In recent nerd-related news, Google revealed plans to remove support for the H.264 video codec from future versions of their Chrome web browser. Roughly translated, this means the people who build the tools for delivering web content (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Firefox, etc.) can’t agree on how to display video – and the situation is about to get worse, without any solid standards-based solutions in sight.
Because of this mess, there’s a lot of extra work for website owners to ensure everyone can see their videos. On a recent project, for instance, Orbit was forced to upload three versions of the same video to make it compatible with all major browsers and mobile devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.) – and there’s still no guarantee that we won’t need to add more in the future.
Now for the good part: video hosting services like YouTube and Viddler have armies of developers who do nothing but work through these issues. So while we can’t predict where web video standards are heading, we do know that uploading your video to a reputable hosting service – and then embedding the video to play on your site – should always work. The service will format your video as many times as necessary, and they’ll also keep up with the latest changes in standards. (For the near future, anyway; certainty beyond that is just not attainable in this world, I’m afraid.)
So upload your video to a hosting service and let them worry about the formatting. You’ll never have to think about the H.264 video codec ever again.
And isn’t that what we all want?