I had lunch with my father the other day, and I explained this series as well as I could to someone who didn't start programming when he was 11. His immediate reaction was, "Why are there so many different formats? Why can't everybody just agree on a single format? It is political, or technical, or both?" The short answer is, it's both. The history of video in any medium — and especially since the explosion of amateur digital video — has been marred by a string of companies who wanted to use container formats and video codecs as tools to lock content producers and content consumers into their little fiefdoms. Own the format, own the future. And when I say "history" — well, it's still going on. Read more – ‘Mark Pilgrim – A Gentle Introduction to Video Encoding: Constraints’.
The first thing you need to know about captions and subtitles is that captions and subtitles are different. The second thing you need to know about captions and subtitles is that you can safely ignore the differences unless you're creating your own from scratch. I'm going to use the terms interchangeably throughout this article, which will probably drive you crazy if you happen to know and care about the difference. Read more – ‘Mark Pilgrim – A Gentle Introduction to Video Encoding: Captioning’.
Unless you're going to stick to films made before 1927 or so, you're going to want an audio track. A future article will talk about how to pick the audio codec that's right for you, but for now I just want to introduce the concept and describe the playing field. (This information is likely to go out of date quickly; future readers, be aware that this was written in December 2008.) Read more – ‘Mark Pilgrim – A Gentle Introduction to Video Encoding: Lossy Audio Codecs’.
You may think of video files as “AVI files” or “MP4 files.” In reality, “AVI” and “MP4″ are just container formats. Just like a ZIP file can contain any sort of file within it, video container formats only define how to store things within them, not what kinds of data are stored. (It’s a little more complicated than that, because not all video streams are compatible with all container formats, but never mind that for now.) A video file usually contains multiple tracks — a video track (without audio), one or more audio tracks (without video), one or more subtitle/caption tracks, and so forth. Tracks are usually interrelated; an audio track contains markers within it to help synchronize the audio with the video, and a subtitle track contains time codes marking when each phrase should be displayed. Individual tracks can have metadata, such as the aspect ratio of a video track, or the language of an audio or subtitle track. Containers can also have metadata, such as the title of the video itself, cover art for the video, episode numbers (for television shows), and so on. Read more – ‘Mark Pilgrim – A Gentle Introduction to Video Encoding: Container Formats’.
Given the option, most people prefer to watch a video than read good old fashioned text. Therefore, it’s no surprise that video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are increasing in populatrity, with YouTube inparticular being recently ranked the third most popular website in the world by Alexa. Anticipating the need to find video content online, the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) have created their own video search engines. These spider the web for unique video content and publish it in their video sections. Read more – ‘Get your Website’s Video Content onto the Search Engines’.
You're a YouTube addict with a serious amount of uncut video footage that you want to upload. If you want to transform that footage into an Oscar winning video clip that will be viewed millions of times, you'll need to do a little editing. But buying editing tools isn't a cheap pasttime. Read more – ‘Online Video Editors’.
Microsoft is finally making real efforts to woo the designer community who have traditionally worshipped the Adobe and Mac product ranges. One new product that addresses this previously overlooked community is Silverlight, which uses the XAML technology and is touted as Microsoft’s Flash killer. For anyone who is keen to listen, Microsoft proposes that Silverlight will achieve similar results to Flash, but it does so in an entirely different way and has different aims. So, the big question is, will Microsoft be able to break the dominance of Adobe’s Flash platform, that is available on the PC, Mac and mobile devices alike? I’m sure the jury is out on that one, but it can be said it is an uphill task. Read more – ‘Web 2.0 and Beyond with Silverlight and XAML’.
60,000 years ago people began to speak. 5,000 years ago people began to write. 600 years ago people began to publish. 47 years ago people began networking computers together. 15 years ago Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web. Its all pure, clear, free, unregulated information. No middleman, you produce, you distribute it. However, net neutrality and the internet as we know it is under threat from the big corporates. It happened with the press, it happened with radio and now its happening with the internet. "You know who won't be able to pay, it is the little guys and you'll be crushing the future of inovation..." This video is a look at the history of the communication and where it's going next. Read more – ‘Humanity Lobotomy – Save the Internet’.