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Harold Ek
Best compression for WEB
on Mar 1, 2010 at 10:46:24 pm

This has probably been answered before, but let me try my problem.

What is the most compatible format to use to upload a video for viewing on the Web?

I have Edited AVI files and can encode them using Sorenson Squeeze 6 into almost any format. I had been advised that MP4 would be the best choice, Good Quality with minimum file size and compatible with most people who would have either QuickTime, Flash or Windows media players.

Is that good info?

The people handling the website say we should encode the files as flv in order to have them widely available.

Any comments please!
At this point I feel that wide compatibility is more important than file size.

Thanks for any advise.


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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 1, 2010 at 11:40:39 pm

[Harold Ek] "This has probably been answered before"

Not less than 10,000,000,000 times before. ;-)

[Harold Ek] "What is the most compatible format to use to upload a video for viewing on the Web?"

Probably .MP4[Harold Ek] "I have Edited AVI files and can encode them using Sorenson Squeeze 6 into almost any format. I had been advised that MP4 would be the best choice, Good Quality with minimum file size and compatible with most people who would have either QuickTime, Flash or Windows media players. "

[Harold Ek] "Is that good info?"

Sort of. MP4 can be wrapped in a Flash player that is assessable by 95% approx of the worlds web browsers. So that's a web based Flash player, NOT Quicktime or Windows Media players.

They are mostly right, however Flash has been able to play MP4 files since the end of 2007 - with version 9.01 of the Flash player.

You have to ask yourself who your audience is. If there is a chance of them not updating their computer software in the last 2.5 years (this may include big, backward businesses), then you should either forget about them or encode to FLV


[Harold Ek] "The people handling the website say we should encode the files as flv in order to have them widely available."



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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:40:27 am

A lot of web designers also custom design their flash players and many of them build bulky code that doesn't handle mp4/H264 files very well. We constantly get requests from web developers to provide .flv files instead of mp4 for this reason. Poorly coded flash players can do all sorts of weird things when fed H264 files....things like taking forever to load, stuttering constantly on playback even though download speed stays well ahead of playback, sync problems and sometimes refusing to play at all to name a few.

Never mind that there are half a dozen commercial flash players out there that are proven and handle H264 files extremely well (JW Player and Flow Player come to mind).

Most of them also offer options to customize the look as well as control virtually everything about them via simple javascript, which is called separate from the Flash player. But many web designers refuse to use them, instead insisting on writing their own control code within the player itself. Which invites problems because there's so much stuff written into the player itself.

There's certainly nothing wrong with hand-coding, but when there are tools out there that cost next to nothing (JW Player and Flow Player are about $50 to license per website) and work great with all Flash compatible file types, it's just silly to insist on building them from scratch when the results limit the file types you can use.

The only reason I've ever found they do it is because they can bill for it. But we stopped trying to convince them to take H264 and just give them flv files. That said, flv files can look darn good when encoded properly....especially if you have an encoder that can do 2-pass encoding like Flix Pro, which is affordable and produces compact, nice looking flv's.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Harold Ek
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 3:30:10 am

Thanks Chris!
I think you have put your finger exactly on the problem.
Somehow I hate to, but I guess I'll take the flv path.

We had been using wmv files but thought we could improve our quality by going to mp4. But we're having difficulties during what I thought would be a simple mater of changing the links.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 3:49:50 am

Something is wrong with this picture.
H.264 .mp4 or On2VP6 .flv work in a Flash (SWF player, etc). This has nothing to do with WMV which does not work in Flash.

You can't simply change links (well you can but that would certainly cause some unexpected behavior). You'd need the proper embed tag.

I'd certainly recommend going from WMV to H.264 .mp4 which can be used in Flash, Silverlight, Quicktime, I believe WMP12, HTML5.

If you're building a Flash player, except as noted under the odd situation Chris points out (and it is ODD IMHO), I'd recommend H.264 .mp4.

As long was your webpage builder knows what they're doing they can use H.264 .mp4 any number of ways depending on the web player plugin they're targeting.



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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:08:46 pm

Craig Seeman: As long was your webpage builder knows what they're doing they can use H.264 .mp4 any number of ways depending on the web player plugin they're targeting.

That's the problem, many web designers don't understand video. At many corporations the IT department handles web administration...not web designers. Designers re-purpose Flash Players they built 3,4, 5 years ago and simply change the physical appearance for new clients. Many are also using older versions of Adobe Flash software to build their players. All of this adds up to deficient performance with H264 files.

Probably 8 out of 10 requests we get from web designers is for flv files because they all claim (or believe) they work better than H264/mp4 files. Spend 15 minutes on the JW Player or Flow Player forums and you'll see even those well designed, proven players can experience all kinds of problems...usually due to javascript coding errors, but occasionally due to player programming issues.

But each of those players are constantly updated to fix problems and improve performance and they've improved immensely since H264 was first supported in Flash back in 2007. So the player and the coding can make a big difference in playback performance.

Just as an aside, On2 uses the JW Player for all the video samples on it's website (which are flv), so even large companies realize the benefit of using a well written commercial player over building it yourself. We've had web designers complain about our Carbon Coder generated H264 files (often using Carbon Coder presets)...only for us to place them on a sample webpage using JW Player and they work perfectly from our slow web FTP. But the designers REFUSE to test JW Player or any other commercial player (in place of their player) because they KNOW it will expose problems in their own custom designed players, which is what they're charging their client to build.

We've also had corporate clients pay through the nose for video delivery using companies like Playstream and others, many of whom don't even accept H264 files!

http://www.playstream.com/support/started/files.aspx

In fact, we've dealt directly with at least 3 large video streaming companies that don't accept H264 (Playstream is just one example). When we asked why, the response on every occasion has been that they don't work well with their players. When pressed further...the answer always comes back that the players were written several years ago and either don't support H264, or perform poorly with it. I'm not sure about the "don't support" answer as I thought the browser side flash plug-in determined whether it could play H264, but these companies either think a custom designed player can't play H264, or they've tested H264 files with their player and had numerous playback and performance problems with them, despite the files using markedly smaller file sizes and data rates than the same video encoded as an flv file.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:34:03 pm

[Chris Blair] "That's the problem, many web designers don't understand video. At many corporations the IT department handles web administration...not web designers. Designers re-purpose Flash Players they built 3,4, 5 years ago and simply change the physical appearance for new clients. Many are also using older versions of Adobe Flash software to build their players. All of this adds up to deficient performance with H264 files. "

Note specifically that the poster says he'd been using WMV so that is not the case in this instance. He stated that someone was considering or actually changing the links to WMV files to MP4 files.

Since one can't direct link to FLV without building a player, that in and of itself would be a problem. MP4 would probably be the simplest to implement outside of WMV with replacement of links and tags. He can always go with MPEG4 Part 2 instead of MPEG4 Part10 (H.264) if the latter codec presented an issue. Given the tests I've seen Jan Ozer do, I don't think there's an issue with H.264 playback on modern computers but the older Part 2 is an option.

The issue concerning the site and the files are not at all related to Flash based on my understanding of his posts.

See this excerpt

[Harold Ek] "We had been using wmv files but thought we could improve our quality by going to mp4. But we're having difficulties during what I thought would be a simple mater of changing the links."



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Harold Ek
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 1:26:51 am

It seems that my request expanded beyond what I expected.
But I would like to thank all who have contributed to my education and some confusion.

My comment about "Just involve changing some links" demonstrates my lack of understanding of how involved the process was, not that our web designer suggested or attempted it.

I am a volunteer who has been primarily involved in shooting and editing informational videos for a small Village. We started a few years back to stream these videos to cover a larger portion of our clients. At that point we were encoding them to wmv but recently decided to attempt to improve our quality by changing format to mp4. We had been encoding at 2 different data rates to cover both dial-up and broadband clients. I would judge that our viewers are mostly not highly computer savvy, and few if any businesses.

Just today I attempted to encode to flv by modifying 2 presets in Squeeze 6. That generates a couple of additional questions.

1. Do you think we should abandon our efforts to accommodate any low bandwidth clients?
2. Can you refer me to a good source to explain all the options on the Flash presets?

Thanks again to all!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 2:20:05 am

[Harold Ek] "It seems that my request expanded beyond what I expected. "

Actually this stuff is the kind of thing a local gov't needs to think about given possible budget issues. I'd say if you go with H.264 mp4 you'll be OK with Silverlight, Flash and down the road, HTML5.

[Harold Ek] "My comment about "Just involve changing some links" demonstrates my lack of understanding of how involved the process was, not that our web designer suggested or attempted it. "
If it's just simple video in a player then there's some embed code changes but that shouldn't be too difficult for a web master. It some cases it can be nearly as simple as cut and paste.

[Harold Ek] "Do you think we should abandon our efforts to accommodate any low bandwidth clients? "
This is a very important and good question and a local gov't certainly would have very different concerns than a business. If you've been doing dial up and broadband encodes you (the webmaster) can look at the site analytics and get a sense what portion of the visitors are actually viewing the dial up version currently.

You also need to know what portion of the local population is still on dial-up. Since you have a specific target, general stats may not be useful. Basically it's the portion of the community you serve that's on dial up plus the consideration of what portion is viewing the files. Two important factors are the community's economics (can people afford broadband) and location (is it a rural community which has limited broadband access).

For example, you might find that 40% are on dial up but only 5% are viewing dial up video. You may find that such people are better served by text based fast loading web pages or audio only files.

[Harold Ek] "Can you refer me to a good source to explain all the options on the Flash presets? "
This is one of those "it depends" on your target questions.
You'll probably find this tutorial helpful on H.264 for Flash in Squeeze.
http://www.streaminglearningcenter.com/articles/video-tutorial-producing-h2...





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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:00:45 pm

Understand...but I took his comment about:

The people handling the website say we should encode the files as flv in order to have them widely available.

...as an indication that his website people must've been using a Flash Player since that's the only thing that would play an flv file.

Guess he needs to clarify to get a handle on which answers are valid.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:19:16 pm

This may mean they are moving to Flash. In that case I'd strongly recommend H.264 over On2VP6 unless they specifically needed alpha channel support. Given that H.264 can be used in Silverlight as well as HTML5 additionally it would give them maximum flexibility going forward.

VP6 has very little market share advantage over H.264 and, if you look at Jan Ozer's tests, H.264 can be as easy or easier to decode on modern computers. With Flash 10.1 around the corner with improved hardware acceleration, H.264's advantage may widen.

If HTML5 H.264 begins to spread further, they'll be no need to re-encode.



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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:49:37 pm

[Craig Seeman] "If HTML5 H.264 begins to spread further,"

I think that should be 'When', not 'If'. IMO.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 6:25:56 pm

[Daniel Low] "[Craig Seeman] "If HTML5 H.264 begins to spread further,"

I think that should be 'When', not 'If'. IMO. "


And of course that would aver to belief that H.264 would be the better choice than VP6 for any encoding going forward.

An H.264 encode that works in Silverlight, Flash, Quicktime, WMP12 today will work in HTML5 "tomorrow."





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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 9:21:38 pm

Yes, the "when" is inevitable...but there are quite a few stumbling blocks to wide HTML5 implementation anytime soon. Not the least of which is a lack of full support in Internet Explorer, with no current video support in IE8.

Plus there isn't an agreement on a video standard (Firefox supports Ogg natively, the others support H264), and a wide lack of HTML5 support on web server software.

The group that works on HTML 5 alongside W3C -- WHATWG, states in its FAQ section that HTML 5 is expected to reach what they call a "candidate release" stage in 2012, and W3C recommendation status in 2022 or later!

http://www.whatwg.org/

That doesn't mean you can't start implementing it, but web designers we work with are NOT eager to rewrite their sites just yet, or take the time for partial implementation.

Here's a quote from Jan. 26th from Mark Pilgrim of Google, who works with the WHATWG and writes their blog:

Does all that work yet? Hell no. We don't even have a standard video codec yet! Google Chrome is the only browser that has shipped an implementation of web sockets (although it's part of WebKit, so presumably Apple could ship it in a future version of Safari if they choose). And the entire device API is still in its infancy. Nobody has even started implementing a prototype of that piece yet, and the whole idea might be scrapped by my next episode. But that's life on the bleeding edge.



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 11:02:13 pm

[Chris Blair] "but there are quite a few stumbling blocks to wide HTML5 implementation anytime soon. Not the least of which is a lack of full support in Internet Explorer, with no current video support in IE8. "

Blah. IE is widely recognised as the worst browser out there, despite its obvious dominance, and this all goes to prove what a steaming pile of junk it is. (All IE versions have been in steady decline for a while, where as Firefox, Chrome and Safari have done nothing but grow).

Dig down here:
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0

- This week from MS!:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9164038/Microsoft_Don_t_press_F1_key...

[Chris Blair] "Plus there isn't an agreement on a video standard (Firefox supports Ogg natively, the others support H264) "

Blah. so what, that's the nature of the beast. Theora and H.264 can live happy side-by-side. (BTW 'the others' support both Theora AND H.264 via a Xiph decoder.)
Anyway:
http://blog.jilion.com/2010/02/11/sublimevideo-supports-firefox
http://jilion.com/sublime/video

[Chris Blair] "The group that works on HTML 5 alongside W3C -- WHATWG, states in its FAQ section that HTML 5 is expected to reach what they call a "candidate release" stage in 2012, and W3C recommendation status in 2022 or later!"

Irrelevant. The largest video sharing service in the world and the next largest (probably) namely YouTube and Vimeo are offering users a choice of HTML5 already.

StandardS don't need to be 'released' before they become market or industry leaders. Just look at 802.11n - Approved and published late last year but in very wide use and product availability for years before that, but more so, look to MPEG-4 which had no proper release yet was in such wide use before it became 'official' that only the licensing situation was really relevant.

[Chris Blair] "but web designers we work with are NOT eager to rewrite their sites just yet, or take the time for partial implementation. "

They'll have to eventually. The smart people are already all over it like a rash. These guys are leaders, not followers (like MIcrosoft and IE8 etc). Anyway, who said anything about having to rewrite a site? MOST coders and designer want HTML5 so badly

http://bclennox.com/moving-to-html-5 - Aug 09 - "There’s lately been a remarkable amount of progress and activity centered around HTML5", "....and browser support is widespread or hackable enough to start using most of the basic HTML 5 elements on web sites right now!"

[Chris Blair] "Here's a quote from Jan. 26th from Mark Pilgrim of Google"

Funny you quote that bit from Mark (he is the author of 'Dive Into HTML5' http://diveintohtml5.org - I suggest you read it), as it's right at the bottom of a page that is dated Jan 16 - (Part 1), not 26th - (Part 2). Did you really read it?

Here's the quote in the correct context - Hint - it's about Video Conferencing!

So it's for video conferencing, something you can currently only do with Adobe Flash or other proprietary plugins that sit on top of your browser. In fact, most of the pieces for browser-based video chat are already in place. The idea is that a device element would go hand in hand with a video element and a web socket. The device records a video stream (using the also-newly-defined Stream API) and sends the stream of video along a web socket to the other party (perhaps via an intermediate server) which renders the stream in a video element. And like the video element, the device element would be native to your browser, so browser vendors would not have to wait for third parties to add specific support for their platform.

Does all that work yet? Hell no. We don't even have a standard video codec yet! Google Chrome is the only browser that has shipped an implementation of web sockets (although it's part of WebKit, so presumably Apple could ship it in a future version of Safari if they choose). And the entire device API is still in its infancy. Nobody has even started implementing a prototype of that piece yet, and the whole idea might be scrapped by my next episode. But that's life on the bleeding edge.

And now you know "What's Next in HTML."


Nothing to do with what we all talk about on this forum.





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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 2, 2010 at 11:25:07 pm

Lordy...I don't what you have against me...but all I'm trying to do is provide a little perspective. We work with web designers all the time and the ones we work with are NOT eager to dive into HTML 5. And I've read the the "dive into HTML 5" draft you speak of. It's very technical for the most part but in it he discusses the lack of agreement on standards and the stumbling blocks it presents...namely licensing issues with H264. Plus the lack of server side support that's likely to take some time to overcome.

I'm just trying to point out that it's going to be several years before there's widespread adoption of it and Flash will be relevant for years to come.

If you'd like this forum to become a monologue...fine...but I thought the purpose of this site was to be a community where people share information to get perspective and be able to make informed decisions.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 12:03:21 am

[Chris Blair] "We work with web designers all the time and the ones we work with are NOT eager to dive into HTML 5. And I've read the the "dive into HTML 5" draft you speak of. It's very technical for the most part but in it he discusses the lack of agreement on standards and the stumbling blocks it presents...namely licensing issues with H264."

Google's YouTube is doing it and that's a driving force and Google certainly knows it.
Then there's all those "i" devices that marketing people want to make sure their web pages hit.
And Google would love to have Chrome surpass FireFox while they insist on Ogg. Perspective . . . raise your cyber hands folks if you're using Ogg instead of H.264.
And then there's Google's Android which badly wants to compete with the Apple "i" devices.

In short, Google has YouTube, Chrome, Android. Apple certainly is along for that HTML5. On the other side you certainly have Adobe hoping to get Flash on handsets but Apple is resistant and Android (Google is the "decider") but there is a battle for sure here.

I don't see how Mozilla can with this with Ogg.

Microsoft doesn't gain anything with Flash or HTML5. They'd certainly prefer Silverlight but that's been "niche." Netflix is Silverlight but . . . Netflix has started to survey users if they're interested in iPhone support. So it sounds like they're looking at HTML5 as well. Silverlight will still have value with those that have lots of legacy WMV to integrate with H.264. To that end maybe Microsoft benefits a little if HTML5 competes with Flash.

BTW just to add emphasis, you can not underestimate how dominant Google's YouTube is on online video.

I'm sure Adobe is banking a lot on Flash 10.1 (they're hoping Android will support of course and they're pleading with Apple for "i" support and Safari hardware acceleration hooks) and they certainly feel major pressure from Google and Apple. Sure there's no certainty but HTML5 H.264 looks like it can avalanche.

We can only guess what Google will do with On2 . . . the "other" Flash codec but that's one more "control" Google has on Adobe.

BTW Chris, don't take this personally. It's just when I analyze all the pieces this is the full landscape I see.



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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 1:11:42 am

I certainly wasn't championing Ogg...just pointing out what direction Firefox has decided to go with video in regards to HTML5.

And certainly with Google and YouTube "diving" into HTML5 it will have an impact, but many big corporations we work with have only recently begun to embrace video as an important part of their online presence, and most don't have the resources to keep their sites properly updated, much less rework them to take advantage of HTML5's features.

Google and YouTube are online companies...so it certainly makes sense for them to be on the leading edge. But many big U.S. corporations don't think that way...and certainly small to medium sized ones we work with don't.

We work with one 8 billion dollar a year corporation (with a dozen well-known brands) that started using video extensively on their sites in late 2008 and early 2009. But then...late in 2009, the company eliminated their web development division, eliminated all creative professionals involved with their websites (16 different brands in all plus another dozen employee only sites) and moved all design, administration etc. to a third party company in India. It literally takes them 4-6 months to get a compressed, ready to load video up onto a site they're so backlogged with work. Yes...4 to 6 months to get a video posted to their website. And they're not unique. We hear over and over from Marketing Directors, Communications Directors and Advertising VPs that their number one problem is keeping their website updated and making sure it works properly for clients.

It's the first place corporations cut in marketing when the economy is slow like it has been. So while I'm sure companies whose business is built on the web will jump in... nobody we work with has ever mentioned HTML5. Same goes for friends and colleagues of mine who work in Atlanta, Nashville Indy and other good sized U.S. cities. HTML5 isn't even on their radar. And when it comes to video...even when these companies have web admins on staff, their knowledge of web video is almost always their weakest skill.

So the point is that it's going to take time, likely several years for it to become widely adopted.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 2:00:09 am

[Chris Blair] "I certainly wasn't championing Ogg...just pointing out what direction Firefox has decided to go with video in regards to HTML5. "
Mozilla has a "mission statement" about licensing which puts them in a difficult decision. They will be faced with changing or losing to Chrome. I can't see any compressionist or web master considering Ogg.

[Chris Blair] "And certainly with Google and YouTube "diving" into HTML5 it will have an impact, but many big corporations we work with have only recently begun to embrace video as an important part of their online presence, and most don't have the resources to keep their sites properly updated, much less rework them to take advantage of HTML5's features. "

Granted this is true for many businesses. At least with H.264 they won't need to re-encode everything when the time comes. If they're not doing a lot of heavy interactivity the embedding shouldn't be difficult. Of course as time goes on they will have to make a financial decision based on how much losing the handset market costs them in reach vs changing the webpage.

[Chris Blair] "nobody we work with has ever mentioned HTML5. "
As above, they'll have to decide whether they want to reach the handset market if things head in that direction. There may be no urgency to move to HTML5 now and certainly Safari and Chrome handle Flash and FireFox and Internet Explorer are certainly bigger. 18 months from now might be a very different story.

This is why I say, getting back to the original poster, go to H.264 now and at least you won't get hit with major re-encoding. Of course handsets aren't using the same files as desktop/laptop inherently so that may have to happen too at some point but at least the former will be ready to go.




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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 4:41:00 am

Craig Seeman: This is why I say, getting back to the original poster, go to H.264 now and at least you won't get hit with major re-encoding. Of course handsets aren't using the same files as desktop/laptop inherently so that may have to happen too at some point but at least the former will be ready to go.

Oh I agree with you...but if his web people have it in their head that flv files are the way to go....we've just found it's often a tough battle to try to convince web designers and administrators that H264 is the better long-term choice. There's a lot of resistance to it in this part of the country.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 4:47:16 pm

[Chris Blair] "Oh I agree with you...but if his web people have it in their head that flv files are the way to go....we've just found it's often a tough battle to try to convince web designers and administrators that H264 is the better long-term choice. There's a lot of resistance to it in this part of the country. "

If I hired an expert professional to do a job I wouldn't then tell them that their methods are wrong. Your job as a professional is advise the client on what needs to be done to meet their needs. Clients certainly know their needs. They don't necessarily know their technology. You have to be the communicator. You need to explain that making the wrong choice will not only cost them more money as the technology changes but quite possibly a loss of their own customers by not maintain compatibility

There is NO extra special effort to use H.264 in Flash. It just works assuming they're using current software. If they're not then they have to measure the cost of upgrade vs cost of re-encoding or otherwise re-doing all their material.

I was recently contacted by one would be client which is now facing a devastating financial decision. They had insisted on sticking with WMV long after Flash became dominant. They want to start using H.264 going forward because they finally got where the market is going. They wanted to continue using their WMV material. I told them they could use Silverlight which will handle both. They had already done the simple market research on Silverlight vs Flash market share. They are now backed in a financial decision which means re-encoding all their WMV sources (many of which are lost) or abandoning their library. The time to learn about wearing a seat belt is not after the head on collision.

BTW have a look at this article (sorry to point off site)
http://www.macworld.com/article/146820/2010/03/virgin_site.html
Virgin America is going to abandon Flash because the iPhone users are an important part of the market. I can't say this loudly enough, HTML5 will happen reasonably quickly. At least H.264 files will be portable. Anybody who is still using WMV or FLV without mandated technical need (or knowing that the files have no longevity) is going to be for a really hard financial hit . . . in a current economy where such things can be major damage to a business.

A travel related business such as Virgin America is probably more sensitive to this than others because I'm sure a large portion of their customer base are access their resources and services while traveling (using their iPhone).




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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:23:55 pm

I've historically (the last 20 years or so) found it the case that those who don't have Mac's in their businesses or indeed haven't even used a Mac in anger, generally don't take any notice of, or poo poo any Mac or Apple related news. (These are the same people who insist on using MAC rather than Mac). Those that for some reason would prefer if Apple didn't exist and hide their head in the sand over it all.

The success of Final Cut has rocked the production community.
The success of the iPod rocked the PMP industry.
The success of iTunes has totally changed the music industry.
The success of iPhone totally kicked an entire industries' arses, taking them totally by surprise and changing the landscape for good. Huge players in those industries will spend the rest of their existence's trying to catch up and will never succeed.










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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 4, 2010 at 1:22:17 am

Craig Seeman: If I hired an expert professional to do a job I wouldn't then tell them that their methods are wrong. Your job as a professional is advise the client on what needs to be done to meet their needs. Clients certainly know their needs.

Well obviously we don't tell them their methods are wrong, we explain all the benefits to using H264, including the ability to do nothing more than link to the H264 and their Flash player will play them. There's still a ton of resistance from web designers. They're comfortable with flv's and often have an "if it's not broke it doesn't need fixing" mentality.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:26:00 am

[Chris Blair] "They're comfortable with flv's and often have an "if it's not broke it doesn't need fixing" mentality.
"

But it's already broke as far as iPhones (and iPads) are concerned and many other handsets. And the handset market is growing. That's why I posted the Virgin America article. The responded quite specifically that it doesn't work on iPhones and the "i" device market share is growing.




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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:08:21 pm

Harold -

I think your question got lost in the argument that has ensued from your original post. I am relatively new to the encoding world, but I am very experienced in the video and motion graphics world. While browsing through Borders looking for the latest Flash book to save my inexperienced butt, I ran across this:

Video with Adobe Flash CS4 Professional: Studio Techniques
by Robert Reinhardt

Even if you don't own Flash CS4, this book will give you a whole lot of answers (objectively) on which codec is right for which use. It seems to boil down to what you "think" your website viewers own as far as OS, browser, and connection speed. There is a DVD with the book (at 60 bucks, it better have a DVD!) that includes a calculator in Excel format that helps you figure out how to optimize your video for the web. It's the best 60 bucks (actually I had a 30% off coupon) I've spent in a long time. You can probably take a look at it on books.google.com as well, and see if it suits your needs. Good luck - encoding is almost a dark art.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:20:06 pm

The problem with books is that between the time they are written, published, distributed, the world may have changed. Things are accelerating very quickly. I can't speak to the specific book but the iPhone is growing and Google Android certainly is a major player. One of the advantages of e-books and even subscription based ever updating content in technology fields as that dissemination has a much better chance of keeping pace with technology . . . and it may be one of the big advantages to owning a "Flashless" iPad.

This is ALL about the original poster's issue and it deserves the attention we've been giving it because the decisions needed in this market involve huge financial considerations on all sides. I can't recall any other point in which there was this much "volatility" in media technology.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:27:53 pm

Interesting speculation on Wired/WebMonkey. If (when) IE9 supports HTML5 more thoroughly the deal is done IMHO.

Microsoft to Double Down on HTML5 With Internet Explorer 9
http://www.webmonkey.com/blog/Microsoft_to_Double_Down_on_HTML5_With_Intern...



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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:28:22 pm

Forget a book for $60, it's already out of date.

Robert Reinhardt's website is here: http://blogs.flashsupport.com/robert/
And the Calculators are here:
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/20/862224
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/apps/flv_bitrate_calculator/video_sizes.h...

More:
http://www.flashsupport.com/forum/



__________________________________________________________________
Sent from my iPad Nano.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 6:02:51 pm

Some of us like to work with material that has organizational and navigational content. Generally speaking, a website doesn't lay down the teaching materials in any cohesive format. A book does, even if it's 12 minutes out of date.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia
bs-exhibits.com


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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 6:19:09 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "Generally speaking, a website doesn't lay down the teaching materials in any cohesive format. A book does, even if it's 12 minutes out of date. "

Agreed, but it's much easier to search a website. That book was first published in April 2009 and probably took at least 6 months to write, so more like 18 months out of date.



__________________________________________________________________
Sent from my iPad Nano.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 6:21:34 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "A book does, even if it's 12 minutes out of date. "
Months out of date and while technical information may be accurate it may be incomplete and conclusions based on information at the time of publishing. Books are fine for learning things that don't change rapidly such as a program that only gets update every 18months. Books are fine if one is learning about H.264 compression or Flash. Such books may not have information regarding the changing market though. Books that deal with time sensitive material are more likely to be accurate if the publishers update them as circumstances change.

[Joseph W. Bourke] "Some of us like to work with material that has organizational and navigational content."
And this separates a well designed e-book, e-zine, website from poorly designed ones.

The left side of Jan Ozer's site makes it very easy to find specific subjects and follow a linear progression if you like. The right side keeps you updated on current analysis. In many cases it includes video in addition to text. All of which can be changed as new information develops.
http://www.streaminglearningcenter.com/





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Daniel Low
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 12:16:42 am

[Chris Blair] "Lordy...I don't what you have against me"

I have nothing against you at all.

[Chris Blair] "but all I'm trying to do is provide a little perspective"

Likewise.

[Chris Blair] " We work with web designers all the time and the ones we work with are NOT eager to dive into HTML 5"

My mileage is different from yours. I live in a different part of the world from you. That's my perspective. If I ran a web company I'd insist my coders and designers were already working with HTML5, that they already had stuff up their sleeves'. I wouldn't want to be caught out.

Please read - http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/01/introducing-youtube-html5-suppor...

"HTML5 is a new web standard that is gaining popularity rapidly"

[Chris Blair] "he discusses the lack of agreement on standards and the stumbling blocks it presents"

Like I said these are rather moot points going by what's happened historically and how rapidly things are changing.

[Chris Blair] "I'm just trying to point out that it's going to be several years before there's widespread adoption of it and Flash will be relevant for years to come. "

That's your opinion Chris. It's not fact.

What is fact is that Flash (most importantly Flash Video) does not work on the fastest growing hardware platforms out there, namely handheld devices and most importantly the iPhone, and the soon to appear iPad. It's these devices that are driving innovation.

I firmly believe that Flash (Video) has had it's day. It may take several years for HTML5 video to completely replace Flash but the ball has started to roll. Don't underestimate the powerhouse that is Apples mobile devices!

[Chris Blair] "If you'd like this forum to become a monologue"

Bear in mind that I simply respond to people here. Despite being highly opinionated, I offer my advice, help and thoughts. Take it or leave it.

[Chris Blair] "but I thought the purpose of this site was to be a community where people share information to get perspective and be able to make informed decisions. "

You always bring this up Chris. It is, and that's exactly what you and I are doing, in our own special ways!





__________________________________________________________________
Sent from my iPad Nano.


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Harold Ek
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:40:55 pm

Again, thanks to all who have contributed!

At this point I will go to the flv format our web managers have suggested ( I seem to have solved the the flv encoding problem). Fortunately legacy files are not a problem for our application. Most files are replaced each month, with none having longer than 1 yr life. Therefor a subsequent change in encoding is not a big problem.

Today I was experimenting with various Squeeze 6 encoding presets for Flash. I was viewing them on our PC using the Adobe Media Player.

Is there any danger in making decisions based on the visual quality that way without actually uploading and viewing them on the web?

I was very surprised at the dramatic improvement in quality that moving from 1 pass cbr to 2 pass vbr made. With the 2 pass I was able to reduce at least 2 steps in data rate with about equivalent visual quality. Am I fooling myself somehow?


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Chris Blair
Re: Best compression for WEB
on Mar 4, 2010 at 1:38:59 am

Harold Ek: Is there any danger in making decisions based on the visual quality that way without actually uploading and viewing them on the web?

From our experience you need to upload them to a web server and test them in all the major browsers to see how they'll play and look. The video will look different on virtually every desktop flash player and media player (that can play flv files).

It will also look different on an LCD monitor than it does on an older CRT one.

Different flash players can also have some impact on how videos look and perform...with commercially available players that have years of real-world use and coding improvements often working better than custom made browsers (unless the web designer has a lot of experience building flash players for websites). But this would typically impact things like load/startup times and frame rate and not the overall visual appearance.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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