Vimeo Launches HTML5 Video Beta

| News

Online video sharing site Vimeo has launched a test program for showing videos via HTML5 instead of requiring Adobe Flash. Vimeo's announcement follows a similar move from YouTube, making it the second video sharing service this week to launch an HTML5 beta program.

"The new HTML5 playback option was developed to answer requests from Vimeo members who wanted a playback option that would allow faster loading times and smoother video playback in supported browsers, namely Chrome and Safari," said Vimeo spokesperson Scott Heath.

The HTML5 standard supports video and audio playback without requiring users to install Adobe Flash on their computer.

According to the company, about 90 percent of the videos uploaded in the past year will be compatible with the HTML5 beta test.

If Vimeo is pleased with the results of its test phase, expect to see the HTML5 test phase to extend to additional content -- and if initial reactions to YouTube's HTML5 beta tests are any indication, users will be more than happy to trade in their Flash Player for HTML5-compliant video.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

13 Comments Leave Your Own

Ryan

Is this another fake HTML 5 stunt that uses proprietary codecs to give us just another non-standard format that’s not open to everyone for everyone on the internet to deal with?\

Why get rid of Flash if that’s the case?

jbelkin

Good riddance to FLASH, the animated GIF fake bling of the 21 century. And good riddance to Adobe with their virus ridden carrier software.

Ryan

No pint getting rid of Flash when you’re just going to replace it with something just as bed.

Maybe naked h.264 files are technically better than Flash, but imposing them on the internet is still just as ethically bankrupt. It’s still a smash and grab by large corporations, a payola scam that they can foist onto Free Software and smaller companies making browsers who may not necessarily be able to afford unreasonable licensing. What are users of Firefox and Opera and dozens of other browsers supposed to do? Stop using Youtube? Go grab a browser that’s under the direct control of a multi-billion dollar multinational conglomerate which spies on you and forces you to make an unethical choice to use their product to get on the formerly “open” internet.

Yes I want to see the death of Flash and Silverlight, and all closed and patented user-unfriendly formats. Let’s not just solve half the problem here, let’s solve all of it. Let’s use Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis.

vasic

Ogg Theora? Ogg Vorbis? What would that be? (obviously, a quick google revealed them to be obscure open-source codecs).

The point is, what would be the argument against an MPEG codec (such as H264)? It is an open standard, highly inter-operable, seems to be working fine and is supported by virtually everyone.

Brian

The problem with H264 is that there are patent royalties attached. Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis do not require royalties. An important point for independent developers.

Ryan

Ogg Vorbis and Theora are way more than just open sourced, they are in the public domain and not encumbered with patents.

As Brian correctly noted, you are free to make a player that supports them without owing anyone royalties, and users are free to encode and decode them without needing patent licenses.

MPEG-4 is a pseudo-standard, some international industry group might standardize it, but it still makes no sense to depend or use it being as it is handcuffware enforced by imaginary property patents, copywrights, and trademarks which interfere with your fair use rights.

Ryan

A side note being that I won’t buy a player that does not support Vorbis, and there are quite a few to choose from, most presenting better value for money than Apple in hardware specs alone.

vasic

I am always fascinated by those who so passionately champion obscure technological solutions where the primary merit isn’t ubiquity, interoperability or efficiency, but free availability.

There is a reason why majority of mainstream playback hardware of today doesn’t bother supporting ogg codecs. There simply isn’t any interest out there for them.

Ryan

If all you care about is how many pieces of crap it works with, you may as well not leave behind MP3.

Vorbis is technologically superior not only to MP3 but to AAC. Backed up by double-blind listening tests.

The iPod, as miserably dull as it is, can be nuked and paved over with Rockbox if you don’t want to get a better player with native Vorbis support from another company that’s not all flash and no substance. (Crapple)

Ryan

Oh, if you need me, I’ll be out trying to get herpes. It’s ubiquitous so it much be good stuff. B-)

vasic

Well, that was hilarious!!! I’d love to meet an actual person who would install some totally obscure, clunky, unintuitive OS over a perfectly good iPod in order to enable support for even more obscure audio codec.

MP3 is perfectly functional and adequate for the purpose. AAC much more so, though, since it saves some space. WMA/WMV probably just as functional, although since they are a property of one of the most sinister companies on the planet, I’d say they’re out of the question.

As for herpes, I’d say, iPod is likely more ubiquitous than herpes (not even sure how common is it anyway).

It is quite admirable to see such passion for a cause, but at some point, one needs to turn on reality.

Ryan

The reality is that I don’t want to have to use massive files to get any kind of decent quality.

MP3 sounds pretty bad even at a constant bitrate of 320, WMA is even worse than MP3.

AAC is slightly better than MP3 in that you can probably end up near 256 and get reasonable quality. (Hence why iTunes uses that)

Ogg Vorbis comes in and blows away 256k AAC at q5 (around 160k), not only having a much better frequency range (20 hz to 20.2 Khz compared to AAC imposing a lowpass filter around 18 Khz even at 256), but also better block switching than AAC leading to much less smearing of transients.

But the great thing about it is that you don’t have to take my word, encode a CD using AoTuv’s Vorbis encoder and compare it to iSheep AAC yourself. B-)

Ryan

Back to the implementation of Vorbis, you can find it on many nice and reasonably affordable portable players (iPod isn’t either), and anyone who wants to make a piece of software is free to implement it.

This is why Vorbis is widely supported in almost every media player that isn’t Windows Media Player or iTunes.

What’s funny is that Vorbis is possible to encode and play back on any OS, whereas WMA and AAC simply aren’t due to patent encumbrance. And even when you do find a decoder it doesn’t mean it supports all profiles. I don’t think that WMA Pro or Lossless plays on a Mac, and Windows Media Player chokes on HE-AAC and has no understanding of AAC noise substitution or spectral band replication.

Ethically, saying AAC or WMA are somehow acceptable because the legal problems associated with them don’t visibly and clearly affect you at the moment, is a lot like saying we should not care that the US government has torture facilities and illegal detention centers because they are not in plain field of view.

Watch what happens (and it will happen) when MPEG-LA decides to go hit up not only browser makers for undue royalties, but also the people streaming in MPEG-4 formats.

To write off a not only technologically superior, but a more ethical standard just because you’ve got your head up the rear end of a particular company shows a great ignorance on your part.

Log-in to comment