Apple Wins The Internet Video Wars

Say bye-bye to WMV. Say bye-bye to MPEG.

The lead-in:

Adobe Extends Web Video Leadership With H.264 Support

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE – News) today announced the latest update for Adobe® Flash® Player 9 software, code-named Moviestar, which includes H.264 standard video support — the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray® and HD-DVD® high definition video players — and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support, as well as hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback. These advancements will extend Adobe’s leadership position in Web video by enabling the delivery of HD television quality and premium audio content through the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player and pave the way to expand rich media Flash experiences on the desktop and H.264 ready consumer devices. The latest update for Adobe Flash Player 9 will be available in beta for immediate download later today on Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com.

The analysis and kicker:

Adobe bringing HD video, high quality audio to Flash using H.264, AAC (iPhone Flash support?)

MacDailyNews Take: Paving the way for iPhone Flash support? Apple clearly wants widespread H.264 and AAC support. Now the Flash plug-in for iPhone makes sense. In fact, we’d venture to guess that there is a high probability that Apple told Adobe to support H.264 and AAC, if Adobe wanted to get Flash onto the iPhone.

In early July, The Wall Street Journal’s Walter S. Mossberg reported, “At launch, the iPhone version of the Safari browser is missing some plug-ins needed for playing common types of Web videos. The most important of these is the plug-in for Adobe’s Flash technology. Apple says it plans to add that plug-in through an early software update, which I am guessing will occur within the next couple of months.”

Note: The advanced H.264 codec makes it possible for Apple’s QuickTime 7 (released April 29, 2005) to play back high-definition video on a personal computer without additional hardware required. Apple’s HD QuickTime gallery is here.

Adobe is following Apple’s considerable lead here.

I am so glad I can quote someone else on this and not have to do my own write-up.

But let’s not forget about YouTube moving to H.264, either!

And then there’s what Cringely said about internal H.264 chips too.

If Apple does indeed make H.264 encoding a built-in feature of the Mac, it will be a total victory for them.

Previously in this blog:
Apple And H.264 Internal Chips: I’m With Cringely
Jobs Gets YouTube On iPhone — But Without Flash!
Oh Look At This! My Apple-YouTube Prediction Will Come True!
Prediction: YouTube/Google Drop Flash Video

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