Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Media Open Source Wikipedia Your Rights Online

Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites. 247

bigmammoth writes "Wikimedia has been a long time supporter of royalty free formats, but is now considering a shift in their position. From the RfC: 'To support the MP4 standard as a complement to the open formats now used on our sites, it has been proposed that videos be automatically transcoded and stored in both open and MP4 formats on our sites, as soon as they are uploaded or viewed by users. The unencumbered WebM and Ogg versions would remain our primary reference for platforms that support them. But the MP4 versions 'would enable many mobile and desktop users who cannot view these unencumbered video files to watch them in MP4 format.' This has stirred a heated debate within the Wikimedia community as to whether the mp4 / h.264 format should be supported. Many Wikimedia regulars have weighed in, resulting in currently an even split between adding the H.264 support or not. The request for comment is open to all users of Wikimedia, including the broader community of readers. What do you think about supporting H.264 on Wikimedia sites?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites.

Comments Filter:
  • MP4 is open (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:05PM (#45980705)

    In every meaningful sense, MP4 is the most 'open' useful video CODEC every made available. The world's BEST video encoder, x264, is open-source and free. Every worthwhile tool you need to encode, process and watch H264 video is FREE. H264 decoding is supported almost universally in hardware by everything made today.

    Meanwhile, the dreadful CODEC that Google bought was created illegally by using close-source development as a method of hiding the fact that it ripped off (badly) patented MPEG standards. After Google released the source, and the truth became obvious, Google simply used its billions to pay off the various IP owners whose patents the code infringed on. Google offers its CODEC for free ONLY because Google chooses to bear the IP costs inherent in the use of its CODEC.

    It gets worse. The hardware support of Google's dreadful CODEC is almost non-existent, so Google class videos are frequently decoded on the CPU, using insanely greater amounts of energy. Encoding Google class video (which always gives worse results than x264 when other metrics are equivalent) also uses far more power. And you thought Google was "politically correct" and "green"?

    All Google wants is control. And Google's incompetent rip-off of H264 and now their new rip-off of H265 are all about control. With H264 and H265, the user has control, and Google hates this. So Google seeds forums like this with the usual vile shills that seek to take advantage of people whose knowledge of the facts behind H264 and its horrifically bad, originally unlicensed copy, VP8, is non-existent.

    PS putting Ogg (a TRUE free sound CODEC) and WebM (Google's licensed AFTER-the-fact terrible rip-off of H264) in the same sentence is as misleading an attempt at pro-Google propaganda as you can get.

  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:42PM (#45980971)

    Google's stopped promoting VP8 a while ago - they wanted to add it as an option for YouTube, and it's fizzled out for that reason - Google realizes it's not worth winning the WebM/VP8 war

    What nonsense. Google didn't stop promoting VP8, they just started referring to it as WebM [].

    Incidentally, I much prefer the HTML5 player, it integrates properly with my browser controls as opposed to flash player, which was always infuriorating. And I don't know about your browser, but WebM is is available in my browser and H.264 is not.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:19PM (#45981263)

    That wiki is used frequently has almost nothing to do with it.

    Lets face it, Wiki uses very few videos anyway, (thank god) and you aren't going to settle fact based arguments by watching videos on a phone.

  • Re:MP4 is open (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:33PM (#45981373)

    It is not open in any sense of the word. The decoder is free as in beer, the encoder is not.

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.