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WebM support confirmed in Firefox 4

WebM support confirmed in Firefox 4

The nightly builds of Firefox 4 now feature support for Google's open-source WebM video codec.

While hardware support for Google's WebM video codec might still be nothing more than a glimmer on the horizon, software support is on the rise with the Mozilla Foundation being the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

The latest code for Firefox 4 - the next-generation edition of the Mozilla Foundation's popular web browser - features in-built support for WebM, Google's VP8-based web-oriented video codec. While support has always been planned, the licence used for the WebM codec - while open-source in nature - was incompatible with the GPL used for Firefox.

Thankfully, this little hiccup has now been resolved, and ReadWriteWeb confirms that full support for WebM will feature in Firefox 4 as an in-built codec - meaning no plugins will be required in order to stream WebM content as part of the HTML 5 video specification.

Firefox will join Google's own Chrome in supporting the codec, while Microsoft's next-generation version of Internet Explorer is set to include support as well. However, with a public release of Firefox 4 expected as early as the end of this month, it looks like Microsoft is going to be the Johnny-come-lately to this particular party.

So far Apple, which has been vociferous in its public support for the rival patent-encumbered H.264 video codec, has not declared whether future editions of its Safari browser will include WebM support. Should the codec take off as the standard for web video - as Google is no doubt hoping it will - the company would be insane offer the only major web browser to not feature WebM support.

Do you believe that WebM could be the future of streaming video, or will the H.264 licensing body bury it under patent lawsuits before it gets a chance to be really popular? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

8 Comments

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barndoor101 10th June 2010, 10:59 Quote
apple are supporting h.264 because they are part of MPEG-LA. if they dont decide to support WebM then it would be good to see safari die a slow death.
REMF 10th June 2010, 11:42 Quote
It's a good choice, between HTML5, WebGL and WebM support the internet's next evolution will be interesting to witness.
tristanperry 10th June 2010, 12:07 Quote
Some very nice sounds coming out of FF4. Here's hoping that the Safari + FF4 support for HTML5 will prompt Microsoft to introduce proper HTML5 support... quicker than they introduced CSS2 support.
mi1ez 10th June 2010, 13:44 Quote
Apple, who are all about "open" html5 over flash want to use a licenced, patented, closed video codec?
Right hand of brain not communicating with left guys?
ssj12 10th June 2010, 19:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanperry
Some very nice sounds coming out of FF4. Here's hoping that the Safari + FF4 support for HTML5 will prompt Microsoft to introduce proper HTML5 support... quicker than they introduced CSS2 support.

Does IE9 even properly support CSS3?
rickysio 11th June 2010, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
Apple, who are all about "open" html5 over flash want to use a licenced, patented, closed video codec?
Right hand of brain not communicating with left guys?

Apple openly (geddit?) uses open source code in their closed source systems. Is it any wonder?
impar 24th July 2010, 09:51 Quote
tristanperry 24th July 2010, 10:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Does IE9 even properly support CSS3?
Nope, it doesn't sound like it does. That's why I'm fairly apprehensive about new technologies on the web (sadly including HTML5 which looks pretty good) - they simply don't get implemented in a quick time, and then it takes ages for users to switch over (there's still people using IE6 for example..)
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