For those that don't know it, RealPlayer was a very popular proprietary media player (with its own proprietary formats) circa 2000. The company's stock was worth $380 a share in 2000; it's now worth $6.
The only explanation for RealPlayer's popularity was its DRM I think; lots of commercial users wanted the DRM.
But it got more bloated with every release, and I had to go through its countless option settings every time I updated it to disable all the sneaky ways they came up with to violate user privacy. I'm relieved that we no longer need either Flash or RealPlayer.
It's much better than having plugins that do the same thing (if you use firefox you're used to Flash asking for trial Norton to be installed every time a security exploit is found in Flash). In the perfect world we wouldn't need it, but it leaves no excuse for media companies not to use HTML5.
EME is a spec for a communication channel between script in a web page and a browser, with the idea that the browser then talks to a DRM module. It's not a spec for a communication channel between the browser and a DRM module.
This is important, because it means that you end up with DRM modules that are tied to a particular browser.
The NPAPI plugin situation is unfortunate in all sorts of ways, but the one good thing it had going for it was that there _was_ an API that multiple browsers all implemented, such that a single plugin binary woudl work in all of them (modulo the usual bugs and incompatibilities you have when there are multiple implementors of an API).
Unfortunately, 3 of the 4 main browser vendors also happen to be DRM vendors, and were rather united in their opposition to the W3C creating a specification for the communication channel between the browser and the DRM module.
Will the new DRM formats support this use case? E.g. if I'm a paying Netflix subscriber, could I view a dynamically defined (XML or JSON) mashup of Buffy and Twilight, using only a list of start/stop edit points? The HTML5 viewer would need to pre-buffer each video clip, to make the viewed stream seamless.
For instance: If someone do research for educational or critical purposes, they have the right to use copyrighted material under "Fair Use" (US, UK and other countries have similar rules).
With DRM this would essentially block this right (if used on the material in question), which of course is not a good thing.
But it's great to see that HTML5 is now the preferred choice on YT.
One of the big problems with DRM is that this ends up being not "right to use" but "right to use in several very narrow ways that someone else deems fit". If your use is innovative or just different — such as using a more capable media player with more features than the one provided to play the media with —, you end up being not able to do it.
I'm against DRM, but "You're offending my rights to copy with minimum effort" is not an argument against it. Nobody has to provide anything in an easy-to-copy way, which doesn't mean that you don't have the right to copy it.
Which just means content owners will continue to use proprietary plugins or push unstandardized extensions.
Pressure should be applied to the root of the issue (copyright holders' desire for DRM), not the symptom.
Which will provide a worse experience, making it easier for competing content owners to provide a better experience.
Unless you want the web page to work. One could just as well describe having a web browser as "completely optional".
Or will it most likely be a specification that allows multiple (but NDA'd) implementations, such as the DRM component of dvd and bluray players? If that is the case, then it is still better than what we had before, as multiple vendors will need to compete (increasing the likelihood of a non-crappy implementation).
It's a closed source proprietary blob. You can read about it here.
None of these have open specs.
Although I can see sites being reluctant to do that because it would be inconvenient for the users to have to install something specifically to watch the web videos on that site. One thing I can see happening would be one major DRM software that emerges and all websites that want DRM work together to use that.
With this move, Linux is no longer "supported" on a web wholly built on it. That's completely fucked up.
DRM is fundamentally incompatible with the web. Let's not give it any reason to think it belongs here.
They seem to be making it tricky to rip DVDs/Blu Rays these days (dirty tricks to screw with Handbrake/VLC) so the only way to get a movie onto my media server is to dl from somewhere after I bought the disc. Ironic, no?
If you're suggesting that it's only copyright violation if you download a complete work from somebody, you're flat out wrong.
So, maybe "they" (person/group alleging infringement) wouldn't have to get all the pieces, but it makes their case much stronger. There can certainly be fair use arguments made for transmitting torrent piece sized copies of protected works.
"There can certainly be fair use arguments made for transmitting torrent piece sized copies of protected works."
How is that not 'sending part of a work makes it fair use' ? Yes yes you're using 'argument could be made' weasel words, but that doesn't mean you're not saying it. Here's a Godwin'ing analogy for good measure: 'arguments could be made that the Holocaust was justified. Of course I'm no nazi, I'm just saying that they could be made'. Yeah sure, good luck going on the record saying that and not (justifiably!) be classified as a nazi sympathizer.
"I said that there are fair uses that involve sending parts of a work"
No you didn't, you made some connection between 'the bittorrent technology, which sends pieces of data, and fair use of parts of works'. A connection that is non-existent. The criteria for fair use are wholly orthogonal to the concept of 'cutting up' a work as it is done in a bittorrent transfer. No (reasonable) argument can be made otherwise. There has been litigation on copyright infringement via bittorrent for about a decade now, if this line of reasoning stood any chance, wouldn't you think it had been used by now?
"that proving a single or small number of pieces were transmitted between parties is not ipso facto evidence of infringement"
Yes it is when there is no fair use involved, and there is no fair use claim just because bittorrent sends stuff in pieces.
The logic here would, in part, be: "we have evidence that you were taking part in distribution of data that violated copyright law; we don't have to download the entire file from you to have sufficient evidence that you would have supplied any arbitrary data on request".
As for any "fair use" claim, one of the specific pillars there is the impact on the commercial value of the work. In that regard, commentary, critique, review, parody, and similar are not the same as wholesale unmodified distribution.
Unless you are sharing some packed and/or encrypted media, it's probably streamable and even sharing a part of it is enough to break the copyright laws.
Not exactly an uploader, but a peer.
All a downloader knows about his peers, is that they have pieces of that torrent.
Nowadays people would use some kind of HDCP-breaking digital capture device, and regulating all video cameras is basically impossible with their ubiquity, but it's crazy to think about video cameras being modified against our will to suit the needs of one industry.
Those in power will always try to take control away from us. Don't let them.
Is it possible to get results this way, yes of course. Are the results any good, not really. Commercial pirates work with people in the exhibition sector, amateurs rely on known weaknesses in popular disc formats. You'd have to be pretty desperate to rely on streamed media as your 'original.'
Beauty of digital.
As for the spooks, depends on what you mean by "easily".
According to a video posted on Vimeo (which claims to be from a DMCA hearing) representatives of the MPAA appear to make recommendations on how to do the capture and they provide some tips that will increase the quality of the final product.
For example, hooking directly into the audio output; and, removing other light sources.
It was positively mind blowing.
Almost equivalent to seeing 240x180 video playing on a CD-ROM.
Luckily there was an alternative, Real Alternative, that enabled you to play the content without having to install that ghastly RealPlayer. It seems like the community always finds a way around crappy software.
I like being able to listen to music when I have no internet connection.
I like being able to listen to something when the original was taken down.
I like being able to listen to something that the vendor no longer offers.
I like having smart playlists in my library and on my devices that automatically update themselves based on meta data such as what I've played recently.
Unfortunately I like being able to use my music program on an operating system of my choosing as well, and am looking for an iTunes replacement. But then replacement can't be worse than the original. That's a deal breaker.
Amazon doesn't just provide a link to the files once you purchase them, there is a downloader client. I have never tried the official one, there is an open-source command line alternative called "clamz" that works perfectly.
Personally I usually have an internet connection except on the train, so I use a Subsonic server, and my Android Subsonic client is set to aggressively precache my playlist (so it plays happily through tunnels, even if the tunnel lasts 10+ songs).
What kind of quality/filesize do you use? If I'm used to ~170kbit VBR AAC/MP3 for headphone use, what settings would I need for Opus?
I'm using 72-96 kbit/s as bitrates, I've been playing around with that actually. 72 kbit is too little sometimes, 80 is fine, 96 is safe. Encoding is done in foobar2000, copy everything into a playlist, right click -> encode. My archive structure is this: At the top, there is one folder "Lossless", one folder "Lossy", each with subfolders for artist and album. foobar2000 and any other players syndicate their library from both folders.
I have separate versions of my music archive on my laptop and on my phone, each of which are complete. For the laptop, Lossless gets converted to Opus, Lossy remains the same, folders get merged. On the phone and tablet with tighter space constraints, I just re-encode everything to opus and merge. I won't notice the artefacts of re-encoding MP3 to Opus when there's a train humming in the background and people talking.
My best headphones for use with my phone are the 50€ Shure earphones. I also have some large open headphones from Thomann. Both are kinda good, but not studio quality good, so some details will escape me. I could maybe find some differences between Flac and Opus in some recordings if I tried very hard, but frankly I hate paying attention to audio quality. It's a very draining task that I restrict to comparing amplifiers/DACs and speaker setups, and I'll always use Flac for that anyways.
It handles more formats than iTunes (FLAC and OGG, maybe others), and the interface is okay, but not as polished as iTunes.
I haven't used it to add or remove music from my iPhone on either platform, but the Linux version can play music from the phone, so maybe it works.
Is 'polished' some kind of euphemism in this context that I'm just missing? The last time I tried to simply copy an MP3 from my laptop to my wife's iPhone I wasted almost an hour wading through nonsense errors, online tutorials, and absurd UI before I decided it's actually impossible to copy/paste an MP3 through iTunes and downloaded a standalone free player so I could load the file to the phone through the browser.
I don't own a lot of music, I don't have a library of albums, just a folder of files I wanted to copy/paste.
As an iTunes apologist and power-user since 1.0 (my huge library admittedly is not helping), 12 has become the last straw on using iTunes as anything but a sync tool and database. As a media player, it's a disaster.
Good to know I'm not the only one. I've become used to scrubbing the pointer up and down over the list of podcasts until the part I'm looking at is legible, and plugging my iPod in twice to get it to show up. But IMO iTunes is actually one of the less-bad recent Apple software screw-ups. At least it doesn't have enormous memory leaks, like Safari and Keynote, which regularly beachball my poor laptop with "only" 4GB of RAM long enough to go make a cup of coffee.
I would argue the peak in bug severity was 11.0, which randomly deleted podcasts: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5324634?tstart=0
For me that meant 30 GB of podcasts gone, most of which I can't download again (publisher went broke, original download required payments etc.) Sigh. I used to be a big fan of iTunes as well.
The bloat is probably integration with the store. That should be split into a separate program and iTunes should just be a music library manager. Of course, that won't happen since not many people care about having a persistent music library any more.
Additionally, it is a LARGE application just for playing audio. I know that it does other things too but it seems to have outgrown its original purpose? There is now a crossover between iTunes and the App Store on Mac, from what I can tell? I wonder why they don't merge.
Having said that, I like the glaring red icon they now use (not sure why they changed from blue though!)
In addition to what other have said:
* no support for FLAC, OGG, WMA(?)
* I don't _think_ there's support for ReplayGain.
* Frankly, I just find the UI hard to manage.
* _any_ marginally advanced feature.
For a real spit-take, though, put one of the companies that we think of today as Very Big Deals next to it for comparison. Like, say, comparing Apple's performance to RealNetworks' over the decade from 1997 to 2007:
(I omit the last few years because AAPL has gone up so much over that period that if you include it you can't see the line for RealNetworks anymore. But check out how long it took Apple just to reach the heights Real was at in the late '90s.)
Or Adobe, all the way up to now:
"For the ubercool interactive charts, you need to install the Adobe Flash Player"
Just seemed a bit ironic, given the topic.
People understand this at a rational level when you point it out to them, but I do wonder about the extent of the economic effect of their flawed gut-level intuitions.
What killed them was the iPod. Or rather, computers and bandwidth improved so better quality compression could be used. Then RealPlayer limped along on name recognition alone. Although during the early days of h.264 it was the easiest way to play an MP4 on Windows.
I didn't know it was that old.
Chart at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPod#Sales says ipod really took off in 2005, though. Before then it was not a very big seller at all.
I had been using ClickToPlugin under Safari to force HTML5 videos on sites (and mainly for a way to send YouTube videos to the AppleTV via AirPlay, as there was no other way to do it) but now all machines are Flash-free.
I think I'll have a coffee to celebrate.
I also recently discovered that the Crocodile Hunter at 1/2 speed is freaking hilarious. e.g.,
document.getElementsByTagName('video').playbackRate = 1.35
Actually, come to think of it, both are good ideas.
Man this line is hilarious. Your DRM to block users from keeping the videos you are sending them is not making the experience faster or smoother. Don't try to pass off user-hostile proprietary blobs restricting the data on their computer as anything but a terrible blow to a free and open Internet.
You can say, "yay drm", but say "yay drm", not "yay drm, bullshit about faster and smoother". At least own up to the fact you are crippling UX for personal gain.
Basically it's as much HTML5 as <object data="swf"> was HTML4.
It's supported only by DRM vendors: Google (WideVine), Safari (FairPlay) and Microsoft (PlayReady) and doesn't work in open-source browsers (not even in Chromium or custom WebKit builds).
You can't make a web browser that plays Netflix without signing contract with one of the DRM vendors that Netflix supports, or rolling your own DRM and convincing Netflix (and distributors that pull their strings) to adopt it.
For example if you compile Chromium from source it won't work (at best Netflix will send you encrypted blobs that you won't know how to decrypt and there is no public spec for it anywhere).
From video publisher's perspective it's locked-up as well. To have your own video DRM-protected with the same tech as Netflix you'd have to get a license from Google (for Chrome WideVine DRM support), Apple (for Safari FairPlay) and Microsoft (for IE PlayReady DRM).
Netflix's playback without "without plugins" is achieved not by removing plugins and having open standards, but merely by convincing browser vendors to bundle closed DRM code with their browsers. Technically it's more like Chrome shipping bundled Flash, but fortunately nobody calls that a "HTML5 native Flash without plugins!"
You're right, technically EME's integration and distribution are different, so it's not a plug-in in that sense. However, the other downsides that were associated with plug-ins have remained the same in the built-in ex-plugins.
Browser plug-ins get so much hate not only because they're pain to install/upgrade, but also because they're usually not as open and portable as the rest of the platform.
(a bit meta, but term for this conflation of meanings is disguised query: http://lesswrong.com/lw/no/how_an_algorithm_feels_from_insid... )
There are a fair number of people who can't skip Flash quite yet for Netflix.
Good start though.
"Here, if we give you 10 million USD for free, can you just get your devs to use this untested pile of DRM?"
So my old tactic of open 5 tabs, maximise and watch one by one is completely nerfed
To prevent YouTube from switching sources when resizing the content, select a specific quality first (it defaults to “Auto”). I wouldn't be surprised if there were browser extensions that automatically do this (e.g. always choose the highest quality).
I switched to forcing HTML a while ago so can't test. Either way, I'll try that - thank you :)
There used to be mplayer plugin for firefox a loong time ago, nowadays all browsers use building unoptimized codecs.
The fact that somebody down-voted me for adding a relevant anecdote, but happens to go against the tide of this threads opinion(ie: FU Flash), it's pretty indicative of the extremely poor voting etiquette around here.
Your anecdote isn't relevant, because I don't know what hardware you run, and it's likely that most other readers aren't using the same hardware. Your time would be better spent filing a bug report.
I'm hoping it's a local max/temporary decline for Chrome, but Firefox now feels like the lighter of the two browsers in my use.
With Mozilla, all discussions are open, choices are justified, and literally anyone (assuming your reasoning and technical abilities are sound) can contribute.
(I'll note that I don't actively contribute much to Mozilla, but if nobody uses Firefox then it's not going to keep getting better).
Occasionally there are already Chrome-only websites, there is a Chrome web store that could potentially become a gatekeeper for software similar to what Apple is doing in the iOS ecosystem.
I'm using Firefox even if that means that I don't get some cutting edge feature that I don't really need until a few weeks later. Hope that makes sense.
1) PDF viewer.
3) Some audio/video codec support (e.g. Chromium has no support for MP3, AAC, H.264, or the MP4 container format; see <http://www.chromium.org/audio-video>).
4) Crash reporting, metrics, that sort of thing.
#1 and #2 are certainly closed-source. I can't speak to #3. [EDIT: as surrealize points out, #1 is no longer closed-source.]
From an end-user perspective, there's a significant difference between "browser that will play the music and the videos and show me the PDFs" and "browser that will not do those things". Chromium, while open source, is really not a viable end-user browser on today's internet.
I don't think so, because really it's a difference between "will show the pdf..." and "will launch a program to show the pdf."
As a full time Chromium user, I've had frustrations twice--once trying to figure out why Netflix didn't work after I had heard it "now worked on linux," and the other with an app called mightytext that was doing a very stupid redirect loop forever in Chromium, but not Chrome.
That's over the course of a year or so.
Not only that, but PDFs embedded via <object> don't get shown in external apps in any browser. And this does in fact happen. For example, if you want to get your pay stubs or W2s via https://portal.adp.com you end up dealing with just such a setup.
I realize anecdotes aren't data, but this also applies to your anecdote; you're very much not a typical end user (starting with the fact that you're using Linux!).
I should note that "Netflix doesn't work" is probably a deal-breaker for the average user all on its own.
I'll agree I'm not a typical end-user, but I don't remember having to "work hard" to get anything I wanted out of Chromium.
I troubleshoot every little problem for every member of my mostly tech-illiterate family, and I don't remember ever having this problem (like before PDFs would open in browsers, say).
Anyway, just more anecdotes.
Advanced users can compile chromium if they want; from what I understand it's virtually identical to the chrome binary.
Chromium may be OSS, but Chrome is not.
Chromium is fine, and I use it next to FF all day every day. I have never tried committing to it so I have no idea, but the general mindshare seems to be Chromium contributions are Google dominated.
Regardless, yeah Flash on Firefox on Linux is several years behind.
I'm not sure if switching to CPU-only video decode will be a net gain for most.
There are a lot of people in places like that.
Also, Allwinner, Intel, Mediatek, and Rockchip all have SoCs announced with hardware VP9 decode: http://wiki.webmproject.org/hardware/socs (not sure how many of those are already shipping).
Apparently the stats on user engagement show improvement. It seems that initially they showed a lot of improvement, but then they realised they were comparing the average video against only the most popular videos in VP9 (since those made the most sense to transcode first) and obviously people are more likely to keep watching something really popular.
Once they took that into account they did identify that some older machines would have a degraded performance and therefore lower engagement with VP9, but the heuristic for avoiding them is "Running XP" so it seems that most modern machines have a better experience with CPU decoding of VP9.
I believe they were up to 60% of all desktop views in VP9 by the end of last summer, so I'd guess if it was going to melt anyones's computer it would have happened by now.
Also, the HTML5 player has a nice feature to change the rate at which the video plays, which makes watching long talks a lot easier.
ClickToPlugin is great IMO and it's kept me from switching away from safari for the longest time.
Every day the number of reasons to keep Flash installed gets lower and lower. I still keep it installed on my machine for the occasional site that still uses it, but Flash's days are definitely numbered. When a site as big as Youtube stops using it, that is when you know there isn't long left. Fortunately Adobe realised HTML5 is the future a while ago and have been creating some great tools.
Let's you do marks and loops as well as using the playback controls.
Unless you hypothise that porn users not having flash installed is somehow a larger percentage compared to average web user not having flash installed?!
The idea is youtube loses maybe 20 cents or something for losing a user. A porn site loses $30/month or something.
 - https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsa1...
The only thing that seems to occasionally hang for a second or two is loading a pre-roll ad, but that's pretty reasonable given the additional processes around ad serving. On that note, pretty awesome that those are also HTML5...must be nice to be YouTube and control your own ad format.
Edit: For clarification, not saying I enjoy ads, but having dealt with the bizarre SWF formats that ad vendors pass along...
I think the problems started when they changed to the "adaptive" rate stuff; the players don't don't download the entire video file anymore, and instead they buffer in segments. Not only does this remove the ability to pre-buffer the entire video, the client seems to get out of sync with the server. The client ends up waiting forever, but the server isn't sending anything.
Fortunately, I was able to switch many of my friends over to youtbe-dl, and that fixed everything. Unfortunately, the article mentions the idiotic "encrypted medfia extensions" a one of the reasons for the changes to youtube; I wonder what additional useless hoops youtube-dl will end up having to have to jump through.
With HTML5 (under firefox nightly) sometimes it's really stuck and no acceptable amount of seek and/or wait had any effect on it, so I believe it's another kind of bug.
Is there a way around this?
Do you think Youtube would be for or against that (i.e. do they really want me opening more than one tab?)
~$ cat .asoundrc
I think I actually prefer a working, portable Flash-based solution to that.
In not sure which are worst: Netflix and Google for pushing this bullshit into the browser & standard or uneducated users for swallowing it whole.
Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 8_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12A4345d Safari/600.1.4
Try disabling adblock, it seems to break their html5 streaming.
I know this only for research purposes of course...
Regardless, this is absolutely great. I haven't had flash for a while now and so it makes me happy to feel that HTML5 really is a valid replacement for most things.
Moving from flash to HTML5 adaptive bitrate is not trivial task and if you are familiar with MSE/EME, it shows how powerful the browser has become in delivering rich video content, either pre-recorded or live streaming.
With this, it seems to me there is a big gap now for encoding to new adaptive codecs, like MPEG-DASH and tooling to make something like livestreaming easy to do without flash.
Do you know by the way, is MPEG-DASH patent encumbered or not?
Are there any examples of flash only video? I used to use a 3rd party extension that would show videos in html5 and i never came accross any video that required me to load it in flash. I'm curious how Youtube tries to deliver those videos now.
Has any streaming platform actually rolled out an implementation of this? And has anyone found a way to break it?
Note EME isn't "DRM" per-se. Its an interface to enable custom DRM implementations. There's not "one thing" to break. I'd assume Youtube would use Widevine (another google company) which supports EME.
Then I think I'm done with that extension.
 There's an initiative to play HLS videos without flash at https://github.com/RReverser/mpegts, but its too much heavy since the browser needs to change mpegts container to mp4.
Some notable issues I've run into:
- play.spotify.com, I used to use the web player on my computer, it requires flash sadly. I've started using their OS X app.
- twitch.tv if I occasionally watch a stream, also needs flash. I tend to turn it on for the duration.
It's pretty great and I'm enjoying better battery life, more efficient use of cpu.
That reason was reversed, and Adobe Air (including what was essentially compiled Flash) became available on iOS.
(see daring fireball for more information: http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/iphone_agreement_bans_flas...)
This is worlds away from a reversal. You were still using Cocoa to interact with the device, not Flash.
Also, Adobe Air does not compile to Objective C, though it doesn't run in a conventional Flash VM either. See also:
Remember, this is the guy that controlled QuickTime and never opened it up. That was a bit of problem for open video supporters.
(from your link)
Apple did in fact control Quicktime AND keep it very proprietary.
To insinuate that they were pro open source on video is revisionism.
The file format is still an ISO standard and pretty much anything reads it. Even Apple itself doesn't use the Quicktime container anymore (and hasn't for years). I didn't insinuate anything regarding open source, which doesn't appear anywhere in the part I quoted.
Edit: Oh, I noticed you significantly modified your first comment, that's why you now talk about open source when I never did. When I responded your comment read: “From the guy that tried to force QuickTime on us?”.
Also, the events described in your link all took place while Jobs was not at Apple.
My point was the Steve Jobs complaining about proprietary video is very ironic ... when he was pedaling his own proprietary video tech.
"proprietary acceleration techniques"
Steve Jobs was not at Apple between 1985 and 1997.
<i>More than 250 million copies of QuickTime 6 have been downloaded in
> less than two years since its release. According to Frost & Sullivans
> 2004 Global Media Streaming Platform Report, between 2002 and 2003
> Microsofts and Real Networks worldwide market share percentages were
> either stable or declining while QuickTimes market share increased to
> 36.8 percent, a close second to Microsoft. Real Networks came in third
> place with less than 25 percent of the worldwide streaming market
Apple was never an "open source/open technology" white knight in video.
A whitelist + click for sound would be pretty much exactly what I want.
As a test, I just popped open the first interesting looking video on my signed-in YouTube front page (my account has been set to HTML5 for a while).
I'm not a fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but the video does have Lily Cole is in 1080p. Opera 27.0.1689.54 on Win 8.1 x64.
TL;DR: For now you need to use beta/aurora/nightly releases of firefox to enable 1080p/4K youtube with the HTML5 player.
Also Google Maps seriously lags on Safari. Do not like it.
I am talking about thing that you zoom into YouTube video and it shrinks.
Virtual desktop feature is nice, although not related.
By the way, I was talking about YouTube being broken, not Safari. Haven't seen such behaviour with any other HTML5 player other than YouTube.
edit: facts will get you downvoted on HN. Nice.