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Looping is up to the video player, not the format or container. What "video formats" have looping as metadata? Gifs only have a loop flag so static images can be displayed instead of looped indefinitely as video.

GIF lets you control the loop count and playback speed. It's baked in when authored and is useful. You can simply save the file and expect it to work everywhere - dead simple.

The Internet has voted in favor of looping, "GIF-like" moving images. Platforms try to emulate this with proprietary video players. Some have sound (wanted or not), some of the video players prohibit copying, and none of the files work as simply as GIF for sharing.

We need something more modern than GIF, but that has playability baked in. Something that browsers treat as a moving image and not a video.

> You can simply save the file and expect it to work everywhere

I don't quite follow. This is because the gif is decoded and played. No different than a video. You don't need a proprietary player to loop a video, you just go back to the start of the video. For streaming, this is only problematic for large videos that can't be cached, but the same applies to large gifs. Browsers can loop video, it's just a right-click setting. HTML5 can loop video, allowing sites to serve video in e.g. a banner, replacing gifs. You can save any video file just like a gif.

> Something that browsers treat as a moving image and not a video.

The entire point of deprecating gifs is because video is superior. Gif as an image format being able to specify frame duration and looping is hardly a noteworthy feature.

Video isn't superior for sharable, loopable images.

Try downloading a video from a popular social network. Can you easily do it without inspecting the source? If it's a two second clip, does it loop on your system? Or does the video player exit / end the stream?

This is absolutely a problem that GIF doesn't have.

> You don't need a proprietary player to loop a video

> You can save any video file just like a gif.

Except social networks force you to use a locked down or DRM'd player. You can get chunks of the video sometimes. Your non-tech friends are out of luck.

> you just go back to the start of the video

"just". Yeah, how many players support that out of the box? Yours might, but there are many more that do not.

Your complaints about true video formats (vp8/vp9/x264/x265/av1 with html5 video) replacing true gifs are misplaced.

Inability to save videos/gifs isn't a format problem, it's a problem due to javascript obfuscation or DASH/HLS making it difficult because you have to find the video chunk url(s), fetch them, and if there are multiple pieces, piece the full video back together. Campaigning for a return to gif isn't going to make those sites switch back. The only sites that might switch back would be sites that already allow right-click download. They won't switch back either, though, because gifs are vastly less efficient.

Looping is a html5 video tag attribute. If a video isn't looping, it's because the site serving the video didn't add that tag attribute. Many gif-style video upload sites automatically loop videos.

Also, gifs in browsers don't support seeking which is annoying for gifs more than a few seconds long.

HTML5 video is perfectly fine, loops fine, and is easy to save if the site doesn't obfuscate it with javascript or turn it into a chunked HLS or DASH mess.

so you're saying the solution to use as a replacement is harder to use and clunkier? right, i'm sure everyone will rush to adopt it and customers won't care at all

> Try downloading a video from a popular social network.

That's the site's decision. You also cannot easily download images from Twitter if there are more than one in a tweet for example. On Instagram it is blocked all in all.

> That's the site's decision.

No it isn't. UA means user agent, not corporate agent. If the user decides to persist something that is loaded on his machine then it is his choice to make.

You were lost some where in the thread above. I totally agree but that's not what we were discussing here.

> Can you easily do it without inspecting the source?

Yes, I use Page Info (Tools menu -> Page Info) in Firefox. It lists all the media assets on the page and you can download the one you want.

The inability to right-click and save a video is less a problem with the video file itself and more a problem with how the page is structured. You can have the same right-click problem with GIFs depending on where they appear in the page structure.

... That’s far from what I would call an acceptable ux.

So make an add-on which does the same thing with whatever UX you want. It's a good project for you. I look forward to using it when you're finished.

Alternatively, use one of the media downloading add-ons which already exist.

Mass adoption doesn’t want to use addons or go in to the developer tools. That’s my point. I know how to do it but even for me it is not intuitive.

Your point doesn't address the fact that you can have the same right-click problems with GIFs as with video files. The file type doesn't matter, the page structure does.

The great mass of people don't care about saving media assets from a page. There will never be mass adoption of this, no matter how easy it is.

They do though. For example love to share memes to each other and with phone it’s as simple as pressing the image for a long time. Video formats do need the same kind of actions to compete with the ease of use of gifs.

They don't though. You're in a bubble of a minority use case.

Video formats don't need to compete with GIFs. That competition is already over. GIF files are too big to be practical at scale. Video won the file size war a long time ago, which is precisely why Twitter "GIFs" are videos.

You can't do this on mobile, though…

> Looping is up to the video player, not the format or container.

Says who? First of all, it really is debatable if animated gif even is a movie. It has no sound, is usually far shorter than the usual video clip, etc. Second, animated gifs are very often created solely for the purpose of displaying them in a short looping fashion. Third, the fact that all this can be done in a single image format makes them ideal for sharing through the web as well as private chat applications. And fifth, and this is what this is of course all about, sharing short animated gifs gives the user the possibility to share rich content not tied to any private business or entity. You can share 'em via Whatsapp, Telegram, e-mail, usb-stick, have a collection of them stored somewhere, without the need for a Facebook/Google/Amazon account and internet connectivity. You can look lovingly at them, even when your phone is in flight mode. Let's keep it that way. Let's not kill one of the nicest image formats around, and make everybody visit your website to see the embedded movie including horrid player that's supposed to be better but just isn't and never will be. Lot's of companies already did this (hi Twitter) and it's really disheartening to know that while I was able to collect a nice bunch of animated gifs over the years, my kids will probably never have that chance because the file format will just be walled off by the internet giants.

Here’s another completely different use case (I came across this while googling unsuccessfully for a way to make videos loop):

You’re setting up a booth at a convention. You want to have a video playing on a TV. It should play forever in a loop.

Apparently, with any normal “smart” TV, that’s very hard to do! You can put a video file on an SD card or something, but you probably can’t persuade the built-in video player to loop it (edit: seamlessly, anyway). You can’t just set a loop flag on the file like you can with a GIF, because proper video formats don’t have any such flag.

I guess you could set up a web page with a looping video on it? That’s more of a hassle than just putting a file on an SD card, and less reliable if the net connection is spotty.

There are companies that will literally sell you a hardware dongle just to loop videos. It’s ludicrous.

What you describe is a software limitation in the TV's video player if it doesn't have an option to loop. Right now, I can open up a video in Firefox, say a VP8 WebM, and there's a right-click option to loop it. Every noteworthy media player (VLC, MPV, etc) supports looping. Websites can tag video to loop. Likewise, you're able to loop a gif even if it doesn't have a loop flag - the loop flag doesn't need to exist, it can be external to the format be it GIF or video.

The point is that if I send you a gif, you currently don't need to tell whatever program you opened it in that it's meant to loop. When I send you a gif, I expect it to be looped on your end. It's part of the gif package that we've come to love. Of course the loop flag doesn't strictly need to exist, but if someone has to perform an extra step to do what gifs were already doing, then no one will use it as a replacement.

> What "video formats" have looping as metadata

QuickTime (MOV/MooV)

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