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    I want to know where Microsoft and Apple stand on AV1. I remember when all the major players were duking it out over WebM or H.264; H.264 won (and Mozilla and Opera, who were pushing WebM, got pressured into adding patent-encumbered H.264 into their browsers by market forces).

    AFAICT, that happened for three big reasons:

    1. Apple and Microsoft implemented H.264 and refused to implement WebM. In retrospect I guess that made more sense for Microsoft since they were still in “we blindly hate anything with the word ‘open’ in it” mode. Apple made less sense to me.
    2. Google promised that Chrome would drop H.264 support, but never followed through. At the time <video> was new enough, and Chrome had enough market share, that I really think they would have been able to turn the tide and score a victory for WebM if they had been serious. But apparently they weren’t.
    3. H.264 had hardware partnerships which meant decoding was often hardware-accelerated - especially important for mobile performance. But I have no idea where I know that from so Citation Needed™.

    I dunno, I think there’s hope for AV1 but that a lot could still go wrong. Apple I am particularly worried about due to iOS’ market share. If they refuse to implement the standard, it could seriously harm or even kill widespread adoption. But OTOH, maybe I’m just a pessimist :P

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      A few months ago, Apple has announced that they joined the AV1 group and Microsoft was a founding member. That makes me much more optimistic than previous open formats.

      I think the MPEG-LA really fucked things up with the minefield they set up for H.265.

      https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/apple-online-video-compression-av1/

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_for_Open_Media

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        Apple and Microsoft implemented H.264 and refused to implement WebM. In retrospect I guess that made more sense for Microsoft since they were still in “we blindly hate anything with the word ‘open’ in it” mode. Apple made less sense to me.

        Apple and Microsoft are both large corporations, and thus hydras; what one head said doesn’t necessarily reflect another. Still, they both have a foot in the game in three awful races: an attempt to be a monopoly without appearing to be such to regulators; both are heavily invested in software patents (a lose-lose game for everyone, but there’s a sunk cost fallacy problem here); heavy investment and affiliation with proprietary media companies.

        I think the rest of your analysis on why h.264 made it in is right in gneral. Also, Cisco did the “here’s an open source h.264 implementation except if you modify it we might sue you for patent violations, so it’s not free software in practice” thing, and that was enough for various parties to check a box on their end, sadly.

        BTW, I sat in on some of the RTCWeb IETF meetings where the battle over whether or not we would move to a royalty free default video codec on the web would happen then. I watched as a room mostly full of web activists not wanting patent-encumbered video to overtake the web were steamrolled by a variety of corporate representatives (Apple especially). A real bummer.

        I’d like AV1 to do better… maybe it can by being actually better technology, and reducing a company’s bottom line by having a smaller bandwidth footprint, as it looks like they’re aiming for here. Dunno. Would love to hear more about strategy there.

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          Also, Cisco did the “here’s an open source h.264 implementation except if you modify it we might sue you for patent violations, so it’s not free software in practice” thing, and that was enough for various parties to check a box on their end, sadly.

          What exactly was happening there? IIRC Cisco basically said “we’ll eat the licensing costs on this particular implementation to fix this problem” so Mozilla/Opera(?) ended up using that to avoid the fees. Is that not what happened?

          I definitely remember Mozilla attempting to hold out for as long as possible. Eventually it became clear that Firefox couldn’t compete in the market without H.264 and that’s when the Cisco plugin went in.

          I watched as a room mostly full of web activists not wanting patent-encumbered video to overtake the web were steamrolled by a variety of corporate representatives (Apple especially).

          This is super gross.

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          Apple made less sense to me

          Apple is extremely sensitive to things that affect battery life of iOS devices. H.264 can be decoded in hardware on their devices. WebM would have to be decoded in software, so supporting it would be a worse experience for device reliability (battery would drain really fast on sites with lots of WebM content).