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Sting in the tail for web's video codec search

Mar 22, 2010, 12:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"The search for the next-generation video codec for the open web has reached an impasse. Few of the options are truly open or free, and those that are free are not being pushed by the major forces.

"Apple's iPad, like the iPhone, will not support Flash video for technical and commercial reasons. Instead, Apple has pledged support for HTML 5 and the H.264 format.

"This move has been praised in many places for apparently showing support for web standards in the shape of HTML 5 and for shunning the proprietary format in the shape of Flash, which is owned by Adobe.

"Conversely, the developers of the free software browser Firefox take the position that they cannot — and will not — support the H.264 format because the codec is patent- and royalty-encumbered, which inhibits its use with free and open-source software.

"Although H.264 has some technical advantages and has been recognised as an industry standard for implementations of HTML 5, a shift to the format could have a sting in the tail for the open web."

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