Tell me about your video habits on the Internet!

Friday, May 22, 2009 12:39 AM

Doing a little research... can you take this survey about video?

CoasterBuzz Video Survey

In addition, feel free to leave any comments here.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 9:17 AM

I just filled out your form, and there is one bit of technical information that doesn't appear on it.

The only site I regularly visit for video (among the ones you list) is YouTube. The reason is that of those sites, YouTube is the only one where I can get the video out using something *other than* Flash.

The Diamondback HD clips, which are MP4, play great on my computer. Half-SD clips in Flash play more like a slide show. Basically, FLASH SUX!

And yes, I am an OS-X user who can't yet afford to upgrade from G4...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 10:49 AM

I can't ask general users about the kind of video they're watching. Most won't have any idea.

And I don't know what it is, but Flash video isn't playing cleanly even on my high end Intel-based Macs lately, so I don't know what they did in the last release.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 11:15 AM

I also use hulu to watch videos. The picture quality is amazing.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 11:48 AM

I'm having some trouble with Flash video too, Jeff. It's not just you.

I would like videos online to be available in an easily-watchable format (like Flash video) but have a high-quality version available if I'm lucky enough to be on a PC that can handle it and on a connection that supports it. I think it's be the best of both worlds, but might be time-consuming with the dual-encoding going on.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 12:30 PM

delan said:I also use hulu to watch videos. The picture quality is amazing.

But hulu is a dangerous plot to take over the world - Seth MacFarlane even admits it! ;)

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Friday, May 22, 2009 12:53 PM

Took the survey.

My biggest desire is for Apple to allow the iPhone to suck out the video from the Flash player and play it in their own player just like they do for YouTube videos. I use an H.264 video format when I encode Flash video and it works just like FLV and my iPhone should be able to play it, trouble is Apple insists that QuickTime is the only way.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 1:04 PM

I have a 3.00ghz actual speed amd chip and the best direct x 9 card made and hd flash video is choppy on my pc

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Friday, May 22, 2009 4:57 PM

Actually, H.264 video IS QuickTime. The MPEG-4 container follows the MOV container format almost exactly.

The problem is that while H.264/MP4 video is becoming more and more ubiquitous, far too many sites are insisting on embedding it in a FLV container, which is encoded in such a way that Flash is the only thing that will play it...and Adobe's Flash programmers seem to be hell bent on making Flash not function on anything but the most extreme high-end computer.

And forget about hulu.com if you have anything but an ultra-super-computer. Because the content providers are stuck on figuring out ways to copy-protect the free content that they have already given away for free several times before (???!) they are stuck on Flash as well, but unlike YouTube don't have an H.264 alternative version available.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, May 22, 2009 5:21 PM

I know it doesn't relate to internet streaming, but my favorite HD file type is an mkv container with x264 and AC3.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009 12:46 AM

I get decent results on Hulu even with my five-year-old DVR computer hooked to my TV.

I've put H.264 QuickTime movies in a Flash player, and the results are mixed. Silverlight 3 is supporting H.264, and I'm seriously considering experimenting with that once it goes live. NBC will use it for the winter Olympics for full HD streams, and it works on a Mac. Netflix is using it already.

I uploaded the Diamondback video clips to both YouTube and Vimeo. The YouTube player sucks it when you put it on HD mode. The Vimeo version is slightly better.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009 9:51 AM

Jeff I was just reading this and was going to say the exact same thing Silverlight seems like a very promising option most silverlight things I have tried work very well and are not nearly as resource heavy as the flash based counterparts I would see how that works.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:57 AM

Tell me about your video habits on the Internet!

Not sure why I giggled and thought this was a loaded question... hmmmm

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Sunday, May 24, 2009 12:43 PM

If you're going to use Silverlight for basic web video why not just embed or link to the .mov file? Unless your just experimenting.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009 6:47 PM

Or better yet, link the MP4 file. The difference between embedding a MOV and embedding an MP4 is that if it is a MOV, then you're expecting QuickTime to play it, and because of some blunders by Apple four versions ago, a lot of Windows people are unreasonably anti-QuickTime (because the QT-5 installer did what the RealPlayer installer still does, but that the QT-7 installer doesn't: tries to become your default handler for all media without telling you or giving you an option).

But if it is an MP4 file, then any media handler that can handle an MP4 file can be used to open the video. Structurally, MP4 files look like QuickTime MOV files (I think they even use moov as the top-level atom!) but MP4 is really only a subset of MOV, containing only certain codecs and actions.

In HTML 5, there is actually a video declaration which is intended to help the situation: we get back to the world of "I give you the file, you figure out how to play it". Which is how video on the Web *should* work.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, May 25, 2009 2:31 PM

Not playing something in the browser is a less user friendly experience. It's easy for those of us who use video every day to just say make it this or that, but it's not that simple for most people.

I completely disagree that leaving it to the user to figure out how to play something is how it "should" work. That's what made it such a pain in the early years of the Web. I'm not saying that's better or worse technically, but if I've learned anything in this biz, it's that people at large could care less about the technical implementation. They only want it to work.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:43 AM

Not up to the user. Up to the user-agent. The video directive is part of the HTML spec. The trick is that it gets away from the whole idea of trying to drive a plug-in for video. You as a web developer don't have to program a player or expect a particular plug-in. You just specify that it is video and give a frame size. Then it's up to the browser to figure out what to do with it...play it itself, pass it off to a favored video player, ask the user for advice, whatever. The idea is, if your favorite player won't run on my computer, you still give me the file and my browser chooses a player that *will* work.

The idea isn't to get away from playing in the browser. The idea is to get away from making it necessary for the developer and the end user to have all the same tools installed. The idea is to make it more likely that it will "just work".

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:32 AM

You're not hearing me, Dave. Specifications are well-intentioned, sure, but at the end of the day don't mean anything since you can't account for what's at the other end of the pipe. All browsers say they comply to various specs, and yet no two browsers implement them the same way. What you're suggesting would yield a high degree of outright failure.

Say what you will about Flash, but 99% of the time, you can be sure as a content publisher that the user has it installed.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:49 PM

I agree with Jeffs last sentence, especially in the DoD field Ive worked in for years, where what applications installed are at a bare minimum.

But on thing I have always seen installed is adobe flash.. Just because it handles quite a bit in one application. All other media players tend to be stripped due to the lack of admin rights to the users and the level of installation/registry changes they involke.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 4:15 PM

And understand that I don't like the situation either, it's just that these are the realities we have to deal with. I didn't even think about the at-work issues, where I know that iTunes (and therefore likely QuickTime) is totally restricted. CoasterBuzz's biggest audience comes from people working too, so that's a big consideration.

I'm proud to power something that wastes so much workplace productivity. :)

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