The many flavors of H.264 video

H.264 is not a single video codec; it is a family of codecs with some shared shortcuts grouped into 17 sets of profiles and 16 levels of constraints. Video creators and playback software share a mutual understanding of these shortcuts, which are often accelerated by specialized chipsets. This post examines a few of the many flavors of H.264 video and their application in mobile, desktop, and Flash Player environments.

HTML5 video markup, compatibility and playback

The emerging HTML5 specification lifts video playback out of the generic object element and into specialized video handlers. Explicit markup for audio and video places elevates moving pictures to a similar native rendering capacity as img markup we are used to but with more fine-grained details about underlying formats and compression available before loading. In this post I will dive into implementation details of HTML5 video based on currently available consuming agents and outline some of the nuances of preparing media for playback.

Better Design Through Code

Every day our web applications ignore useful visitor data. We respond to single request based on a domain and a path without listening to the capabilities, location, preferences, and favorite interactions of our visitors and their requesting agent. A few weeks ago I challenged a room full of designers at PARC to rethink what’s possible on the Web and rely on adaptive programming techniques to serve the right content to the right audience at the right time. I titled the 50-minute talk “Better Design Through Code” and walk through latent capabilities of servers and browsers ready and waiting to deliver personalized, adaptive content to unique Web visitors.

The current state of video search

When I lived in L.A. it seemed like everyone wanted to be a movie star. The Starbucks barista waiting to be discovered as he pronounced “Frappuccino,” friends scheming to be placed on a reality show and win a trip to a tropical island, and the many writers trying to get their latest script into the hands of Steven Spielberg. The recent boom in online video and its associated capture hardware has created a new class of stars. The next American Idol might submit a cover song to YouTube and video of a child’s first steps are uploading to the Web…

ExpoTV videopinions

ExpoTV is best described as Epinions in video form. Users submit video reviews of products and share tips with others. Creating a review can be as simple as demonstrating a product’s features in front of a webcam. I watched video reviews of an iPod shuffle, Proactiv acne solution, and Sharpie highlighters. The company was founded by executives from the cable TV industry. ExpoTV content is available on-demand from Comcast, Adelphia, Charter, and a few other big cable companies. ExpoTV makes money by connecting viewers with a product purchase. Videos in certain categories receive an Amazon gift card of $10-$25…