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Facebook Is Transcoding Video For iPad

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Media 277

Stoobalou sounds another death knell for Flash video. He says "Another heavy user of Adobe's video streaming software Flash is now pandering to the all-powerful iPad. Everybody's favourite waste of time, social notworking monster Facebook, is now streaming user videos to Apple's second coming of the portable computer with no sign of Flash in sight."

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Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015852)

"Death gong?" "No sign of Flash in sight?" I don't quite see how this news equates to any such hyperbole.

I just checked videos my friend put of me drunk out of my mind "singing" karaoke Killers songs (no, I will not provide a link) and sure enough they're in Flash player 10 through my Firefox browser. Since it's allegedly transcoding this real time from Flash to MP4 when it detects the mobile Safari browser, I would claim that Flash is not only very much in sight but it is the default encoding on Facebook -- keeping it very much alive. At least that's what I gather from my experience in my browser.

The decision to keep Flash off of some Apple mobile products was Apple's decision and Apple's alone. Do you think Facebook enjoys this overhead transcoding cost of its videos? I highly doubt it. I think this is a case of Facebook trying to building a unified cross platform experience for users (and I don't often speak kindly of Facebook) not their agreement to obsolete Flash video. I impatiently await HTML5 and more open video and audio codecs in all senses of the word 'open.'

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (1)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015988)

I don't quite see how this news equates to any such hyperbole.

That, and the "social notworking" commentary. Unless it was a typo. In which case, someone needs to add that to the entry's tag list.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016224)

social notworking

I propose the refusal of such tag in Slashdot, on the basis of ubiquity.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (0, Redundant)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016582)

You make an excellent point.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (4, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016098)

Facebook may very well already be encoding its videos in H.264 (which is supported by Flash). In this case, all they need to do is to wrap the files into an MP4 container, with no transcoding necessary.

YouTube already supports this, and I imagine, will begin to do it by default in the near future.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016388)

Facebook may very well already be encoding its videos in H.264 (which is supported by Flash). In this case, all they need to do is to wrap the files into an MP4 container, with no transcoding necessary.

YouTube already supports this, and I imagine, will begin to do it by default in the near future.

Thanks for straightening me out. Well, I suppose that's what I get for reading the article:

So rather than using HTML5, Facebook is actually detecting that the iPad's Safari browser is in the mix, and is transcoding the original video format to MP4 on the fly.

I constantly forget about the container when dealing with video and audio file formats ... you would think I would have learned by now after using VLC so much to stream internet radio stations to both MP3 and Ogg formats for replay later with no internet connection. Could somebody explain to me what the container brings? I understand we gain compression and save space with the encoding of the material but why are there so many containers that describe how that encoding is stored? What trade offs do these containers bring and why are they so goddamn proprietary when they seem to provide little real value for the actual data being stored? It's simply some meta data about the actual data so why is it such a thorn in everyone's side? I don't develop in this realm so please tolerate my ineptitude and help me out here. It often confusese me [slashdot.org] relentlessly [slashdot.org] and I am dumbfounded at how these two things are mired in litigation.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (5, Informative)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016882)

Could somebody explain to me what the container brings?

My understanding is that some containers bring features such as multiple audio tracks, multiple sub titles. The sound and video are stored separately inside the container (this is why sound can get out of sync sometimes, they are 2 separate streams of data playing simultaneously). Some containers like mkv can provide different auto streams for things like different languages, as well as subtitles and many many other different kinds of metadata. The container is almost like a zip archive with all the different parts living inside it with additional data storage.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016118)

Any idea which has more overhead for Facebook? Maybe they are serving MP4 to iPads because they have to, but perhaps as more get converted, they'll serve already converted videos as MP4 instead of Flash... i.e. if someone views that video of your friend on an iPad, it would be interesting to see if they still serve it in flash afterward to everyone else.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016484)

Maybe they transcode it the first time and then keep both copies, feeding flash out to everything but mobile Safari. It seems like the processing would be more expensive than the storage.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016292)

I would claim that Flash is not only very much in sight but it is the default encoding on Facebook -- keeping it very much alive... Do you think Facebook enjoys this overhead transcoding cost of its videos? I highly doubt it. I think this is a case of Facebook trying to building a unified cross platform experience for users...

Right, so Facebook capitulating means they recognize the importance of reaching customers without Flash and will do what it takes to reach them. They cant enjoy the overhead or complexity, so this is sign that Facebook will quite likely move to HTML5 for video in the future. It's nice when Apple's business goals line up with the best interests of users in the long term by promoting adoption of open standards.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016500)

By "long term" do you mean after today's users are dead?

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (1)

kencurry (471519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016864)

"Death gong?" "No sign of Flash in sight?" I don't quite see how this news equates to any such hyperbole. I just checked videos my friend put of me drunk out of my mind "singing" karaoke Killers songs (no, I will not provide a link) ...'

This is your boss, please see HR immediately.

Re:Summary Is a Bit of a Stretch ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32017022)

Ok, it's hyperbole. But how long until every single user on the planet, regardless of what they're using, sends an iPad user-agent string, so that they can get the same advantage? (Oh, never. Ok, so I should back off on the hyperbole too.) The point is that here's a large class of users (I mean much larger than the iPad market share) who no longer need Flash and can do (if they're clever or their software gets more clever) the same dumb stuff that Flash users can do. Win for everyone.

That's why I take Apple's side in the Apple-Adobe conflict. Fuck Apple for selling a personal computer that is not-quite-general-purpose and intended to limit the software market. Yes. But if a few high-profile trendy crippled devices can nudge content providers toward using better standards, that (in isolation, all else being equal) would be welcome.

Do you think Facebook enjoys this overhead transcoding cost of its videos?

Boo hoo for Facebook; they drank the Flash koolaide and now it's costing them. But now they have an opportunity. Just transcode those videos one last time (actually, it's the second-to-last time, but let's ignore that for now), and serve the videos directly to all their users (not just the iPad ones). This is a one-time expense (I'm lying; it'll happen twice, but it's still fixed) if they use their brains.

Were it not for Apple, (0, Troll)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015860)

we would still be using floppy disks and parallel ports. Even if you don't like their products, or don't recognize this as progress, I see no reason to be so snide about it.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015962)

we would still be using floppy disks and parallel ports. Even if you don't like their products, or don't recognize this as progress, I see no reason to be so snide about it.

Agreed. I'm no Apple fanboy (only product I have is a five year old iPod) but I've been rather amazed by the depth and breadth of content free emotional invective we've seen surrounding the iPad launch.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (4, Insightful)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016036)

I only recently purchased an iPhone (for overseas travel)--and am completely sick and tired of the Apple bashing, primarily for reasons that it doesn't work "for me" and therefore must not be good for anyone else.

I'd also note that if it wasn't for Apple, there would be a lot less pressure on Motorola, Nokia and Samsung to produce phones with a better user experience.

Apple is not the end-all, be-all of technology--but I personally have much to be grateful for.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016138)

It's just a bunch of Slashdot dummies who are doing the "bashing". Apple's tight integration of certain devices (iPhone and iPad, basically) with back-end services isn't right for them. Cool, buy something else and move on.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016166)

If it makes you happier, I don't own any of those phones. So you won't be hearing any "Nokia is better than Apple" bashing from me because I just don't care. A phone is a phone is a phone.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1, Insightful)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016382)

A phone is a phone is a phone.

Holy 1998 ignorance, batman! FYI, cell phones nowadays are much more than just "phones".

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017120)

My cell phone runs the same operating system and software that my computer does. Does that mean that my computer is just a phone too?

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016070)

I'm no Apple fanboy

In the immortal words of Yahtzee Croshaw...YES YOU ARE.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016358)

Mod up. +1 Truth.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017192)

What's the difference between a fanboy and a satisfied customer?

Re:Were it not for Apple, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016444)

I've been rather amazed by the depth and breadth of content free emotional invective we've seen surrounding the iPad launch.

Completely agreed, and this summary is an especially obnoxious example. I swear, the butthurt crybabies are getting even more annoying than the blindly loyal fanbois - and that takes some doing!

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015994)

...and we all know how long it took the floppy drive to die, right?

Re:Were it not for Apple, (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016044)

Um..... please explain how Apple is responsible for the progression from floppies to hard drives, or from parallel ports to USB ports. The former seems a natural event since programs/OSes could no longer fit on floppies. The second is a result of the USB Consortium. To give Apple credit for this seems disingenuous, (especially since Apple would have preferred to kill USB in favor of Firewire).

I'll give Apple credit for bringing GUIs to the home user in 1984, and a user-friendly alternative to the MS-DOS/windows from 1984 to 95, plus making MP3 players "cool" with the iPod, but that's about it. They don't deserve credit for killing floppies or parallel ports.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016102)

Apple is responsible for ALL progress in PC's. Whether it is the Intel CPU, the Windows logo, or the Linux kernel. Apple invented them all.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017100)

Since when was the Linux kernel "progress"? /complete and utter troll ;-)

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016266)

They don't deserve credit for killing floppies

I'm pretty sure the early Macs generated enough of a magnetic field to do just that.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016288)

I'll give Apple credit for bringing GUIs to the home user in 1984, and a user-friendly alternative to the MS-DOS/windows from 1984 to 95, plus making MP3 players "cool" with the iPod, but that's about it. They don't deserve credit for killing floppies or parallel ports.

Even if you give Apple credit for any of the above, how does one rule out the possibility that soon after another player wouldn't have stepped up to fill the vacuum with another tool or technology that would better suit us today in openness, quality or usability? I will gladly give them credit for better user interfaces in 1984 and in regards to specific products at specific times. But to claim that today we would still be stuck using floppy disks and parallel ports just because Apple aided in the successors to those many years ago is really quite laughable. In computers, everything transitions forward at some point. You'll need a lot of proof for me to agree that no one would have moved us to a better home computing UI at some point between 1984 and today had Apple not given the home user what it did.

You can argue they've done specific things net positively but there are flaws in most of what they've done -- as with any solution.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (4, Insightful)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016452)

Even if you give Apple credit for any of the above, how does one rule out the possibility that soon after another player wouldn't have stepped up to fill the vacuum with another tool or technology that would better suit us today in openness, quality or usability?

One cannot rule out that possibility, but you seem to imply that innovators don't deserve some modicum of respect.

I guess Newton wasn't all that cool since "someone else would have discovered gravity," and Einstein is a yawner because "the theory of General Relativity would have eventually been worked out."

Re:Were it not for Apple, (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016746)

One cannot rule out that possibility, but you seem to imply that innovators don't deserve some modicum of respect.

I guess Newton wasn't all that cool since "someone else would have discovered gravity," and Einstein is a yawner because "the theory of General Relativity would have eventually been worked out."

Um, well, I didn't say "no modicum of respect" ... I said they should be given credit for specific products at specific times.

I guess Newton wasn't all that cool since "someone else would have discovered gravity,"

So you're comparing the iPad and Apple products with the "discovery" of gravity or the theory of general relativity? I recognize innovation and I recognize science ... while there's some crossover there, I fail to see you analogy but let's run with it. Something about Newton really annoys me and that's the crediting of solely him with infinitesimal calculus. Why am I annoyed? No one ever talks about Leibniz [wikipedia.org] who, by most accounts, deserves at least partial credits for this work. Why, just last night I read of Emil Post's slightly earlier paper on what are essentially Turing Machines [wikipedia.org] than Turing's own 1936 paper (although Turing's was peer reviewed before Post's). Should not Post deserve some credit or recognition? Could there have been Posts during Apple's UI revolution?

That's all I'm asking. Your analogy falls apart, of course, when we consider that Apple was the first to proliferate such a UI (not necessarily invent it) at which point we move further apart from science and into the denigrating worlds of marketing and business.

Congratulations on pushing my point to the extreme though so it was easily defeated, especially when I called for respect of Apple's specific products at the time of their release.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017010)

So you're comparing the iPad and Apple products with the "discovery" of gravity or the theory of general relativity?

No, he is not. The whole point of an analogy is to highlight some part of an argument by exaggerating its implication in another scenario.

And whether or not Leibniz and Post deserve any credit or not has no bearing on the fact that Newton and Turing do.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016298)

Um..... please explain how Apple is responsible for the progression from floppies to hard drives, or from parallel ports to USB ports. The former seems a natural event since programs/OSes could no longer fit on floppies. The second is a result of the USB Consortium. To give Apple credit for this seems disingenuous, (especially since Apple would have preferred to kill USB in favor of Firewire).

Simple. The iMac shipped with USB everything. No floppy disk. No legacy ports (ADB, RS232, etc). Hell, I don't think the original ones came with a CD burner!

Back then yes you had USB. But you had two measly ports that pretty much sat empty because all the peripherals you could get were cheaper and easier to get in other connection formats. A keyboard and mouse were PS/2 because you could get both cheaply (a cheapass USB one would run you $50, a PS2 version of same for $20 or less). Printers used the parallel port. Modems either plugged into a serial port or inside your PC. And hard drives you had to install 'em yourself. You could get external Zips and Jaz drives, but unless you used SCSI, you put up with parallel ports. You transferred data via sneakernet.

And hell, USB had been around for 3+ years and peripherals were hard to come by. They were expensive and no one wanted them. OS support was iffy, too. Windows 95 OSR2 had basic keyboard/mouse support. Windows 98 same, but you could get drivers for mass storage. Basically non-existent until Windows 2000.

The Apple releases the iMac and gets you USB only. All of a sudden, a flood of peripherals started coming out for USB, and prices plunged. USB floppies, USB printers, keyboards and mice under $10. USB didn't mean overpriced anymore. And I scoffed at USB devices because they were overpriced - the USB versions were always much more expensive.

And Apple did like Firewire, because well, you could stick a hard disk on it and not have ot wait all day to transfer files like USB. (Remember, the iPod used Firewire purely because USB 1.1 was pathetically slow, and USB2.0 was on the horizon but would take a few more years to become popular and standard on every PC)

Re:Were it not for Apple, (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016568)

Sure, all the peripheral makers jumped on USB because they were afraid to lose that 5% market share that many had been ignoring for years.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016786)

as with the rest of the economy, it was a 5% with a disproportionate share of expendable wealth.

number of people matters less to a business. it's number of people with money.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016820)

Sure, all the peripheral makers jumped on USB because they were afraid to lose that 5% market share that many had been ignoring for years.

Yup. They did. Before iMac, there were no USB peripherals. As soon as the iMac came out, peripheral makers (Epson, Iomega, and Imation to count a few) announced the first USB printers and drives.

5% of the market is a lot if you can have it all to yourself for a few quarters. Or if you cede it to a competitor for a few quarters.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016956)

I think it was more of a decision to create products that were usable across all computers. At some point some hardware company had to make the plunge, and in these cases it happened to be Apple.

I've heard people say that accessories for Apple products tend to be a bit more expensive than no-name accessories, or that more

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

nnnnnnn (1611817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016716)

And it accomplished all this with it's huge 5% market share?

Re:Were it not for Apple, (3, Insightful)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016394)

I'll bite: I have owned precisely two Mac computers, both during the period between 1987 and 1993. And, the next time I've purchased an Apple product was a used iPhone from my friend about three months ago. I'm hardly what you'd call a loyal customer.

That said, I'm going to hazard a suspicion as to why we're crediting Apple for hard drives and use of USB: it'd be early adoption in the consumer market. Yes, hard drives have been around for a very very long time, but Apple likely deserves a lot of credit for packaging and integrating in a way that it had broad appeal.

Please keep in mind that this was in an era where some outfit named IBM questioned the need for a personal computer.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016612)

You are an EE, so you don't understand how markets work. Maybe you should go for a marketing degree instead.

Before Apple, there weren't a lot of mainstream PC makers that included USB. PS/2 and parallel were 'good enough'. Without a market, no peripheral manufacturer would make a USB peripheral; it would be a pointless waste of resources.

Once Apple introduced USB only Macs, it gave to segments of the industry (printers and scanners) a market...one that they've historically been a part of anyway. At that point the investment was required, not optional. As more printers and scanners got USB, more PCs got USB, etc. That's how a market is born. It to

The floppy, well, not so much. Apple was the first mainstream manufacturer to ship a CD-ROM drive standard, but the floppy's been around (and still will be around) for years.

Apple made USB happen with the iMac (3, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016614)

USB everything. No keyboard port, no mouse port. No serial ports. No slots. No floppy drive. It didn't even have Firewire, which Apple invented!

It just had USB, ethernet and audio out.

So suddenly peripheral makers started actually making USB peripherals. Serial ports, keyboards, floppy drives, mice, printers and a lot more.

Meanwhile over on the PC, PCs had USB but you didn't actually use it for anything. USB mice and keyboards didn't even work correctly in Windows 95 or 2000 (the keyboard didn't start working until late in boot so if you had a problem that required you to hit a key to type a path to find a driver you couldn't do it). Printers came after a while (parallel port connectors must have been expensive), widespread adoption of mice came a lot later and keyboards a long time after that.

Intel did invent USB, but its use on PCs was limited until after Apple had jumped in with both feet on the Mac side.

Apple was huge in pushing the floppy drive out the door, but it was really the USB memory stick that killed it if you ask me.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016732)

Apple certainly didn't invent USB, but they were the first to make it "cool" to use USB for all of your peripherals.

Apple wasn't the first to realize that floppies were no longer meeting the portable storage needs of users, but they were the first to make it "cool" to stop using the technology during a time when floppies were still in widespread use.

Apple has now made it "cool" to hate Flash even though I, and many others, have hated Flash for many years now. Whether or not it will ultimately kill Flash remains to be seen. As you said, they failed to make Firewire cool. They do not always succeed in making things cool. But they do have a pretty good track record.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016858)

Um..... please explain how Apple is responsible for the progression from floppies to hard drives, or from parallel ports to USB ports.

Well, Apple did play a role in both these technologies, although I think the previous poster overstates the case. Apple was probably the first major PC maker to stop including floppy drives by default on their machines. As such, they helped kill the floppy drive. Hard drives had long since been deployed widely at this point by everyone though, so they had little to do with the switch to hard drives. I suppose you could make an argument about the Mac classic being one of the first popular PC's with a hard drive, alongside their introduction of the GUI to the mainstream.

As for USB, well there's a lot more of a case for them. in 1998 USB existed, but the average user had never heard of it. Mice and keyboards all connected via parallel ports (or serial ports or ADB). USB was included on a few computers, but pretty much only for use with early webcams, and not many of them. The industry described USB adoption as a catch-22, in that peripheral makers could always reach a much larger market by using the old connectors and computer makers couldn't stop including them because they were needed for mice and keyboards.

In came Apple, who switched all external peripheral connectors to USB. It was the only option. Suddenly there was a guaranteed market for USB peripherals. This is why pretty much all the oldest USB peripherals you can find were in blue and clear plastic, to match the colors of the original iMac. Apple was the early adopter that was able to drive adoption of a standard that had stagnated and was being ignored.

The second is a result of the USB Consortium. To give Apple credit for this seems disingenuous, (especially since Apple would have preferred to kill USB in favor of Firewire).

Apple has never tried to kill USB. They have always pushed it as the best way to connect low power peripherals like keyboards and mice. They deploy it in parallel with Firewire which they think is the best way to connect hard drives, video cameras, etc. I happen to agree with them too. Some companies, however, wanted a cheaper alternative to Firewire and did not mind losing some of the capabilities, so they reworked USB to try to be an inferior clone of Firewire as well. Apple has been less than supportive of this, since they already have Firewire for that purpose and don't like to downgrade to inferior technologies until all the rest of the industry has done so and they have no real choice.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017028)

Apple has never tried to kill USB. They have always pushed it as the best way to connect low power peripherals like keyboards and mice. They deploy it in parallel with Firewire which they think is the best way to connect hard drives, video cameras, etc.

I absolutely agree. FireWire is overkill and expensive for low-bandwidth devices. Who wants to pay more for a keyboard with a FireWire controller? But it is absolutely essential in high-bandwidth devices such as the ones you mentioned.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (3, Informative)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016986)

There was this computer you might have heard of, it was called the iMac.

When it came out, USB was around but there were very few peripherals and people were still using floppies rather than CDs for everything.

The use of floppies for software distribution was already on the decline (though in most cases you still needed a rescue floppy for a windows machine) the iMac certainly helped speed that up and showed that a computer could be successful without a floppy (many laptops still came with a drive at that time).

As for USB though, the iMac caused a huge increase in the number of USB peripherals and had a significant impact on the market. You may hate apple but thats no reason to ignore the impact they had on the industry.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016058)

"The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard for peripheral devices. It began development in 1994 by a group of seven companies: Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel."

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

I have to strongly disagree with your assumption. Flash drives, burnable media, and USB-connected peripherals did away with floppies and parallel ports.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016064)

People are still bitter about swapping 15+ install floppies to update their programs (I assume some people remember the joy of a Photoshop install...). The magical power of 512k portable storage! People are bitter and their memories are long. Apple will rue the day they did away with that little bit of magic!

Or something like that... :)

Re:Were it not for Apple, (2, Informative)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016150)

LOL, oh noes! 15 whole floppies! Do you remember what it was like to try and install the Lotus suite back then? Or even Office when it first came out?

IIRC, the Lotus Suite had something like 64 disks.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (3, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016072)

I'm still trying to figure out why a bunch of people who obviously loath Apple products spend so much time discussing them.

Simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016228)

All it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing.

Re:Simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016486)

Yeah because making products that people want to buy is such an evil act. Boohoo. Go back to jacking off to the Emacs source code on your irrelevant OS playing music and videos in irrelevant audio/video formats.

Re:Simple... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016948)

Yeah but if he keeps doing it long enough, people will realize that he is right and that's how it should be done!

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016654)

I'm still trying to figure out why a discussion forum populated with a bunch of people who obviously loath Apple products keep getting presented with Apple stories.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32017042)

I'm still trying to figure out why a discussion forum populated with a bunch of people who obviously loath Apple products keep getting presented with Apple stories.

Especially when the Apple stories are organized into their own section, which can be easily hidden.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32017204)

I do like the progression from Flash/Facebook comments to Apple/USB/Floppies rantings. Offtopic, whhaaattt??

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016906)

it always seemed to be that a lot of discussion about apple products had the character of a lot of people who couldn't afford them trying to convince themselves that they didn't want the products.

there are similar conversations in other circles about BMWs and jewelry and such.

personally, I don't like everything apple does, but I prefer them to the alternatives.

Re:Were it not for Apple, (1)

wmthomsen (1799164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016324)

Ok so I will be able to vids from facebook ipad app..... Yet no Flash..... I could care less

Re:Were it not for Apple BS (0, Troll)

nnnnnnn (1611817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016402)

Bloody hell, who elected Apple the leader of the technology world? You have a company that dictates what it's customers can and can't use on their systems for it's own ends. And I have no idea why a sane and knowledgeable person would put up with this BS, let alone praise it. Let me decide what I can and can't use.

Re:Were it not for Apple BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32017048)

Bloody hell, who elected Apple the leader of the technology world? You have a company that dictates what it is customers can and can't use on their systems for it is own ends. And I have no idea why a sane and knowledgeable person would put up with this BS, let alone praise it. Let me decide what I can and can't use.

Maybe learn the basic rules of English and someone will explain it sometime.

Or maybe you can start by explaining precisely how Apple "dictates" what I can and can't do with my Macbook "for its own ends".

I wouldn't quite call it transcoding... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32015928)

The Flash video used on Facebook is already H.264 video and AAC audio, just in a FLV container. All they really need to do with these is remux everything. I'm assuming they'll just remux into an MP4 or MOV container.

Re:I wouldn't quite call it transcoding... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016082)

You're correct. Too many people seem to think that Flash is a specific type of codec, when in fact it is no such thing. It's actually about time that this barbaric development platform sees it's timely end so we can move on to better platforms.

Re:I wouldn't quite call it transcoding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016240)

I don't use Facebook so I don't know if they do, but Adobe actually recommends to use a MP4 container if you want to use H.264 and AAC in Flash, so maybe they just had to implement an interface compatible to the iPad.

BTW the videos on Facebook are encoded with x264. According to the developers they even use somewhat decent settings compared to Youtube.

Re:I wouldn't quite call it transcoding... (1)

jinushaun (397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016256)

Exactly. People who champion HTML 5 video don't really understand the difference between FLV and h.264... FLV is just a container and can support h.264. Facebook has had h.264 video since the iPhone 3G came out.

Re:I wouldn't quite call it transcoding... (1)

PhillC (84728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016300)

Actually, is it even in an FLV container? I don't watch video on Facebook, so I don't know. What I do know is that H.264 in a MOV or MP4 container, works just as well in Flash as H.264 in an FLV container. If historic content is in an FLV container, perhaps for new content they just changed the default container, so no remuxing is necessary at all.

Nothing like a biased article summary on /. (2, Interesting)

babycakes (564259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015964)

So you don't like Facebook. We get it. But would it have been so hard to write an unbiased summary? Some of us use Facebook and we a) actually don't mind it so much, and b) wouldn't really call it a "waste of time". Even if it does break sometimes :-)

Re:Nothing like a biased article summary on /. (0)

Target Practice (79470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016116)

/me marks babycakes on the list of people not to encounter in a dark alley...

Re:Nothing like a biased article summary on /. (2, Insightful)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016122)

It's a lot easier to bash something you don't like or don't understand.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Re:Nothing like a biased article summary on /. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016870)

Well, really it's easier to keep your mouth shut and do nothing, but it's not nearly as fun.

Re:Nothing like a biased article summary on /. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017144)

It's a lot easier to bash something you don't like

No! Say it isn't so!

Slow, Buggy, Crashprone (0, Troll)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32015982)

Quicktime player on windows.

Thanks, I'll be here all night, try the shrimp.

Re:Slow, Buggy, Crashprone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016372)

But... this isn't Windows. It's... it's not even a Microsoft product. It's not even a desktop computer? You're hurting me in my common sense and you're not logically following anything and you're must be stopped and you're I hate you. And I hate you plus I hate you. You are what is wrong with the world and I hate you and you must be ended.

Re:Slow, Buggy, Crashprone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016964)

Retard.

I'm sorry but.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32015984)

I just have to laugh at "the all-powerful iPad"
LMAO!

Re:I'm sorry but.... (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016178)

The anonymous coward watches high def movies on his netbook and never, ever has any problems.

Ever.

Re:I'm sorry but.... (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016980)

I've wondered about this... what's the point in watching movies in a resolution greater than the screen that you are watching them on?

Re:I'm sorry but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32017096)

Moron.

To Kill Flash (2, Informative)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016024)

it takes Facebook, Apple & Google.

MAYBE. Don't hold your breath.

News For Nerds: Taco Is Trolling His Own Website (3, Insightful)

Scholasticus (567646) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016028)

What's up with this nasty summary? "Social notworking site"? I have no interest in Facebook, but why do we get these unprofessional summaries in this news aggregator? Oh right. Slashdot. Never mind.

Re:News For Nerds: Taco Is Trolling His Own Websit (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016196)

The last couple of days one in three summaries seems to contain some rather cheap sniping at either Apple or Facebook. News for Nerds indeed. Well, it tends to create flamestorms which surely are good for page hits and ad revenue.

Re:News For Nerds: Taco Is Trolling His Own Websit (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016490)

Slashdot hasn't been Taco's site for some time now. He's solely trolling for page hits for his superior's ad revenue.

Here we go again (2, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016162)

The whole hype about the fucking iPad. And about Flash. And about Facebook. C'mon. Get a life, cmdrTaco !

I guess this will be the solution for HTML5 (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016188)

I can see this sort of solution work for HTML5 as well. Letting servers transcode video files will result in all users on all platforms having access to all video content, without the need for a default codec that everyone can agree upon. It will require massive computing power, but there are already services which provide this functionality, like Bits on the Run [bitsontherun.com] .

Of course it would be a lot nicer if we could agree upon a codec, but I don't see it actually happening though.

Video-bah. Call me when they port Farmville (3, Funny)

edremy (36408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016202)

then I'll start to believe that Flash might die.

Re:Video-bah. Call me when they port Farmville (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016868)

then I'll start to believe that Flash might die.

Time to start believing [joystiq.com] !

OK, yeah, it's not definitive, just speculation...

Why should they transcode the video? (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016230)

Why should they transcode the video? I mean the flash plugin already play h264, and MP4 also contains use so no need to transcode. It is simply a case of serving the files directly to the browser, instead of having a flash plugin reading the file. (Been there, done that there is no reason to transcode anything)

Apple bashers or no... (2)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016262)

This article summary is full of flamebait language. I could start getting into the flamewar but honestly I'd just rather point it out.

By the way, I find it amusing that everyone thinks Flash is God's child now. I thought we all hated flash? Isn't HTML 5 better?

Safari's own support of HTML5 audio/video bites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016294)

I tried to make a flash-free site with video and audio and gave up because of Apple's own Safari is not ready for HTML5. It preloads all HTML5 audio/video on a page, regardless of the tag's autobuffer/preload settings. Easiest way to break an iPad is to load a page with 30+ HTML5 audio/video tags on it, and watch it try to load hundreds of MBs of content at once. Facebook might get around that with JavaScript or something, but even then, Safari still often plays audio at the wrong frequency.

Pander, much? (5, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016316)

A website implemented some UI changes to accommodate a popular mobile device. Stop the presses!

Re:Pander, much? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016766)

It's not even that. It's "A website implemented some UI changes which make its content more open and available to a wider range of devices, including several popular mobile devices."

The summary is just snarky flamebait.

Great excuse. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016364)

But I can not believe it is just for the iPad. OK it may sell well but overall it must be more of the iPad having a problem not being able to play video from Facebook than the other way around.

There will be more reasons behind it. The iPhone would be more reasonable already (many more sold). Or maybe Facebook themselves want to get rid of Flash but don't want to say it directly?

All and all it's a great excuse. The iPad is high in the minds of many people, so it's easy to ride the wave and to "blame the iPad" in order to dump Flash.

Re:Great excuse. (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017066)

I think it was done because it was a fairly simple fix to allow the largest possible number of devices to communicate with their platform.

This story is a joke and nothing directly Apple. (1)

BlackBloq (702158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016498)

They moved to H.264. This codec is not owned by Apple and Apple has nothing directly to do with it. Therefore the this drivel is just about recoding for Apple is a sham. SWF is less supported than H.264 in devices that actually play video (hardware based). So the title should read "Facebook changes to H.264, supporting video devices around the world instead of SWF, a mostly web based video format." Before you try and contesting anything I have written try researching a bit, to see how many video players (hand held, DVD/Blueray disk players,etc) around the world play SWF and now compare the devices with H.264?

Re:This story is a joke and nothing directly Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016940)

Devices that can play H.264: a boatload.
Devices that can play SWF: half a handful.

Not called HTML 5? (2, Interesting)

kabloom (755503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016512)

Why is Facebook's technique not called HTML5? I guess they're not serving it up to everybody, but when they detect an iPad, are they purposely avoiding the video tag and using the object tag instead?

Apple is a tool of the devil (1, Offtopic)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016590)

Just ask Eve or her witless companion, Adam.

Re:Apple is a tool of the devil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32016898)

No, my friend, you have misread your Bible/Milton. Apple is a tool of God, as is the devil/serpent/Steve Jobs.

The fact that he uses Apple to test his children, then as an excuse to punish them relentlessly for eternity shows just how good a parent he is. Yes, Jesus brings a new covenant with the old bastard, but it's not like his death on the cross meant that women would be relived of their curse to bear children in pain, or that the snake would be allowed to walk again.

I'll take the Apple any day, if it pisses off a great guy like him. That said, the iPad is still a massive letdown and the restrictions Apple puts on what you can run on it make it seem a lot like the garden of Eden -- a closed place where we have to do what we're told and live under fear of massive punishment if we misbehave.

Notion Ink's Adam (0, Offtopic)

FathomIT (464334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32016734)

I hope the iPad is trumped by Notion Ink's Adam tablet (due in June I think). 16+ hours of battery full HD...Android. Sounds like a winner...

Good riddance to Flash (1)

dr_leviathan (653441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32017084)

As someone who uses debian GNU/Linux on powerPC architecture (no Flash support from Adobe) my online experience will be much better if fewer websites used Flash. Good riddance, I say.
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