YouTube, Metacafe or any other video sharing website are all powered by Adobe’s most popular technology, Flash. Everyday millions of videos are being served and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Adobe Flash. However, as it’s a proprietary technology, it comes with various restrictions like licenses, patents and fees too!
As per the trend, developers have always tried to keep the web running through open-source technologies (php, mysql, ruby on rails are some of the examples), however, there wasn’t any other technology that we could say would be able to replace Adobe Flash until Microsoft launched SilverLight. That’s a different thing that Microsoft itself uses Adobe Flash even after SilverLight was released!
Ogg Vorbis has been around for a while, however it literally lost the competition in the hands of MP3 format, although because of its open nature, developers have worked on it and are trying their best to make it a better format for music and videos. One of the drawbacks of Ogg theora format is that it doesn’t support h.264 video compression that helps in making video size smaller and apt for sharing videos on the web and thus it wasn’t considered as web standard for videos on the web.
Although, the good news is that Google, one of the biggest supporter for open technologies is planning to integrate Ogg in Chrome browser, so as to ensure that no plugins will be required to run the videos that use Ogg file format. This means, that web developers will be able to embed videos (powered by OGG) in the webpages just like they used to embed images and links.
Interestingly, upcoming Firefox 3.5, latest versions of Opera and Apple Safari are supporting Ogg theora and since YouTube is owned by Google, we may see the transition once this open format will be much refined as compared to today’s standard. With all these developments, it seems to me that soon we’ll see the videos on the web running on Ogg format rather than Flash. What are your thoughts about it?