Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb has excellent news in the struggle for open standards based video on the web. Google will now save all videos uploaded to its YouTube sharing services in WebM, the format it released as open source and unencumbered by patent royalties last year.
YouTube is announcing this afternoon that all videos uploaded to the site are now saved in WebM format, as well as other supported formats including Adobe Flash. 30% of the YouTube archives, making up 99% of the views, is now available in WebM as well and the full archives are being put in the new format as we speak.
Kirkpatrick also explains how the format has been progressing to address some of the technical criticisms around its quality and performance. It should only be a matter of time before both Chrome and Firefox pick up these changes as both now support rolling release models rather than infequent, monolithic updates.
I am glad to see Google shift direction after its initial reluctance to use the open codec as the default for YouTube. Such deep support from one of, if not the most, popular video sites on the web may prove a watershed in the adoption of WebM as a de facto standard for online video. I don’t expect the MPEG-LA to take this lightly.
YouTube Now Saves All Videos in Open Format WebM, ReadWriteWeb