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[whatwg] Codecs for <audio> and <video>

From: Lino Mastrodomenico <l.mastrodomenico@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 11:24:09 +0200
Message-ID: <cc93256f0907010224naa2a81an50c25085f1cab141@mail.gmail.com>
[Maciej, sorry for sending this to you twice]

2009/7/1 Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com>:
> It's not clear if a similar virtuous cycle would repeat for other codecs.
> Might happen, but it took a lot of industry coordination around H.264 to
> build the ecosystem around it that exists today. So I don't think it's
> reasonable to assume that hardware implementations will just appear.

Even without any apparent "industry coordination" around Vorbis, many
portable music players (not the ones produced by Apple, admittedly)
can play Ogg audio files. Note that many of them do *not* say this on
the tin: e.g. my cheap noname "MP4 player" is advertised as being able
to play only MP3 and WMA audio and AMV video files, but it also
supports Ogg/Vorbis just fine.

When Vorbis files reached a small critical mass a few years ago many
hardware manufacturers without much fanfare started supporting it.
Having a free implementation with a very liberal licence may have
helped.

This player is also a good example of how some DSPs can be used for
different tasks: its DSP is exactly the same that has been used only
for MP3 decoding in earlier players, but in these new models it
decodes the video part of AMV (a modified MJPEG). Obviously I'm not
suggesting that this particular model can also decode Theora (the main
CPU is an 8-bit Z80 at 60 MHz max).

Anyway I think that the spec can be made more informative for web
authors by pointing out (in a non-normative section) the fact that
there's one and only one format that can be played by all browser that
support the video element: Ogg/Theora+Vorbis. Safari can play Theora
if the Xiph Quicktime component is installed, while Firefox cannot
play H.264.

-- 
Lino Mastrodomenico
Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2009 02:24:09 UTC

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