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Old August 18th, 2005, 03:15 AM   #1
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Cross Platform Compatibility Video Formats

hey everyone. i'm editing some videos for some websites and i was wondering if you guys know what formats to use so that people on different operating systems will be able to view these videos. I'm using Sorenson Squeeze 4 for encoding btw.

At the present time, i'm going with Windows Media Video and Quicktime. Will these two formats together give me a lot of flexibility (well, at least for Windows, Macs, WebTV, and Linux users)?

From what i've heard so far:
- the 2 Pass VBR codec for .wmv will give mac viewers problems
- quicktime is compatible with WebTV users also (not sure about linux)

Thanks guys. Any help re this topic will be greatly appreciated

Alex
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Old August 18th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #2
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Today I would recommend Flash Video (FLV) since it doesn't rely on any technology tied to a platform (Quicktime coming from Apple, Windows Media with it's obvious origins...) I've had all sorts of trouble between those two and their opposing operating system platforms.

I haven't found a "free" way to encode FLV on the Macintosh (yet) but I found a decent encoder/player for Windows:

http://www.rivavx.com/

As well as a free embedable player for your webpage:

http://jeroenwijering.com/?item=Flash+Video+Player

So that's what we're going with for now, I've been able to get the videos that I compressed this way to play nicely on both Mac and Windows boxes (and many browsers) and the resulting files are small enough that they don't overtax my webserver or bandwidth, so that's what I'm recommending today :)

I'd love to see what everyone else has to say...
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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:08 AM   #3
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I would shotgun the audience with various choices.
Windows Media
Quicktime

Maybe Flash, maybe H.264 (seperately)
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Old August 18th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #4
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take a look at your web server stats to see the platform stats useage... outside of the windows o.s., everything else you listed all added together probably makes up less than 5-7% of the total visitors to your website... imho, not worth the hassle.

those are the stats for the general public, ymmv if you target things like schools or the art community.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
... imho, not worth the hassle.
...until that one studio executive with a powerbook tries to review your clip... ;)
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Old August 18th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #6
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thanks guys for all the great info.

About Flash videos...i'm not really into them because they can't be downloaded and that's important for the work that i do.

I know that the majority of the surfers today use Windows and that going with Windows Media Video is a safe bet. But i don't want to prevent those other viewers on other OS from viewing these vids. Hmmm...
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Old August 18th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #7
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A lot of people are also in Win 95/98, and can't view windows media 9 well (or quicktime/H.264).
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Old August 18th, 2005, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
A lot of people are also in Win 95/98, and can't view windows media 9 well (or quicktime/H.264).
isn't that were you tell them to upgrade or else? :)
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Old August 18th, 2005, 08:39 PM   #9
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well they should be able to view sorenson3/quicktime fine. QT6 will run on their systems, so you can use the MPEG4 audio codec too.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson
...until that one studio executive with a powerbook tries to review your clip... ;)
i hope that i never run into that situation, lol! fortunately i don't target studio execs, but ymmv.

less than 4% of the o.s.'s on the internet are win98... it's practically non-existant.

regardless, microsoft has a specific player for just that situation, and you can also download just the wmv 9 codec for the older wmp version 6.4.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #11
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less than 4% of the o.s.'s on the internet are win98... it's practically non-existant.
Dan, I'd be curious to see where you got that figure from.

In my annecdotal experience, about a quarter/fifth of the web population is win95/98 from my time with protonic.com (free online tech support site).

2- I'd probably still try to shotgun your audience with Windows Media, Quicktime (sorenson3 + mpeg4 or mp3 or qdesign audio) and maybe H.264 (or whatever codec you have that compresses the highest quality).
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Old August 19th, 2005, 10:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Dan, I'd be curious to see where you got that figure from.

In my annecdotal experience, about a quarter/fifth of the web population is win95/98 from my time with protonic.com (free online tech support site).

2- I'd probably still try to shotgun your audience with Windows Media, Quicktime (sorenson3 + mpeg4 or mp3 or qdesign audio) and maybe H.264 (or whatever codec you have that compresses the highest quality).

I think Dan is referring to these statistics http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp (he replied to another one of my posts with this link)

But i have to say Dan, i'm not so sure that these stats are accurate. Well, Glenn is right, only 3% of surfers are using Win98? and also their FireFox stats are surprising. 20% of surfers are using Ffox as their browser? hmmm
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Old August 20th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #13
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i think you guys are right, some aspects of the w3-related traffic may not reflect the general internet population.

in june my biggest website had nearly 18,000 unique url's, and 7% of it was win98 pc's... but the percentages vary, here we see 10% win98 in july, down from 13% in june and 14% in may:

http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2005/July/os.php

that is a sample size of ~265 million visitors in june... win98 is going away fast.

so you have to identify the trends, both with your website, and on the 'net overall... it's constantly changing, and since it's 72% winxp right now, you know for sure how many native wmp 9 players there are on the 'net.

that's why i don't buy the idea that multiple video formats are as important as it used to be.
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