Google to Take Plugin Approach to HTML5 Video Where Necessary



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The HTML5 video tag is a joke.

Do you want to know why so many people use Flash for video? It's because Flash is basically universal (not counting the iPhone/iPad but no one gives a crap about those anyways).  If I make a video using Flash, it will work on any device that supports Flash.

The problem with the HTML5 video tag is one which is typical of any "standard" designed by committee.  By trying to appease everyone, the W3C has ensured that the video tag does nothing particularly well. The W3C has no spine.  If they did, they would have mandated a video codec and told Apple and Microsoft to shove it.

As a company that is offering video content on my website, why would I use the HTML5 video tag, and have to worry about offering video in multiple codec formats (and use more costly storage space) or transcoding video formats on the fly (using valuable CPU time) when I can just offer it in Flash and not have to worry about whether a given device supports Codec A or Codec B?



This makes a lot of sense to me. If Google were to support H.264 natively in HTML they'd be supporting the inclusion of closed-source tech into brand new standards. Compare that to supporting Flash, which is just supporting closed-source tech in old, legacy standards for the purpose of compatibility with existing content. It's two totally different decisions made for totally different reasons. The only reason why Google is getting flak for this is because articles about Google are always contraversial and there are more than a couple of tech sites that absolutely love to cash in on the increased traffic from their inflammatory "opinion" pieces. I appreciate MaxPC's relatively unbiased coverage of stories like this. It's why you guys continue to be my first source for technology news.



They already support "inclusion of closed-source tech into brand new standards".  They still have AAC and MP3 support for example built into their browser.  Both are still present and are in the same boat as h264.  Google is just being a hypocrite trying to push their own alternative technology.



It's not really the same situation. MP3 is all over the place. If they decide not to support it, a lot of people will be impacted. The same cannot be said for not supporting H.264's inclusion into the <video> tag, as that will impact no one right now. What it will do is force HTML forward into open-scource alternatives. When HTML5 is adopted across the industry, it won't be loaded with closed-source tech. 



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