing about it... until three or four years after, when you can trade your old bugs for new bugs in the process of trading your computer for another, ten times faster, that feels three times slower under the new OS. :-)

Re:That is nice (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24422001)

I'm not sure I understand this - Microsoft fixed most of the IE6 ActiveX stability issues in the last few SPs on Windows XP. And IE7 (as far as I can tell) has none of them.

Re:That is nice (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421463)

That is Adobe's issue...but try Flash 10 Beta 2 (instructions are on the Ubuntu forums). That fixed *nearly* all of the problems for me, even on 64bit.

Re:That is nice (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421315)

Yes [mozilla.com]

The tag is stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421067)

It is as useless as the EMBED tag from HTML3 tag, which was deprecated by OBJECT tag. Why bother with introducing a specialized version of OBJECT tag, when similar tags are made obsolete in HTML4? These HTML5 developer are wasting their time on features that only serves to create confusion and inefficient code.

Re:The tag is stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421273)

Yeah, it's not like anybody used the IMG tag either, all media on the web is in OBJECT tags.

Re:The tag is stupid (1)

Random Guru 42 (687672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421321)

While the original post is kinda nasty about it, I have to agree completely. It'd be better to use the class attribute, or some new type attribute, on the object tag rather than come out with a bunch of new tags for media. It stinks of make-work for the HTML spec authors.

Re:The tag is stupid (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421659)

You've just described the bloated, inconsistent, semantically-challenged, XML-cleanliness-optional-because-we-hate-verbosity-waaaaah design model of HTML5.

Long live XHTML2.

Re:The tag is stupid (1)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421423)

Yeah! And while we're at it, what's with all these em, b, img, table, h1 tags? All we need are span tags with CSS! In fact, just blank object tags with CSS will work just fine.</sarcasm>

The video & audio tags are there for semantics- sure, you could just use object tags, but it's a lot easier to use video and audio when you don't have to worry about what particular plugin the user has installed- the video and audio tags give you a consistant API.

Re:The tag is stupid (1)

cababunga (1195153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421999)

Yeah! And while we're at it, what's with all these em, b, img, table, h1 tags? All we need are span tags with CSS! In fact, just blank object tags with CSS will work just fine.</sarcasm>

Didn't you mean:
<span class="sarcasm">Yeah! And while we're at it, what's with all these em, b, img, table, h1 tags? All we need are span tags with CSS! In fact, just blank object tags with CSS will work just fine.</span>?

Words (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421087)

" They may have gotten the words 'Vorbis' and 'Theora' removed from the HTML5 spec, but the market will tell them when their browsers are sucking."

Um... I hate to break it to you guys, but 'Vorbis' and 'Theora' aren't "words" -- at least, not in any language I've ever heard of.

Re:Words (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421385)

Ogg and Vorbis names of characters in Terry Pratchett novels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld [wikipedia.org]

I'm not sure where Theora originated.

Re:Words (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421639)

'Theora' is greek for watcher isn't it? Kind of makes sense.

Re:Words (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421829)

From the Theora FAQ:

Q. Why the name 'Theora?'
Like other Xiph.org Foundation codec projects such as Vorbis or Tarkin, Theora is named after a fictional character. Theora Jones was the name of Edison Carter's 'controller' on the television series Max Headroom. She was played by Amanda Pays.

Theora quality; An exciting battle (5, Interesting)

a nona maus (1200637) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421091)

I might claim that this event is unimportant due to Theora's quality compared to the leading-edge codecs, but it looks like that has been fixed [mit.edu] , or soon will be. Obviously no one sane will knock Vorbis' quality.

With the way things are going this sounds like it's going to be quite a fight between the proprietary and open worlds. I can't think of anyone better than Noikia [slashdot.org] and Apple [slashdot.org] to play the side of proprietary. ... Not even Microsoft seems to be able to pull off, well, evil as completely as those two these days. And with Mozilla and Wikipedia on the other side it's not like either side of this fight is hopelessly out-gunned.

Of course, this is interesting to more than just Wikipedia [cydeweys.com] , but few other players are both as important and have such a clear long-term vision.

Round TWO! FIGHT!

Re:Theora quality; An exciting battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421647)

I can't think of anyone better than Noikia and Apple to play the side of proprietary. ... Not even Microsoft seems to be able to pull off, well, evil as completely as those two these days.

I'd strongly recommend that you pick up a newspaper and discover things in the world a bit more consequential than whether Ogg Theora is or isn't the HTML standard.

Re:Theora quality; An exciting battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421709)

I'll knock Vorbis' quality. :)

It seems to me to have more echo (pre or otherwise) than mp3 at the same bitrate, and the channel coupling at low bitrates is kind of hard to listen to with headphones. But other than that, yeah, you're right... the range that good encoders like AoTUV offer more than offsets the quality under pathological conditions. It usually does a good job of masking at >-q 0. It's great for ordinary speakers and lots of headphone listening situations!

what are the technical probs with Theora? (5, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421157)

I keep hearing that Theora has problems. Does it really? Or are these rumors FUD?

Some of the "problems" seem to be misunderstandings. Like, someone encoding at a too low bitrate, and then complaining that the quality is poor. Perhaps encoding isn't very fast either. I know Theora isn't the best codec ever, but it's decent.

I've heard it's difficult to program for the Theora libraries.

But what I've heard the most of is unethical and unwarranted efforts to stop the use of Theora and Vorbis as well. In light of that, I regard reports of "problems" with a lot of skepticism.

Re:what are the technical probs with Theora? (0, Flamebait)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421529)

You can read here [doom9.org] about Theora's age, heritage, and problems. It's not FUD, it's the truth. Theora is a shitty codec.

Re:what are the technical probs with Theora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421701)

It amazes me at how f$%^ing stupid the average /.er is. Complete and utter morons. It is like there is a sign out front of /. that says morons post here.

Re:what are the technical probs with Theora? (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421975)

That link is three years old. Fail.

Dang kids these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421205)

They try to use terms like 'FUD' to look cool, but it is painfully obvious they have no idea what it means or why it was coined in the first place. It's just sad.

Yet another video format , just what we need (0, Redundant)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421211)

Really , what is the point? Its not like every other video format on the planet is closed source with a fee required. MPEG2 and MPEG3 are the ISO standard and the de facto free standard for most high bandwidth video apps these days and MPEG 4 for low bandwidth, deal with it and stop re-inventing the fscking wheel just to play OSS one upmanship.

Untrue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421377)

From Wikipedia:

"MPEG-4 contains patented technologies that require licensing in countries that acknowledge software patents. Patents covering MPEG-4 are claimed by over two dozen companies. The MPEG Licensing Authority[1] licenses patents required for MPEG-4 Part 2 Visual from a wide range of companies (audio is licensed separately) and lists all of its licensors and licensees on the site. New licenses for MPEG-4 System patents are under development[2] and no new licenses are being offered while holders of its old MPEG-4 Systems license are still covered under the terms of that license for the patents listed (MPEG LA â" Patent List).

AT&T is trying to sue companies such as Apple Inc. over alleged MPEG-4 patent infringement.[3] The terms of Apple's Quicktime 7 license for users[citation needed] describes in paragraph 14 the terms under Apple's existing MPEG-4 System Patent Portfolio license from MPEGLA."

MPEG2 == Costly; nothing else free is sutable (2, Insightful)

a nona maus (1200637) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421623)

There *are* some other codecs which are unencumbered: Motion-jpeg, and H.261 for example. But at web acceptable bit-rates (say between 100 and 600kbit/sec) these codes hardly produce recognizable images for common frame sizes. They just aren't useful. You can make a good argument that Theora is behind the state of the art, but for web use the other free stuff isn't even comparable.

And MPEG3? We should use a dead, patent encumbered, standard for HDTV that is designed for 25+mbit/sec for web use? Give me a break!

Many of the codecs people think are "free" are really quite expensive with per unit encoder, decoder, and encoded media costs. It's easy to ignore these when they are packed up as part of the "Microsoft tax" but their burden on content creators and society in general is pretty substantial.

When you're a Wikipedia, serving hundreds of millions of users per month on donations, this matters. Especially since a key part of their mission is making sure that everyone has the freedom to modify their works without paying tribute to middlemen like Apple and Nokia.

Re:Yet another video format , just what we need (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421885)

MPEG2 and MPEG3 are the ISO standard and the de facto free standard for most high bandwidth video apps these days

Most everything has moved, is moving, or plans to move to MPEG-4...

ogg is already used in games... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421239)

... because it's patent-free. Quite a few games I see have vorbis.dll and therora.dll's about.

Animated Gif videos on Commons (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421301)

Theora is the only video format allowed on Wikimedia Commons,

Animated Gifs are allowed on the Wikimedia Commons.

If it looks like a cheesy animated video format, you might as well call it a cheesy animated video format.

Re:Animated Gif videos on Commons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421621)

All video formats are 'animated'. Also, APNG is accepted on the commons, of course.

Wikimedia is out of touch (-1, Flamebait)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421335)

Theora is the only video format allowed on Wikimedia Commons, so Wikimedia people are pushing Wikipedia readers to download a nightly and try it out.

Further proof of how much the Wikimedia Foundation is out of touch with reality.

The level of free-content zealotry that has infected the Wikimedia Foundation has done nothing but drive contributors away and remove useful content from their projects. They're a bunch of idiots shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:Wikimedia is out of touch (4, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421475)

The level of free-content zealotry that has infected the Wikimedia Foundation has done nothing but drive contributors away and remove useful content from their projects. They're a bunch of idiots shooting themselves in the foot.

How is "free-content zealotry" in an organization which exists solely for the purpose of developing free libraries of free content [wikimediafoundation.org] a bad thing?

Re:Wikimedia is out of touch (1)

Benanov (583592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421541)

I don't think so. Pay-per-access (such as having to pay for a video codec) would be directly against the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Encoding to something patent-encumbered (even if it's standard, like MPEG) would be shooting themselves in the foot with a shotgun in the longrun as opposed to a .22LR with Theora and Vorbis.

Re:Wikimedia is out of touch (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421879)

so insisting that content is available royalty-free without risk of legal trouble because of patent infringement is according to you "zealotry".

Streaming? (1)

Lance Cooper (977401) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421397)

The immediate thing that comes to mind with this support, right after "awesome", is questions about streaming support. The user experience of progressive download is really terrible, especially over a slow net connection.

Opera, too -- but where is Google? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421481)

Opera has also added support for Ogg Vorbis and recently released a build that supports video, 3D and their proposed file access: http://labs.opera.com/ [opera.com] Hopefully, Firefox and Opera can jointly tilt the scales in the favor of open video. Google should start using Ogg Theora instead of the proprietary bits they spew out now.

The truth is ... (4, Insightful)

thedbp (443047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421519)

The truth is, Theora takes much more processing power to decode than h264. It can't match the quality of h264 when compressed to the same size. Beyond that, there are HARDWARE h264 decoder chips that require little power for use in mobile devices, not so with Theora.

Free and open formats are awesome. But sometimes, just sometimes, being free and open isn't as important as being efficient and portable. Its about priorities and usefulness in the broader market. Theora has no traction in the mobile space. there is no indication it will surpass h264 in quality at similar file sizes.

what good is a free and open video codec if it requires more disk space, more processing power, and has no ability to be offloaded to a specialized chip in a mobile device?

If you want companies to adopt Theora, fix those issues. That's the benefit of open and free software. You are free and open to make it better until it meets the demands of the marketplace.

The truth is the parent post is full of lies. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421859)

When I was evaluating codecs for an embedded platform H.264 consumed three times the MIPS of the Theora decoder, on our target CPU architecture.

H.264 did win out on quality, but the licensing was very expensive... almost as costly as our whole CPU. The cpu load would have required us to add an expensive decoding chip. Because of those negatives H.264 was simply a non-starter.

Fortunately our application didn't require interworking with the outside world so Theora was a good fit. At the low bitrates we needed Theora's quality was far above our other options (MPEG1, for example) and reasonable enough.

As Theora adoption increases we can expect the pace of increase to increase. For many people the objective balance is already in favour of Theora but for most applications compatibility dwarfs all other factors. Few care about 10% differences in bitrate, and free has a huge advantage over the long term in terms of archiving ubiquity.

What about BBC Dirac Video Format? (4, Interesting)

PineHall (206441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421605)

There is another free codex that I heard was pretty good. BBC has the Dirac video format [free-codecs.com] . Could this be an alternative?

Ogg (0, Offtopic)

ichthus (72442) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421615)

I ate some bad chicken last night, and now I have a case of ogg theora. I'm a little concerned about all the water I'm using each time I flush the vorbis after ogging.

Seriously, I'm all for open compression codecs, but do they need to be included in the browser? Can't I just install a plugin (if I want to) and keep the browser slim and lean?

Embrace and extend... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24421625)

It is just like Microsoft... embrace and extend. Stick to the standards! Oh wait... it is Mozilla that is extending this time. I'm confused. So it is OK for open source to embrace and extend the standards then?

Firefox developers lost in Canada :-) (5, Funny)

mattMad (1271832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421813)

I am not sure whether Firefox 3.1 will ever be finished as most Firefox developers seem to be trapped without power in Canada... :-) See: http://planet.mozilla.org/ [mozilla.org]

FUD (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24421839)

If you actually read the HTML5 spec (as linked), it contains references to the Vorbis and Theora formats. What's with the FUD?
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