Thursday, March 18, 2010

H.264 or OGG for HTML 5

It's a tough decision to choose between using H.264 or OGG as the next HTML 5 standards. Both side have their pros and cons. H.264's main weakness is it's patents despite it being free for use. OGG is not encumbered by patents and is ope source and really free but it's not as high quality and capable as H.264.

I think here's some way to settle the problem.
  1. Just keep using Flash and remove the notion of HTML 5 video tag for now (I really hate it but it's the most practical one)
  2. H.264 to open up and change it's patents or remove it  (It ain't gonna happen for a million years)
  3. Get more brains together and help develop and better OGG to the point it's ready (Very possible but how many are willing to spend hours doing so ?)
  4. Get the Standards body to create a patent free and truely free and open source video format combining the good points of H.264 and OGG (It's not very practical since you are going to build from the ground up again...but a good idea) 
Either way, I doubt using HTML 5 video 'goodies' would actually kill Flash as it has more practical functions. You can build an entire web using Flash (which H.264 nor OGG) could do. I think let's face it, it's a very steep uphill battle since Flash have been integrated so deeply into our lives. It's sad that Flash is encumbered by all the patents and closed up but that's a fact of life we have to get used to as long as there's no solution for HTML 5 video 'goodies'.

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