How do you try WebM?

April 14, 2011
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If you want to try WebM, the open video format released by Google, you first need a browser that supports it. Today, the easiest way is downloading a rough developer-oriented test version of two browsers that will have support built-in: Firefox and Opera. Programmers have been working to add support for some time, but only made the changes public after Google’s announcement. The open-source project behind Google Chrome, Chromium, has been updated with WebM support, but it’ll take until May 24 for it to sift into the developer channel of the Chrome browser for convenient testing. Apple has been mum about its VP8 and WebM plans, but it’s a big booster of H.264. Microsoft, another H.264 fan, has said its future IE9 will support VP8 if somebody takes the trouble of installing software to enable it.

You’ll need some video to watch, too, and here the obvious destination is the HTML5 version of YouTube, where Google is testing support for the new video support built directly into Web pages. All videos uploaded to YouTube with 720p resolution or better will be encoded with WebM. Google just added Firefox and Opera to its supported browser list by virtue of WebM, but the company has only just begun transcending video into the format, so there isn’t an entire parallel-universe version of the video site available yet with the new codec.

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