[theora] ThePirateBay.org take advantage of HTML5's <VIDEO>

Lino Mastrodomenico l.mastrodomenico at gmail.com
Sun Jun 28 12:21:31 PDT 2009

2009/6/28 dark lord <darklord2007 at gmail.com>:
> I am really noob but wanted to know why and how Ogg fit in for video
> sharing site like dailymotion and other's site's. I mean wht features
> makes ogg a good contender for specificly video sharing site sites.
> Plz give me some technical detail

Sorry, but a complete answer would probably be extremely long. I'll
try with a short executive summary.

First, why choose the HTML5 <video> element over a video player
implemented in Flash?

HTML video it's easier, because the player is implemented by the
browsers, not by each site that wants to display a video. It can have
much better integration with the rest of the HTML page and web
technologies (JavaScript, CSS, SVG, etc.). HTML5 is an open standard
(partially) implemented by many different vendors, while there's a
single company that pretty much has a worldwide monopoly over Flash,
and their implementation is proprietary (not open source/free

Using Flash for any critical part of your website means giving to
Adobe Systems a lot of power over your business. Search "flash sucks"
on Google for many more details.

Second, when using the <video> element which codecs and container choose?

Alternatives to Theora either have a much lower visual quality (for
the same bitrate) or are heavily patented. Software patents are
unfortunately still legal in the USA and Japan (and other countries),
which means that using those alternative codecs costs a lot of money
and, worse, is incompatible with open source/free software (think
Firefox). The only possible exception AFAIK may be Dirac, but it's
still too slow and immature.

Using e.g. H.264 video for any critical part of your website means
giving to MPEG LA (and the companies behind it) a lot of power over
your business.

For the audio codec it's even simpler: realistic alternatives to
Vorbis are both patented and have worse or indistinguishable quality.

Moreover, shortly after Firefox 3.5 is released (approximately a month
from now, I guess), the combination Theora+Vorbis in an Ogg container
will be the most widely supported format in the world for the <video>
element. By the end of 2009 it will be supported by Firefox, Opera and
Chrome. Safari doesn't work yet out-of-the-box but it can be fixed by
installing XiphQT (http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/ ).

Unsurprisingly the only missing browser is Internet Explorer, but even
that can display Ogg/Theora videos using ITheora (http://itheora.org/
) or something similar and a Java or VLC plugin.

All this is only a short and not completely accurate summary, but I
hope it helps.

Lino Mastrodomenico

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