Video has always been a challenge on the web.
A decade ago, video files were too large for dial-up speeds. Over time, the speeds got much faster, and the video files got slightly smaller. Even as recently as a year ago, we advised many against too much use of video due to the server-side cost or the downsides of using a 3rd party service like YouTube or Vimeo.
Now, we live in a world of iPhone, Android smartphones with video capabilities. They can both view video, but they can also create video. This tipping point of mobile production and mobile viewing is huge, and we have a number of customers currently working on some exciting new video-centric websites. So, why isn't everyone?
Video is still a challenge.
Video just doesn't work in as straightforward a manner as you'd think. For instance, there is a technology called the "HTML Video Tag". Most new browsers (e.g. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) support the technology. So, what's the problem? Each browser supports different types of implementations of the Video Tag. In the case of Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, there is the support for h.264. However, Firefox doesn't support h.264 due to licensing concerns. So, it gets messy.
What? Why does any of that gibberish matter to me?
Simple: If you upload video directly from your iPhone or iPad to one of these new websites, it now works directly in nearly every browser. For older browsers (Internet Explorer 8 primarily) - and Firefox, however, we need to resort back to Flash. Using some clever techniques, we're now able to do this automatically and intelligently. This is a huge improvement for a few reasons:
- Instant Uploads. It's instantly available! From your smartphone!
- No Conversions. Video doesn't need to be converted once it is uploaded. Every user has access to the original, highest quality source.
- Plays Everywhere. Because Flash and h.264 are supported on just about every platform, there are fewer gaps in what your visitors see.
- No YouTube. Because you can have these video files on your own website, there are no 3rd party ads from your competitors!
We're very excited about this, and we feel like it changes everything to a level that hasn't happened in 15 years. iPhone to video blog on your website in seconds! How cool is that?!