We did know that Google is really in love with WebM since it added support for it and its codec, VP8 in Chrome. Now, Google is ready to take it one step further and begun a huge effort of converting their entire video portfolio (and we have no idea how many terrabytes of data that is – 6 years of uploads to WebM as well. Higher priority will have the files with more views and, like in everything else, the top 10% will get 90% of traffic. Until now, about 30% of the files are already converted through the usage of a cloud video processing infrastructure that can use massively parallel computer networks to spread the converting tasks around. Read more...
Yesterday, Google released its "Bali" version of VP8 software then announced a new Cayuga version set to ship late in the second quarter of 2011. The software doesn't change the VP8 technology, a codec that defines a method of encoding and decoding video, but works faster and does a better job than the preceding public version of VP8, called Aylesbury and released in November.
When encoding video with VP8's best quality setting on a computer with an x86 processor, "Bali runs 4.5x as fast than our initial release and 1.35x faster than Aylesbury," said John Luther, WebM product manager, in a blog post yesterday. A lesser improvement comes with the good quality setting. The new version also works better on ARM chips, particularly multicore ARM chips. That's important given the growing use of video telephony and the dominance of ARM processors in smartphones and tablets. Read more...
Google announced that it plans to remove support for the H.264 video codec from its browsers, in favor of the WebM codec that they recently made free. Since then, there's been a lot of discussion about how this change will affect the Web going forward, as HTML5 standards like the video tag mature.
Mike Jazayeri ( Product Manager ) says:
"We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
These changes will occur in the next couple months but we are announcing them now to give content publishers and developers using HTML <video> an opportunity to make any necessary changes to their sites."