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Wave Goodbye; What About VP8/WebM?

August 7th, 2010 by Multimedia Mike

Some big news in the geek community this past week came in the form of Google’s announcement that it would no longer be caring about its vaunted Wave technology. I was mildly heartbroken by this since I had honestly wanted to try Google Wave. Then I remembered why I never got a chance to try it: they made it an exclusive club at the beginning. I really did try to glean some utility out of the concept by reading documentation and watching videos and I had some ideas about how I might apply it. Then again, I try to think of a use for nearly any technology that crosses my path.

It still struck me as odd: Why would Google claim that no one was interested in their platform when they wouldn’t give anyone a chance to try it out? A little digging reveals that Google did open it for general use back around May 18. That date sounds familiar… oh yeah, VP8 was open sourced right around the same time. Maybe that’s why I don’t remember hearing anything about Wave at the time.

But now I’m wondering about VP8 and WebM. How long do you think it might be before Google loses interest in these initiatives as well and reassigns their engineering resources? Fortunately, if they did do that, the technology would live on thanks to the efforts of FFmpeg developers. A multimedia format has a far more clear-cut use case than Google Wave.

Posted in Multimedia PressWatch | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Peter Says:

    Where are the VP8/WebM videos?

  2. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Here’s something I wrote on the WebM mailing list about using YouTube to find WebM videos:

    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-play-webm-video-on-youtube.html

    Summary: Install Chrome, opt-in to YouTube/HTML5, click the search link in the above blog post to find for videos transcoded to WebM, then use any of a variety of tricks to determine the direct HTTP URL of the WebM file.

  3. igorsk Says:

    No need to be limited to Chrome; Opera 10.6 also supports HTML5/WebM. Safari probably too.