RealAudio and ultimately Real Video was the original, old school audio and video compression used on the Internet during the early Web 1.0 days. No doubt that Web 2.0’s rise in popularity was caused in part by YouTube and the ability for its users to easily send video up to a server and have it transcoded and streamed on the fly - without the need for expensive programs like the RealMedia server set.
YouTube leveraged the Adobe Flash technology, which in its infancy, would show only cartoon like video, then incorporated codec, or software decoding support for television like motion video. This has been the standard for video distribution on the Internet, but requires support for software, and only lately has incorporated decoding within hardware. Notably the iPad and iPhone are two such media devices that do not have flash media decoding support due to a long feud between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Adobe. Jobs calls flash a CPU hog, and a claims it would cut battery life on his devices from 10’s of hours to just an hour if it was supported. Instead, he and many others hope to see HTML5 take a rise to prominence.
In this SXSW 2010 session, Christopher Blizzard, director of developer relations with Mozilla, and Michael Dale, lead developer of the MetaVid project and WikiMedia foundation, go in depth on what HTML5 has to offer as it pertains to video on the web.