I ran across this video recently of Richard Stallman giving a TedX talk on our favorite subject. To spice things up a bit I took the original HD version I had (in ogg format) and re-encoded it with ffmpeg 2.3.2 running on Fedora 21 pre-alpha. I've been re-encoding everything to webm for several years now but finally I can do the newer flavor of webm that uses VP9 as the video codec and OPUS as the audio codec. Oddly on my Fedora 20 desktop none of my standalone media players will play the file. Some will play just the audio, others will play just the video. On Fedora 21 the players do a better job.
How can you view it? Well, vp9/opus in a webm container have been supported by both Firefox and Google Chrome for several releases now... so enjoy it in your web browser. You are using one of those, right? I prefer Firefox because I like freedom rather than an advertising company trying to make products that help themselves out. Enjoy!
Google has finally started talking publicly about the upcoming VP9 video codec that will be integrated into the FLOSS and patent unencumbered webm video container format. I'm a big webm fan and I have found the existing VP8 codec to be pretty darn good. webm with VP8 is way better than Ogg Theora (which is pretty good) but not quite as good as H.264. Google plans on changing that with VP9. Supposedly VP9 will be able to be 1/2 to 1/3 smaller than H.264 and provide as good or better quality. That is exciting.
Here is a video detailing VP9 and showing some samples from the recent Google I/0 2013 event:
I hope that shows up as webm in your browser but if not, use youtube-dl.
I first blogged about webm the day Google released it. It has taken some time but now I have full support for webm in my preferred Linux desktop distro (Fedora 13). I've been doing some testing and I have to say I'm impressed.
Why even care about webm? Because I prefer to use royalty-free file formats that are based on open standards and free / open source software. Any other questions? :)
I'll cover both webm playback and encoding.