My hubcap-thieving Scally chum Jake Smith emailed, expressing concern about the the fact that the codec impasse means we have to encode video twice, once as Ogg and once as H264 to deliver in HTML5:
My concern is from that of a business. Encoding as OGG will only further questions from clients, rather than answering them. “So, this video you’re encoding… I can’t watch it on my Mac (safari)? And I still can’t see it on my iPhone?”
There’s the obvious “be damned with licenses” and encode as MP4 anyway, but then I have to encode twice, which is ok for the odd video, but could be a right arse long term, as that’s more cost to client, and as far as they’re concerned why not pay once for encoding to FLV?
From my (business) point of view, there is no point in chasing HTML5 for video. No matter how much I want to do the right thing…
I’ve only worked for quasi-public sector sites for whom profit isn’t an imperative, and I’ve been absorbed thinking about open-ness and standards, so hadn’t given Jake’s perspective much thought.
To me, the negatives are:
- Double encoding is time, extra process and more storage
- Flash “works” – change is expensive
The advantages to using open HTML5 video are
- It’s (ultimately) a better user experience, as user doesn’t have to worry about plugins (a major source of worry for non-techy users)
- It works on iPhones and (eventually) other mobile browsers
- As a web designer, you can do fancy stuff with CSS etc as it’s native in the browser (this may not matter to business; depends what they want to do with the video)
- The native
- You can have a textual transcript, which can be scripted into synchronised video captions: great for “Search Engine Optimisation” and “DDA compliance”
Any one care to wade in with some business reasons for or against double-encoding and using HTML5 video?