<Marc Qualie/>

Google is to drop support for H.264 video format

Google has announced that it will be dropping support for the H.264 video format in favour of more open standards. They will be pushing people to use open sourced codecs such as WebM and Theora.

To that end, we are changing Chrome's HTML5 support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

There are arguments around the internet on whether this is a good move or not. It could potentially make or break Chrome's take off to be the next biggest browser. Currently all browsers, even mobiles (and even flash) support the H.264 standard, however Google's move to change this could mean other browsers have the edge when it comes to online video; one of the biggest parts of the Internet today.

There is also the argument that Flash is built right into chrome now. Not only does Flash support the format, but it is also a closed service, as in it's not open sourced. Could not supporting flash be Google's next move? I doubt it. Needless to say, they seem to be a bit inconsistent when they choose what standards they choose to support, and their reasoning behind them.

If you have any questions about this post, or anything else, you can get in touch on Twitter or browse my code on Github.