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Theora 1.0 Released, Supported By Firefox

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the funny-name-and-all dept.

Media 310

YA_Python_dev writes "The Xiph.Org Foundation announced Monday the release of Theora 1.0. Theora is a free/open source video codec with a small CPU footprint that offers easy portability and requires no patent royalties. Upcoming versions of Firefox and Opera will play natively Ogg/Theora videos with the new HTML5 element <video src="file.ogv"></video>, and ffmpeg2theora offers an easy way to create content. Theora developers are already working on a 1.1 encoder that offers better quality/bitrate ratio, while producing streams backward-compatible with the current decoder." Adds reader logfish: "Since its bit-stream freeze in June of 2004 there have been numerous speed-ups and bug-fixes. Although Nokia claimed it to be proprietary almost a year ago, nothing has been proven. So now it's time to help it take over the internet, and finally push for video sites filled with Theora encoded vlogs, blurts and idle nonsense."

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Horray (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625107)

Now I can play open source video once a year or so on smaller random nerd sites I visit! I guess competition is always good...

Re:Horray (5, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625517)

It's the only video format allowed on world #8 site Wikipedia.

Re:Horray (3, Funny)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625589)

"smaller random nerd sites and one big nerd site"

there, fixed.

Re:Horray (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626001)

Thank you ;-p

Re:Horray (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625967)

That is hardly an endorsement, except to say that it fulfils their strict open source/GNU criteria.

Re:Horray (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626085)

[citation needed]

Containers... (2, Interesting)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625117)

How does ogv compare to say, mkv?

Re:Containers... (3, Informative)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625149)

Just like MKV hardly anything will play it, but unlike MKV it doesn't actually add anything useful.

Mod me troll if you like, but I speak the truth.

Well... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625243)

Compared to avi it adds usefulness, though that's not saying much. I think it adds over wmv, but that again wouldn't be saying much.

I do agree that mkv currently has richer featureset implemented.

Re:Well... (1, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625545)

AVI is not a codec, it's a container. The audio and video of an AVI file could be pretty much any format, with whatever feature sets of those codecs.

Re:Well... (4, Informative)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625613)

So is MKV, just a container.

Re:Containers... (2, Informative)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625271)

On Linux, you have a hard time finding a player who doesn't support the Matroska format. On windows, VLC, which supports the MKV format, is a very popular video player, even for normal users.

Re:Containers... (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625397)

Just like MKV hardly anything will play it, but unlike MKV it doesn't actually add anything useful.

You've obviously never negotiated costs with MPEG-LA, or you wouldn't say that.

Re:Containers... (3, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625475)

Matroska isn't an MPEG standard. It's patent and royalty free, and the standard itself is open for FOSS to implement (as many have).

Re:Containers... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625525)

I believe that was the point the parent was trying to make. MPEG has a cost, so Matroska has that benefit of not having those kinds of costs.

Re:Containers... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625645)

That's the point. Theora adds one useful thing: Freedom from licensing costs.

Re:Containers... (4, Informative)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626279)

Many posters here are confusing two things here: codecs and containers. Theora is the videocodec, OGG the container (which has the extension .ogv). OGG (as per .ogv) is also the standard container for Theora, which Firefox supports. But, MKV being really a superior container on pretty much all fronts, could contain Theora equally well as any containerformat (actually, better IMHO). Just making sure everyone is talking about the same thing.

Re: The point was Theora's additional value (1)

MrvFD (711808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625945)

The MPEG-LA point had nothing to do with the MKV container format, but what Theora adds compared to other video codecs.

Re:Containers... (5, Insightful)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626013)

Thats parents point. H264 etc are patent encumbered so Theora does add something very dam useful to the community just like MKV does. MPEG-LA is the group that runs the patent pool on mpeg/h264 etc while the OP was suggesting that Theora is without merit.

If we want h264/mpeg4 support in FF you going need about $3M+ donated per year for the license fees.

If you have ever needed to care about the licensing of things like codecs you would know the value of Theora and Dirac.

Re:Containers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625859)

neither does MKV

Re:Containers... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626147)

ogv (aka ogg) and mkv (can be named mka for audio-only too) are containers. Theora is a codec. Like H.264 aka MPEG 4 AVC. Except that H.264 is an actual standard which compresses much better. (Theora is more "last generation".)
Unfortunately, H.264 ist patented, so for some applications it's out of question.

Oh, and in terms of containers, mkv kicks the shit out of ogg. ;)
I love the concept of EMBL, binary markup, behind it. It's like XML, but without the verbosity.
With a DTD you could perfecly convert between XML and EBLM, tag by tag. (I dislike XML for its extreme verbosity, but I like a common file format standard that everybody can understand and read/write.)

I, for one, will still use mkv plus x264 and 5.1 vorbis (or the original AC3-track) for encoding my videos. If I make no money with it, I will not pay money for using it, because they lost nothing.

Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625157)

I really want to like Theora, but it's really, really hard to get around the quality issues. VP3, which Theora is based on, just isn't competitive these days. It was subpar back in 2001 when it was donated to Xiph, and the contrast has only gotten worse over time. H.264, VC-1/WMV9, MPEG-4 ASP, even Adobe Flash 8 (which added VP6) are clearly capable of outperforming it.

If nothing else, free is good (both in terms of speech and beer) and a royalty free standard for video would be great, but it's too hard to ignore just how inferior this standard is. I'm a pragmatic person, I can't think of any reason why I'd want to use this over a better codec; free isn't all that enticing if the video quality sucks.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625267)

I think that in theory, the "free" part could be extremely enticing, after all, Opera, Safari, and IE could all just integrate this, no questions asked, and in this magical wonderland we could have cross platform video embedded in websites that "just works". Realistically though, that'll never happen. IE will support WMV and Safari will support Quicktime, and both will support theora through 3rd party plugins which will only be installed by people who know well enough to use firefox anyways.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (3, Interesting)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625331)

Meh. It ain't 1999 anymore. Forgetting Youtube? Flash IS that "magical wonderland", and it DOES just work for the majority of the population.

The question is, can free-as-in-beer, inferior open source compete against free-as-in-beer, superior closed source?

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (4, Insightful)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625477)

Don't forget, lots of nightmarish IE specific stuff also "Just Works" for "The Majority", And ask any 64bit linux user exactly how much they love adobe for their support. (I think they have it now, after something like 4 years of waiting or running in emulation, or running a 32bit OS on their 64bit machines)

The magical wonderland I think of is one where anyone on any system can easily watch video online, not just the majority.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625483)

The question is, can free-as-in-beer, inferior open source compete against free-as-in-beer, superior closed source?

[troll]My guess: nope.
The problem here is know-how. Every field in open-source which requires extensive know-how on the level of hardware or marketing struggles.
The standard devcycles normally evolve into providing conspiracy-theories.[/troll]

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (3, Informative)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625485)

Flash doesn't just work. It requires a proprietary plugin that crashes my browser all the time, and is not 64-bit.

Who needs 64 bits? (0, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625885)

Flash doesn't just work. It [...] is not 64-bit.

The original PlayStation wasn't 64-bit either, but it beat the Nintendo 64. The point is that 64-bit isn't everything.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625503)

It doesn't work for all those people who bought iPhones. They're an important demographic in most cases (i.e. people with lots of spare money), and they don't have flash. YouTube works because Google wrote a special client for it. Other sites that use flash video, however, won't. If it gets <video> tag support, it will be trivial to support.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625777)

Bill Perry (Adobeâ(TM)s Mobile and Devices group) is working on a release, just a matter of weeks to see flash on iPhone.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625577)

I think that in theory, the "free" part could be extremely enticing

Did you have to pay for viewing flash or whatever other format ? Nobody I know had to. If "free" is the key-element in success of this format it'll be a failure, simple as that.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (5, Informative)

stevek (25276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625277)

There's certainly better quality codecs out there, compared to 1.0. Take a look at the work happening now on 1.1, though, it gets very competitive:

http://web.mit.edu/xiphmont/Public/theora/demo5.html [mit.edu]

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625841)

The result on those sample frames are great. The new version at 240kbps compares to the old one at 580kbps.

This should be more exposed, to reduce the impact of the first impression on this quality gap of the 1.0 and the competition.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (3, Insightful)

yourfuneral (1400103) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625287)

But, those are issues that can be addressed, and with more attention like this it will get more help from "joe the programmer". I'm glad to see something like this. I'm tired of the "format wars" going on by a few companies. The consumer wants something that works well. If there is a free and equally good alternative the world would open up to it. To me quality optimizations can come after they something that works well and is open.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625413)

But, those are issues that can be addressed, and with more attention like this it will get more help from "joe the programmer"

Can it though? Certainly part of the issue is definitely the encoder, but you're still constrained by the inherent limitations of the codec (and more to the point, the decoder). Theora can't be overhauled without breaking the decoder, and even if it was overhauled as Theora 2.0, it couldn't implement any of a multitude of patented video compression technologies already used in MPEG or other standards. And unless someone wants to hire a team of engineers for Xiph, the odds of someone inventing a revolutionary, non-patent-infrining video codec on their own is pretty slim.

From what I've seen with the work on 1.1, improving the encoder just isn't enough to nullify the deficiencies in the codec itself. It's like trying to improve Mac OS Classic when really you need to make a clean break and invent Mac OS X.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25626229)

We already have Dirac for high-quality open video. Theora only has to fill the bandwidth-efficiency gap below that. So it's a low-bandwidth, free video codec for streaming video all through the tubes. I'd love for youtube to start streaming in anything but Flash.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625293)

With the

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (5, Insightful)

toots5446 (1400109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625385)

With the billions of crappy flv video being used all over the web, are you claiming that cutting edge video technology is the key for broad acceptance ??

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

Digana (1018720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625393)

What exactly are those quality issues?

I admit that when encoding with the default ffmpeg2thoera options, the quality leaves much to be desired, but I've managed to tweak those options and produce good quality videos for a reasonable footprint. The one option I played with was the "sharpness" option (-S), whatever it actually is, it *does* increase the sharpness for very little change in the filesize.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625431)

Think of Theora as a successor to MPEG-1 on the web. It works everywhere, is easy to support, and doesn't need much CPU to play back (so you can use it for mobile sites), and the quality is 'good enough' but not great. At the other end there's Dirac (which also went 1.0 recently), which provides amazing quality but at the cost of much higher CPU loads. If you're streaming films or HDTV episodes, you'd want to consider something like Dirac. If you're just showing little clips and you want them to just work, you'd use Theora (well, at the moment you'd use MPEG-1, but hopefully in the future you can use Theora).

Theora is much more flexible than VP3! (2, Informative)

Lino Mastrodomenico (1156433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625521)

Theora is not VP3. The format is *much* more flexible and the 1.0 decoder supports all of it. Which means that in the next years we will see many improvements in the quality, with the same bitrate and 100 backward binary compatibility, just enhancing the encoders.

See:
http://web.mit.edu/xiphmont/Public/theora/demo5.html [mit.edu]
http://v2v.cc/~j/ffmpeg2theora/ffmpeg2theora-0.22-thusnelda.exe [v2v.cc]

And this is only the start. Just look at what the Lame encoder was able to do with the MP3 format in quality.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625541)

Theora quality is good enough. You may be able to see a difference under a microscope but not to the human eye.

To get a good quality video, from A to Z must be quality, not just one step.

Many convert a MPEG video into Theora and say Theora video is not good quality. MPEG means video is already compressed and data is dropped as part of the encoding process. You don't take a such a video and convert the format to Theora and drop data again as part of the Theora encoding process. Its of course not good quality then, because data is dropped twice.

To get real quality video in Theora, you should get a raw video and convert to Theora. I have converted a raw video footage shot by a RED camera (http://www.red.com/) into Theora, I don't see any quality issue. Its crisp clear.

In digital camcoders this is what is done inside, ie. it first shot in raw and then convert to MPEG. I have not come across a video camera that convert to Theora natively inside the camera. If it does, there should not be any quality difference compared to MPEG.

Sagara

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626253)

Starting from a decent bitrate MPEG-2 video (say, 2 GB/hour), there should be no problem creating good Theora encodes from them despite already being lossy. And if Theora can't do that without looking like crap, then it fails next to codecs like H.264 that can.

Re:Free Is Good, But Quality Is Lacking (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626103)

Look at youtube. Quality is hardy all that big in a lot of peoples minds, if they notice at all that is.

The performance at youtube bitrates is quite comparable to current youtube quality. But I won't argue that H264 is a winner here, if you don't have to pay for it that is.

Native Video in Firefox (0)

jayayeem (247877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625159)

Sounds like feature creep and bloat to me.

Re:Native Video in Firefox (4, Funny)

Chester K (145560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625209)

Sounds like feature creep and bloat to me.

Don't worry, the pages that implement it will never get loaded into RAM because nobody will ever use it.

Re:Native Video in Firefox (2)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625281)

It's only feature creep if it's unnecessary. Youtube proves the contrary.

It's only bloat if they rewrite their own theora codec.

Re:Native Video in Firefox (0)

Chester K (145560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625325)

It's only feature creep if it's unnecessary. Youtube proves the contrary.

Actually, Youtube proves it is unnecessary bloat by showing that there's already a widely accepted and usable solution for putting video on a webpage.

Re:Native Video in Firefox (5, Insightful)

erikdalen (99500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625487)

Yep, and Windows proves Linux is unnecessary as it is a widely accepted and usable solution for operating a computer.

Re:Native Video in Firefox (1)

jayayeem (247877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625747)

Exactly. If I didn't have a use for Windows, I wouldn't have a use for Linux either.

Re:Native Video in Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625555)

Name said solution. Don't leave some of us hanging!

Re:Native Video in Firefox (2, Funny)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625341)

Sounds like feature creep and bloat to me.

Are you talking Firefox or HTML5 or both? I know it would be massively awesome if the blink tag was only supported through an addon or plugin.

So you prefer Flash installed on every browser? (4, Insightful)

Lino Mastrodomenico (1156433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625369)

Sounds like feature creep and bloat to me.

Why? Ins't going to affect you if you don't visit pages with videos and, unlike Flash there's a browser preference to start all videos in paused state. The Theora binary library is only 250 kB on AMD64, even smaller on x86. The Flash plugin, is much, much bigger.

Video on the internet (think youtube, movie trailers, pr0n, etc.) isn't going away any time soon.

The current state of the art is to have a proprietary Flash plugin installed in almost every browser. Switching to native support for an open format directly in the browsers seems like an improvement to me. In the good ol' days, people considered image support in browsers as bloat too..

And Firefox isn't alone here: Opera and Safari will support it too (altough Safari will not support Theora out-of-the-box).

Re:So you prefer Flash installed on every browser? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625531)

Those are all good points. However the choice of Theora, with its apparent quality problems and very low use on the internet, means none of those things will matter. Even if it is in the browser, Theora will not solve the problem.

Apple is never going to use Theora, neither is Microsoft, and with good reason they both have better codecs. Even flash now supports h264 within the plugin, and thats the direction almost everything else is going right now, not Theora.

Re:So you prefer Flash installed on every browser? (2, Insightful)

Lino Mastrodomenico (1156433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625743)

Apple is never going to use Theora, neither is Microsoft, and with good reason they both have better codecs.

You can support more that one codec. E.g. both Apple and Microsoft support MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. The next version of Safari will support Theora if you have installed the Ogg Quicktime components, and IE will support it with a JS and a Java applet.

And maximum quality isn't the only factor for the success of a media format, software patents and actual implementations count much more IMO. Otherwise we will be all using JPEG2000 and not JPEG or PNG today.

Re:So you prefer Flash installed on every browser? (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626173)

All we need now is ASCII Theora for lynx!

Re:Native Video in Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625561)

Sounds like feature creep and bloat to me.

As opposed to the YouTube method, where you load a plug-in that executes a proprietary script which then plays the video? Mozilla's just cutting out the proprietary middleman and providing a standardized HTML/Javascript-based interface to a free file format. In the long run, it will decrease bloat, because you won't have to install plug-ins to watch video.

slices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625169)

Hopefully, it will encode in slices so that content can be played/decoded using all cores of a multi-core cpu instead of using only one core, requiring a higher clocked cpu like the encoder in the HDPVR, an issue brought up in the mythtv-user mailing list. Hope I was clear enough, see the list for a better explanation.

How long until... (2, Funny)

BrennanM3 (1397275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625193)

ogg/theora porn?

Re:How long until... (0, Troll)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625233)

ogg/theora porn?

probably close to never. .flv loads so much faster and all people really want is something that loads fast regardless of quality; in other words, as long as it's possible to get pr0n for free it'll be in .flv.

Re:How long until... (4, Funny)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625311)

Ogg/Theora IS porn to the FOSS zealots. Anything at all encoded in said formats gives them a chubby.

Long test cycle? (0, Troll)

howardd21 (1001567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625231)

A software project that was at code freeze in 2004 is just now being released? Was it in some legal issue, did they not have any any automated test tools...

Re:Long test cycle? (5, Informative)

stevek (25276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625257)

The bitstream format was frozen, not the code.

Video tag is superfluous (0)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625235)

object data="file.ogv" type="video/ogg"

I'll also be needing videoblock for firefox now.

Re:Video tag is superfluous (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625297)

I'm wondering if the HTML5 DOM methods for controling video playback would be supported by XHTML 1.0 when video is embedded as an object?

Anyone?

What good is a sub patent ... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625245)

... if you release the torpedo before the target leaves the shipyard?

Re:What good is a sub patent ... (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625321)

It costs less money and demotivates as hell.

Good news for news providers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625285)

Congratulations for Theora 1.0.

Most news providers like BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/) offer videos in closed-sourced proprietary flash format where flash is not available for all operating systems. It is time now to switch or offer videos in Theora format for benefit of the public.

Sagara

Dirac (3, Informative)

ast_rufio (1325413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625367)

Dirac (see http://diracvideo.org/ [diracvideo.org] ) probably has much more potential to become the next generation open video codec. From what I understand it is more cutting edge and than Theora due to e.g. the use of wavelets.

Re:Dirac (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625435)

Xiph had their own wavelet-based codec called Tarkin. Development on it stopped a few years back so that the team could concentrate on getting Theora out, but this has evidentally turned out to be a mistake.

Re:Dirac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625593)

Actually, no. Tarkin WAS the mistake and it was quickly dropped. Wavelet-based codecs have several problems. For info look into JEPG 2000 and why it failed so miserably.

Re:Dirac (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626065)

Actually, no. Tarkin WAS the mistake and it was quickly dropped. Wavelet-based codecs have several problems. For info look into JEPG 2000 and why it failed so miserably.

And yet Dirac [wikipedia.org] seems to be going strong. Go figure.

Re:Dirac (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625737)

They're aimed at different markets. Dirac is a very high-quality CODEC, but it is incredibly CPU intensive. Remember what MPEG-4 was like when it was introduced? A couple of days to encode a film, and you could only just decode it in realtime on a fast computer? Dirac is like that. It will be a few years before you start getting Dirac support in something like an iPhone. If you want to stream HD content, Dirac is a good choice.

In contrast, Theora is very cheap in terms of CPU power. You can run it on very low-power devices. This makes it a good choice for Internet video, where the viewer might be using a massive desktop computer, a mobile phone, or anything in between. You wouldn't want to use Dirac here, because even fast laptops would struggle not to drop frames, and handhelds would just fail.

That said, my mobile phone now has about as much CPU power as the PC I had when I first got an MPEG-4 video, so eventually it will be feasible to run Dirac in low-power devices (sooner if they have dedicated ICs), but in the short term it's not ideal.

christ, not another "cool word" (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625415)

vlogs, blurts and idle nonsense

What the hell is a "blurt"?

Re:christ, not another "cool word" (2, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625693)

Judging by google results, it sounds like "video microblogging", a la Twitter.

Why not using the "object" tag? (1, Interesting)

Nicopa (87617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625425)

Does anyone know the rationale of not using <object> for including video? It would have been perfect for that usage, and completely standard...

Re:Why not using the "object" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625469)

I hear that it has something to do with the API being not up to the job. That, and has the name advantage.

Re:Why not using the "object" tag? (2)

Nicopa (87617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625501)

What API? Tags do not have APIs, and the <object> can be extended with "params"s... This "video" tag looks a lot like an old Netscape HTML "extension" to me.

Re:Why not using the "object" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625821)

Well I don't really know or care. Go complain at WHATWG if you want answers.

Re:Why not using the "object" tag? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625833)

What API? Tags do not have APIs

Someone hasn't heard of the DOM...

Because it's better specified, and it's in HTML 5 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626107)

What API? Tags do not have APIs, and the <object> can be extended with "params"s

If you think about it, you answered your own question. The API to a plug-in that renders an <object> element is the interpretation of its <param> elements. But each video playback plug-in needs a different set of <param> elements to define a particular behavior. The <video> element specifies the behavior more strongly than <object> and <param> ever did.

This "video" tag looks a lot like an old Netscape HTML "extension" to me.

If it's in the HTML 5 draft [whatwg.org] , can it really be called an extension?

Re:Why not using the "object" tag? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625813)

The object tag is not a great way of doing anything. It requires too much knowledge of the plugin that will be used to render it to be at all nice to work with. The big difference between the audio and video tags in HTML 5 and the object tag in HTML 4 is that they have a set of well-defined parameters. If you want to use an object tag for video, you need a set of param tags inside it giving parameters to the player. Each player (WMV, Quicktime, VLC, etc.) understands a slightly different set, and the set a generic plugin for video should understand is not defined by the standard.

Re:Why not using the "object" tag? (1)

Karellen (104380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626241)

Why does it need knowledge of the plugin? Why not just:

<object data="file.ogv">Alt text goes here</object>

The browser/toolkit/OS is responsible for then loading any appropriate player based on the content-type of whatever file.ogv is. What else is needed?

Back to the better! (1, Interesting)

mmu_man (107529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625429)

Great, we can finally throw away all those flash-based player junks which don't work on all OSes and thus fails at the very purpose of the Web!
We can finally go back to what worked. The EMBED and OBJECT tag like way, so each OS can use their native player, with the user's prefs and their native features, instead of imposing a non interoperable, DRM-crippled, often ugly player.
I wish...

Now I just need to port it to Haiku :)

Re:Back to the better! (4, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625603)

People and companies likes flash players because it usually just works. The days of embedding video objects are dying because in practice this is what would happen:

1. WMV files would lock up or you would have to spend 20 minutes at windows update downloading the newest wmp or reinstalling the plug-in.

2. Mac users would complain that WMV files arent working.

3. Realplayer would do the same, except the install would crap up your computer and ruin all your file associations. You would also have to troubleshoot plugin issues.

4. Quicktime files would crash the browser and then you would have to install the newest version usually along with itunes in a 60+ meg download. Windows users would complain how crazppy quicktime is.

5. Someone would embed an avi and no one would be able to play it because end users have no idea what codecs are.

6. Some plugins would work in IE but not in Firefox.

What flash did is put all video in one cross-playform container and player. Turns out people like it this way.

Re:Back to the better! (1)

mmu_man (107529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626125)

1. Exactly why we need a standard, open format (and codec! Real actually filed an RFC describing the .rm format, but not the codecs).
2. ditto.
3. Yes I hated RealPlayer just as you, but not as much as flash.
4. Ditto, not as much as flash.
5. goto 1.
6. goto 1.
Yes I know flash is a technically simpler answer for windows and OSX people, but it's ethically wrong. It is supposed to make it easier for everyone, but actually only makes it simpler in appearance to some (even though they happen to be the majority), but lock them in and allows for DRM (which is both ethically and technically an abberation), and it forbids other users to use the feature.

If I had to cite only 1 of the hundreds of reasons to dismiss flash... It's just not usable by blind and visually impaired people, because it's just a black box to the browser. Of course that doesn't matter for video (but for audio it does).

Royalties for video format? (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625471)

I'm clueless on the topic... so I will just ask the question. What royalties are their for file formats? Does this basically mean that Microsoft pays for the different codecs that are included in Windows Media Player and that Adobe pays for the different formats that it can export to?

Re:Royalties for video format? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625915)

What royalties are their for file formats?

It has nothing to do with the file format and everything to do with the codec used to encode/decode the contents of said file. Specifically, the various MPEG-based codecs are all subject to patents and thus require license fees be paid to the MPEG-LA in order to legally distribute encoders (and I believe decoders, though don't quote me on that, I don't recall the precise fee structure).

Theora, like Vorbis, has the advantage of being unencumbered by patents, and this free for implementation by anyone.

Re:Royalties for video format? (2, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625961)

Oh, and to answer this question:

Does this basically mean that Microsoft pays for the different codecs that are included in Windows Media Player and that Adobe pays for the different formats that it can export to?

The answer is, yes, depending on the codec in question (for example, Microsoft would pay the MPEG-LA to distribute an MPEG2 video decoder). But keep in mind, a file format, in and of itself, isn't subject to patent. It's the methods used to create the file format that are the problem. So exporting to, say, DOC format is fine, since there's no magically algorithm necessary to do that. MPEG2, however, required implementation of patented algorithms, hence the licensing requirements.

Re:Royalties for video format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25626095)

Yes. As an example, to reduce costs of the original Xbox, Microsoft separated DVD-video (which is MPEG-2) playback into a separated component (a remote control).

Re:Royalties for video format? (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626127)

I'm clueless on the topic... so I will just ask the question. What royalties are their for file formats? Does this basically mean that Microsoft pays for the different codecs that are included in Windows Media Player and that Adobe pays for the different formats that it can export to?

Yes. Each codec that is licensed and due royalties require payments to the owner. So MPEG, MP3, Quicktime, DiVX etc. all require a payment or the creator of the product runs the risk of ending up in court and having their product withdrawn. The open formats do not.

Re:Royalties for video format? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626271)

What royalties are their for file formats?

Some common containers, such as ASF (used in .wmv files) [wikipedia.org] , are patented. Otherwise, Microsoft couldn't have threatened the VirtualDub maintainer [wikipedia.org] in the 1.3 series.

Uh? (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625481)

"Although Nokia claimed it to be proprietary almost a year ago, nothing has been proven. So now it's time to help it take over the internet"

I admit I don't know what the situation with Theora's licensing history is but this comment strikes me as rather worrying. We're being told to use it because no one's proven it's not likely to end you up with licensing troubles later on. Personally I'd rather before something "takes over the internet" that the burden of proof was on it to demonstrate that it is completely open. This should be as easy as showing use of a relevant open license no?

From what I can see it's under a BSD license and so should really be open. Is this the case? The way the article summary is written just really doesn't instil confidence in their intentions.

Giving this codec the benefit of the doubt I think the summary is just a case of carried away fanboyism having an adverse effect towards the neutral observers view of the situation much as seeing a forum war between a PS3 and a 360 fanboy might put someone off the idea of online console gaming.

Can someone a bit more grounded give us a better view of the concerns and realities of Theora licensing and it's suitability as a codec to "take over the internet"?

Re:Uh? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25625761)

Xiph had the Software Freedom Law Center help establish that Nokia's claims were untrue. Mozilla sought counseling from lawyers before supporting Theora. Is that enough?

Who needs ffmpeg2theora? (2, Informative)

lcarstensen (130248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625625)

Use Gstreamer as-installed on your existing system. Put this in a simple bash script and have-at:

gst-launch-0.10 filesrc location="$1" ! decodebin name=decoder { oggmux name=muxer ! filesink location="$2" } { decoder. ! ffmpegcolorspace ! theoraenc ! queue ! muxer. } { decoder. ! queue ! audioconvert ! queue ! muxer. }

Add the Fluendo codecs, and you have a properly patent-licensed, legal way to transcode most popular media to no-patent-royalties media types.

Video editing (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625655)

Now, if there are decent (freeware?) applications that can encode the format that would be great. You have to pay for Flash video encoding, and even if you can pay, asking about a Flash video encoder [swishzone.com] for Linux.. who cares about Linux. If you use MPEG4, some players are picky on the type of MPEG4 codecs you used to encode a video when you play it back. . Microsoft video format is just a pain in the backside.

A video format without the security problems of Flash, bring it on.

Re:Video editing (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626197)

What's wrong with ffmpeg and ffserver ? I encode swf video on the fly from a mjpeg stream originating from an IP camera. It's currently quite choppy as I can't get much more than 6 fps to stream consistently over an ADSL connection without using all the available upstream bandwidth. That is not an issue for a local source file.
This demo [eyepub.co.uk] is only available for the next hour !

Re:Video editing (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25626207)

Um, no. There are Linux programs that encode to flash video. Mplayer will do it. I even wrote a wrapper around it for mass encoding to flv, both the old and new formats. So they exist :)

A youtube like Theora posting Website (2, Interesting)

freechelmi (975144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25625871)

Check it out. http://theorasea.org/ [theorasea.org] Right now they don't host video.
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