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Brief history of video compression

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  • Jay dedman
    Nothing groundbreaking here if you re familiar with video compression, but cool to see it all in one place.
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 23, 2009
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      Nothing groundbreaking here if you're familiar with video compression,
      but cool to see it all in one place.
      http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2009/12/from-cinepak-to-h265-a-survey-of-video-compression.ars

      For people still new to what video compression is, it's a cool
      article. Video compression (especially proprietary) is a bottleneck
      with online video.

      Jay

      --
      http://ryanishungry.com
      http://twitter.com/jaydedman
      917 371 6790
    • Richard Amirault
      ... From: Jay dedman (snip) ... Just the opposite ... video compression is a boon to online video. If there were no video compression there would not be any
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 4, 2010
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jay dedman"
        (snip)

        > Video compression (especially proprietary) is a bottleneck
        > with online video.

        Just the opposite ... video compression is a boon to online video. If there
        were no video compression there would not be any online video.

        Richard Amirault
        Boston, MA, USA
        http://n1jdu.org
        http://bostonfandom.org
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hf9u2ZdlQ
      • Joly MacFie
        I think what Jay was trying to say is that the development of free and open video codecs is hamstrung by patented algorithms. joly ... -- ... Joly MacFie 917
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 4, 2010
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          I think what Jay was trying to say is that the development of free and
          open video codecs is hamstrung by patented algorithms.

          joly



          On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 8:10 AM, Richard Amirault <ramirault@...> wrote:
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Jay dedman"
          > (snip)
          >
          >> Video compression (especially proprietary) is a bottleneck
          >> with online video.
          >
          > Just the opposite ... video compression is a boon to online video. If there
          > were no video compression there would not be any online video.
          >
          > Richard Amirault
          > Boston, MA, USA
          > http://n1jdu.org
          > http://bostonfandom.org
          > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hf9u2ZdlQ
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >



          --
          ---------------------------------------------------------------
          Joly MacFie 917 442 8665 Skype:punkcast
          WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
          http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
          ---------------------------------------------------------------
        • Kevin Lim
          This article is awesome to me. Back in the early 90s, I was helping my dad s publishing shop produce multimedia CD-ROMs. Breaking the 320x240 vidoe size
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 4, 2010
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            This article is awesome to me. Back in the early 90s, I was helping my dad's
            publishing shop produce multimedia CD-ROMs. Breaking the 320x240 vidoe size
            barrier was a dream for me, until one day I realized that pixel-doubling in
            Macromedia Director didn't make the video look too bad, and it was immersive
            to boot!

            To help Jay explain the "bottleneck", if we look at production in the lens
            of video media literacy, the digital divide would look like this:

            [image: 4244864841_363a04f890_o_d.jpg]

            I've used this chart in my classes... it's from "Knowledge of Digital Video
            Manipulation Techniques and its Effect on the Preceived Credibility of
            Television News" by Arie Stavchansky (2006). The entire dissertation (PDF)
            is available at:
            http://webspace.utexas.edu/cherwitz/www/ie/samples/stavchansky.pdf



            Kevin Lim
            Cyberculturalist
            http://theory.isthereason.com
            This email is: [ ] bloggable [X] ask first [ ] private
            email locator: ╔╗╔═╦╗ ║╚╣║║╚╗ ╚═╩═╩═╝





            On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM, Joly MacFie <joly@...> wrote:

            >
            >
            > I think what Jay was trying to say is that the development of free and
            > open video codecs is hamstrung by patented algorithms.
            >
            > joly
            >
            >
            > On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 8:10 AM, Richard Amirault <ramirault@...<ramirault%40verizon.net>>
            > wrote:
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: "Jay dedman"
            > > (snip)
            > >
            > >> Video compression (especially proprietary) is a bottleneck
            > >> with online video.
            > >
            > > Just the opposite ... video compression is a boon to online video. If
            > there
            > > were no video compression there would not be any online video.
            > >
            > > Richard Amirault
            > > Boston, MA, USA
            > > http://n1jdu.org
            > > http://bostonfandom.org
            > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hf9u2ZdlQ
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            > --
            > ----------------------------------------------------------
            > Joly MacFie 917 442 8665 Skype:punkcast
            > WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
            > http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
            > ----------------------------------------------------------
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jay dedman
            ... Very very true. Improved video compression has helped spread web vide the last 10 years. My more specific point is simple this: video codecs have gotten
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 8, 2010
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              > > Video compression (especially proprietary) is a bottleneck
              > > with online video.
              >
              > Just the opposite ... video compression is a boon to online video. If there
              > were no video compression there would not be any online video.

              Very very true. Improved video compression has helped spread web vide
              the last 10 years.

              My more specific point is simple this: video codecs have gotten
              better...but the fight between the proprietary standards is hampering
              online video from further spreading. The idea of people editing video
              like they edit a text document is still a long ways away. Why?

              Because every platform uses different standards. Its difficult for a
              PC and mac to trade video files without a lot of conversion nonsense.
              Flash is pretty universal for playback but useless for editing. Open
              Source community cant really build good video editors without
              "stealing" compression technology. I cant play Flash videos on my
              iPhone bcause Apple doesnt want to pay Adobe for the rights for the
              codec playback. These are problems.

              Jay




              --
              http://ryanishungry.com
              http://momentshowing.net
              http://twitter.com/jaydedman
              917 371 6790
            • Mars Forest
              ... Well Marshall Mcluhan would certainly have had an answer to that question. However, not to digress... forest mars -- mnn: you re what s on! http://mnn.org
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 8, 2010
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                Jay dedman wrote:
                >
                >
                > The idea of people editing video
                > like they edit a text document is still a long ways away. Why?
                >

                Well Marshall Mcluhan would certainly have had an answer to that question.

                However, not to digress...


                forest mars
                --
                mnn: you're what's on!
                http://mnn.org


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Richard Amirault
                ... From: Jay dedman (snip) ... My understandsng is that Apple is too scared to run Flash on the iPhone because it s too powerful. Apple specifically
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 8, 2010
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Jay dedman"
                  (snip)
                  > I cant play Flash videos on my
                  > iPhone bcause Apple doesnt want to pay Adobe for the rights for the
                  > codec playback. These are problems.

                  My understandsng is that Apple is too scared to run Flash on the iPhone
                  because it's too powerful. Apple specifically prohibits developers from
                  using Flash on the iPhone.

                  Richard Amirault
                  Boston, MA, USA
                  http://n1jdu.org
                  http://bostonfandom.org
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7hf9u2ZdlQ
                • Mars Forest
                  ... While there has been much rampant speculation, and Apple has said/implied different things at different times, I m inclined to believe them when they
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 8, 2010
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                    Richard Amirault wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: "Jay dedman"
                    > (snip)
                    > > I cant play Flash videos on my
                    > > iPhone bcause Apple doesnt want to pay Adobe for the rights for the
                    > > codec playback. These are problems.
                    >
                    > My understandsng is that Apple is too scared to run Flash on the iPhone
                    > because it's too powerful. Apple specifically prohibits developers from
                    > using Flash on the iPhone.
                    >
                    While there has been much rampant speculation, and Apple has
                    said/implied different things at different times, I'm inclined to
                    believe them when they indicate the client-side cpu requirements, which
                    is one of the things that makes flash so appealing, were a decisive factor.

                    Not that it can be reduced to a single "deal-breaker" and not that Apple
                    doesn't have plenty of other examples of taking their toys and going
                    home when they can't get what they want (ZFS comes to mind.)


                    cheers,


                    forest mars
                    --
                    mnn: you're what's on!
                    http://mnn.org




                    >
                    >



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Joly MacFie
                    Beg pardon, Forest - are you suggesting that flash is more cpu-intensive than baseline h.264? Is that so? joly ... -- ... Joly MacFie 917 442 8665
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 8, 2010
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                      Beg pardon, Forest - are you suggesting that flash is more
                      cpu-intensive than baseline h.264?

                      Is that so?

                      joly

                      On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 5:37 PM, Mars Forest <forest@...> wrote:

                      > While there has been much rampant speculation, and Apple has
                      > said/implied different things at different times, I'm inclined to
                      > believe them when they indicate the client-side cpu requirements, which
                      > is one of the things that makes flash so appealing, were a decisive factor.
                      >



                      --
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                      Joly MacFie 917 442 8665 Skype:punkcast
                      WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
                      http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                    • forestmars@mnn.org
                      ... I was referring to the flash player in general and wasn t suggesting the flash container itself requires significantly more resources on the client side.
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 9, 2010
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                        Joly MacFie wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Forest - are you suggesting that flash is more
                        > cpu-intensive than baseline h.264?
                        >
                        > Is that so?
                        >

                        I was referring to the flash player in general and wasn't suggesting the
                        flash container itself requires significantly more
                        resources on the client side. (Also, flash is a container format; 264 is
                        a compression format, so not completely sure what your question is.)

                        Even so, when Adobe/Apple rolled out their 'compromise' last year, there
                        was the usual hang-wringing about battery life & browser performance;
                        although to my mind it's not clear how a custom rolled app that plays
                        flash video from a specific site (eg. Hulu) would *necessarily* realise
                        significant performance gains. (At just 5MB the whole binary itself weighs
                        in on the low side of a typical app, and not likely the app porter is
                        going to improve its performance.)

                        But then I haven't built an app such as that, myself… yet.


                        stay tuned,

                        forest mars
                        --
                        mnn.org
                        http://mnn.org
                      • elbowsofdeath
                        I suspect there were both performance, user experience and business/control freak reasons not to put flash on the iphone. Certainly on the desktop flash was
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 11, 2010
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                          I suspect there were both performance, user experience and business/control freak reasons not to put flash on the iphone.

                          Certainly on the desktop flash was very cpu-intensive and older mobile lite versions of flash were not very good. However Adobe have been improving on this, and there is a general move towards gpu-accelerated video decoding which takes the load of the cpu on both desktops and mobile devices. Its especially important on mobiles for battery life and because the cpus often are not powerful enough to do decent video playback on their own. Flash has been getting better at hardware-acelerated stuff but Apple still want to do things their way.

                          Apple also probably wanted to be careful with the user experience in terms of things like multitouch and screen size, so they didnt want people running flashbased apps that were not iphone specific.

                          But I would think they also wanted to make sure that iphone developers use Apple stuff rather than flash, there are a few commercial reasons for this, and the success of the app store will make them even keener to persue these sorts of strategies.

                          On the desktop Apple have also been dong all sorts of things that could increase the chances of flash becoming obsolete in the longterm, eg canvas tags, downloadable fonts, css transforms & transitions, webGL. Apple have mostly been doing this the right way, by giving these things to other standards bodies to ratify and make part of web standards that goes way beyond Apple, although Apple have not helped the chances of the html5 video tag becoming a big success due to the standard codec issues.

                          If I was forced to make a prediction Id say that flash will slowly fade out over the next 2-5 years as web standards & browsers improve.

                          Cheers

                          Steve Elbows

                          --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, forestmars@... wrote:
                          >
                          > Joly MacFie wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Forest - are you suggesting that flash is more
                          > > cpu-intensive than baseline h.264?
                          > >
                          > > Is that so?
                          > >
                          >
                          > I was referring to the flash player in general and wasn't suggesting the
                          > flash container itself requires significantly more
                          > resources on the client side. (Also, flash is a container format; 264 is
                          > a compression format, so not completely sure what your question is.)
                          >
                          > Even so, when Adobe/Apple rolled out their 'compromise' last year, there
                          > was the usual hang-wringing about battery life & browser performance;
                          > although to my mind it's not clear how a custom rolled app that plays
                          > flash video from a specific site (eg. Hulu) would *necessarily* realise
                          > significant performance gains. (At just 5MB the whole binary itself weighs
                          > in on the low side of a typical app, and not likely the app porter is
                          > going to improve its performance.)
                          >
                          > But then I haven't built an app such as that, myself… yet.
                          >
                          >
                          > stay tuned,
                          >
                          > forest mars
                          > --
                          > mnn.org
                          > http://mnn.org
                          >
                        • elbowsofdeath
                          h.264 tends to be more cpu intensive than older flash video codecs. Playing h.264 via a flash wrapper in a browser can use a lot more cpu than playing it via
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 11, 2010
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                            h.264 tends to be more cpu intensive than older flash video codecs. Playing h.264 via a flash wrapper in a browser can use a lot more cpu than playing it via native operating system video player/browser plugin. But the latest beta of flash player features significantly lower cpu use when playing video, and various computers & operating systems are tending to shift h.264 playback to the gpu rather than cpu, and flash is trying to do this also.

                            As for the broader question of video compression, h.264 is quite firmly entrenched now, and for most people it will continue to be the best option as they are not affected by licensing issues. If you sell your videos and they are less than 12 minutes long or you have less than 100,000 users, its not an issue. If you give awa your videos then its not an issue, although the license does change at the end of 2010, it probably still wont affect many people unless they have really big audiences, its the usual story of them only targeting people with revenue who could reasonably afford to pay. If you make hardware or software that does encoding, or if you are offering a video hosting site on the internet, it could be an issue.

                            And as even Microsoft have had to come to the h.264 party, I dont think there is going to be a shift away from h.264 any time soon.

                            Cheers

                            Steve Elbows

                            --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, Joly MacFie <joly@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Beg pardon, Forest - are you suggesting that flash is more
                            > cpu-intensive than baseline h.264?
                            >
                            > Is that so?
                            >
                            > joly
                            >
                            > On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 5:37 PM, Mars Forest <forest@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > > While there has been much rampant speculation, and Apple has
                            > > said/implied different things at different times, I'm inclined to
                            > > believe them when they indicate the client-side cpu requirements, which
                            > > is one of the things that makes flash so appealing, were a decisive factor.
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --
                            > ---------------------------------------------------------------
                            > Joly MacFie 917 442 8665 Skype:punkcast
                            > WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
                            > http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
                            > ---------------------------------------------------------------
                            >
                          • adammercado@att.net
                            Flash causes Safari to crash at least once a day for me. I would hate (and my guess is so would Apple) to have that experience on my mobile browser, where page
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jan 12, 2010
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                              Flash causes Safari to crash at least once a day for me. I would hate (and my guess is so would Apple) to have that experience on my mobile browser, where page and boot speeds are significantly reduced.

                              So I for one dont mind there being no flash on the iPhone, although Hulu would be nice. But thats what the SDK is for I suppose.

                              --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, forestmars@... wrote:
                              >
                              > Joly MacFie wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Forest - are you suggesting that flash is more
                              > > cpu-intensive than baseline h.264?
                              > >
                              > > Is that so?
                              > >
                              >
                              > I was referring to the flash player in general and wasn't suggesting the
                              > flash container itself requires significantly more
                              > resources on the client side. (Also, flash is a container format; 264 is
                              > a compression format, so not completely sure what your question is.)
                              >
                              > Even so, when Adobe/Apple rolled out their 'compromise' last year, there
                              > was the usual hang-wringing about battery life & browser performance;
                              > although to my mind it's not clear how a custom rolled app that plays
                              > flash video from a specific site (eg. Hulu) would *necessarily* realise
                              > significant performance gains. (At just 5MB the whole binary itself weighs
                              > in on the low side of a typical app, and not likely the app porter is
                              > going to improve its performance.)
                              >
                              > But then I haven't built an app such as that, myself… yet.
                              >
                              >
                              > stay tuned,
                              >
                              > forest mars
                              > --
                              > mnn.org
                              > http://mnn.org
                              >
                            • adammercado@att.net
                              I don t think compression or standards are really the limiting factor in stopping people editing video more casually. I think the technical limitations are far
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jan 12, 2010
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                                I don't think compression or standards are really the limiting factor in stopping people editing video more casually. I think the technical limitations are far more limiting to the casual videographer. Hard drive space and technical know how probably put many off. QuickTime is a widespread standard and files can easily be shared across platforms. in fact editing formats MJPEG and PHOTOJPEG have been around for years. There are the H/DV and ProRes, but alot of development and advances have come in delivery formats. You can edit in other formats of course like the MP4 that comes off consumer cameras, but even then you get more than a few minutes of video and it takes up a lot of space. I doubt most casual users can really be bothered with that. And the fact that editing video is still pretty techy even with iMovie and whatever the PC version is, it can be intimidating and thats a barrier to entry too.

                                Editing a text doc is second nature as its the language and medium we are most familiar with. We learn to do it at such a young age there is no thought behind it. And the technical requirements are negligible.

                                And I was just thinking, online video really doesnt seem to be suffering and kind of hampering at this stage. Wherever you look there is a web video show and theres more content every day than one can reasonably consume. Is there an area of web video you think is particularly lacking?

                                Just my own, unfounded thoughts :)
                                cheers
                                adam


                                --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, Jay dedman <jay.dedman@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > > Video compression (especially proprietary) is a bottleneck
                                > > > with online video.
                                > >
                                > > Just the opposite ... video compression is a boon to online video. If there
                                > > were no video compression there would not be any online video.
                                >
                                > Very very true. Improved video compression has helped spread web vide
                                > the last 10 years.
                                >
                                > My more specific point is simple this: video codecs have gotten
                                > better...but the fight between the proprietary standards is hampering
                                > online video from further spreading. The idea of people editing video
                                > like they edit a text document is still a long ways away. Why?
                                >
                                > Because every platform uses different standards. Its difficult for a
                                > PC and mac to trade video files without a lot of conversion nonsense.
                                > Flash is pretty universal for playback but useless for editing. Open
                                > Source community cant really build good video editors without
                                > "stealing" compression technology. I cant play Flash videos on my
                                > iPhone bcause Apple doesnt want to pay Adobe for the rights for the
                                > codec playback. These are problems.
                                >
                                > Jay
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --
                                > http://ryanishungry.com
                                > http://momentshowing.net
                                > http://twitter.com/jaydedman
                                > 917 371 6790
                                >
                              • Jay dedman
                                ... Totally agreed. This is good perspective as we talk about barriers to entry into web video. There are more and more people putting the pieces together and
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jan 13, 2010
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                                  > And I was just thinking, online video really doesnt seem to be suffering and kind of hampering at this stage. Wherever you look there is a web video show and theres more content every day than one can reasonably consume. Is there an area of web video you think is >particularly lacking?

                                  Totally agreed. This is good perspective as we talk about barriers to
                                  entry into web video.

                                  There are more and more people putting the pieces together and
                                  creating online video shows. More and more people are posting little
                                  clips, especially when some crazy event happens.

                                  But I still the barrier when it comes to sharing/collaborating. Having
                                  taught a number videoblogging workshops, usually each person must find
                                  their own specific workflow depending on their computer, OS, browser,
                                  and camera. I can try to explain how to videoblog, but it is still
                                  difficult since there are too many if, and's and but's.

                                  I want the experience of creating a video to be as easy as writing a
                                  text document. Cut/paste, email and collaborate withe ease. The
                                  software is just built in like text editing.

                                  If you have a little time, this is a nice video starting to lay out
                                  the dream: http://openvideoalliance.org/why-open-video/?l=en

                                  Jay



                                  --
                                  http://ryanishungry.com
                                  http://momentshowing.net
                                  http://twitter.com/jaydedman
                                  917 371 6790
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