[whatwg] Codecs (was Re: Apple Proposal for Timed Media Elements)

vladimir at pobox.com vladimir at pobox.com
Fri Mar 23 00:09:41 PDT 2007

I actually agree with this -- I think that MPEG-4 already has lots of heavy weight behind it and is quite a good format with lots of existing implementations.  Theora/Vorbis are definitely the upstarts in this; they should live and die on their technical merits and adoption, not because of philosophical (i.e. open source) reasons.  Personally, I think that Theora is quite strong quality-wise, but it's severely lacking on the adoption front.

To that end, I'd suggest that the spec not specifically require Theora support, but instead /suggest/ that implementations support Theora, MPEG-4, or both.

I don't agree with the earlier comment that Theora would be good for 'everyone' -- there are far more content producers out there with MPEG-4 software, hardware, and knowledge than there are Theora content producers.  Specifying Theora as the baseline could just as easily have the opposite effect than intended: content authors could simply say 'thanks, but no thanks' and continue using their plugin based solutions.  I think that is a far, far worse alternative.

    - Vlad

Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless  

-----Original Message-----
From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 13:49:00 
To:Håkon Wium Lie <howcome at opera.com>
Cc:whatwg at lists.whatwg.org, robert at ocallahan.org
Subject: Re: [whatwg] Codecs (was Re: Apple Proposal for Timed Media	Elements)

On Mar 22, 2007, at 2:16 AM, Håkon Wium Lie wrote:

>> I think having a single baseline codec will make <video> immensely  
>> more
>> attractive to authors than it otherwise would be. I also believe  
>> from the
>> point of view of Mozilla (or any other open source project) Theora  
>> is vastly
>> more attractive than MPEG. If we don't ship MPEG and other vendors  
>> don't
>> ship Theora, then the <video> element will be hobbled from the start.
> Yes, a baseline format seems good for everyone -- users, authors, open
> source and closed source browsers -- except for vendors pushing a
> proprietary media platform.

I think you are implying that Apple's arguments against Ogg as a  
baseline are made in bad faith. That is an unfair implication.

To the extent we have a media platform we want to promote, it is  
MPEG-4, a format and codec family that is an ISO standard. This  
format family is available in many hardware and software  
implementations, including open source implementations. While it is  
covered by patents, you certainly cannot call it proprietary.

Our concerns about Ogg are legitimate, and should be addressed  
directly rather than insinuating that we have ulterior motives.


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