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Want to transcode Blu-Ray/DVD to MP4 video using disc images? Now there's a script for that!

Back in November, the legendary Don Melton sat down with me to record Vector 22: transcoding video, all about getting the best-possible results for personal use. Don was kind enough to formalize some scripts to help move media from Blu-Ray/DVD to MP4 format, namely, "transcode video file" and "detect crop". Well, Don's now updated both to version 2.0:

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Vector 22: How to rip and transcode video for the best quality possible

Don Melton, former Engineering Director of Internet Technologies at Apple, talks about his non-browser-based passions - Blu-Ray, transcoding, H.264, and managing massive amounts of media. Warning: Contains extreme nerdery.

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Debug 11.1: Don Melton on Blink, Servo, and more

Don Melton, former Engineering Director of Internet Technologies at Apple, returns for a special follow-up episode with Guy and Rene to discuss the newly announced Google Blink and Mozilla/Samsung Servo HTML rendering engines, and to tell us what us which new bear he's trying to get dancing.

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H.265 video gets approved, sets the stage for more efficient 1080p, eventual 4K

H.265, the next generation video codec from the consortium that brought you the current Apple standard, H.264, has been approved by the International telecommunications Union (ITU). In a press release, the ITU said:

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Dear Google: removing H.264 support from Chrome is kinda evil

Google has recently announced that they're removing H.264 -- the video compression open standard used by everything from iPad and iPhone to YouTube and Netflix -- from their Chrome browser. Up until now Google has been the only company to support all the major video codecs, including H.264, OGG Theora, and their own, newly open-sourced WebM. Apple supports H.264, as does Microsoft, and Firefox supports only OGG Theora.

Why the sudden change? Some might say to hurt Apple, whose iOS and iTunes depend heavily on the technology and have shown no signs of slowing down even after Google decided to stop so much partnering and start much more competing with Apple directly in the mobile OS and media services space. Others might say it's simply to give Google a competitive advantage and push adoption of their own WebM format. Neither motives are mutually exclusive but again put the advancement of standards-based web technology on the back burner -- something Google once championed. (Hey, you know it's bad when Microsoft is chiding you over lack of standards support, okay?)

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Regarding Skyfire and proxied Flash on iPhone

Skyfire is a browser on other mobile platforms that was at one point purely proxy-based like Opera Mini (where everything was pre-rendered on a server then pushed out to the device via compressed files) but is now an all-grown up WebKit engine where Flash content is still proxied (processed server side and sent out as iOS friendly video).

They're submitting it to the App Store -- we know because, also like Opera, they announced their intent to submit -- for iPhone and some concerned internet denizens are wondering whether or not it will get accepted, and what if anything it may mean about Apple's current stance on Flash.

Short answer: nothing.

Long answer: Skyfire for iPhone would use the built-in WebKit viewer any app could use, and would probably proxy Flash the same way Microsoft claimed they worked with Apple to serve Silverlight. That means you'll have a way to watch video, but probably not interact with punch-the-monkey adds. Win.

Why is it an apparent issue then? Because Skyfire posted about submitting it, because Apple conspiracy theorists love to conspire about theories concerning Apple, and because the App Store approval process remains utterly opaque and at times seemingly arbitrary.

Hopefully Skyfire gets approved and works well. My guess is it will get approved partly because it won't work well -- on-the-fly transcoding Flash to H.264 is a daunting task for developers (getting Flash to run native on Android is still hit and miss), and will be an exercise in patience and perseverance for users accustomed to things that just work.

We'll see.


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H.264 goes royalty-free, web to go H.264?

H.264 ascendant: why Apple's no-Flash, no-Theora gamble is playing off

H.264, the video codec Apple supports for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad playback, and for the HTML5 video tag in Safari, and now Microsoft is supporting it as well, which means its 66% share will likely go up. Add to that Steve Jobs think the competing, Firefox-supported license-free alternative, OGG Theora, will face patent infringement claims, and it's looking like we have a web video standards winner.

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TED Goes Non-Flash for iPhone (and iPad?)

As announced by Chris Anderson:

Excited about this. Non-flash version of http://ted.com is now live for iphone. Videos, comments, ratings. Hurrah!

For those maintaining score at home, that YouTube and Vimeo, countless porn sites, and an experiment by CBS.com. Still waiting on Hulu...

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CBS.com to Serve HTML5 Video for iPad?

The Other Mac Blog and MacRumors have discovered and confirmed that CBS.com is at least testing iPad-compatible playback ahead of Apple's magical new device launch on April 3.

This new version of the video does not yet work but appears to be based on HTML5. The css files reference HTML5 and have a number of "webkit" specific calls. Webkit is the browser engine used in the iPad's mobile safari. While the videos don't currently play, the "fullscreen mode" reportedly already works in the iPad simulator.

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