Friday, March 21, 2014

Why we dropped support for WebM

I've always been a big fan of open standards and so just loved it when I could play WebM directly in the browser. Following the prevalent standard practice, from day 1, we at VuFirst added support for MP4 and WebM, with flash fallback for our videos. But recently we decided to drop support for WebM and go only with MP4.

So before I get any hate mail ... I still love WebM more, but some decisions are taken keeping your company/product requirements in mind. So here are my 3 main reasons ...

  • Today most of browsers including FF support MP4 straight out of the box. Of course FF has issues on some platforms, but this is a very small percentage. The situation wasn't so just over a year ago ago (refer section What works on the Web)
  • Opera really hasn't set the market on fire and continues to lag quite behind the others at around 2% market share. This also means - we drop support for Opera at present.
  • Since we use AWS, supporting WebM means additional costs for both transcoding the video and also storing it on S3.

Anyways, adding WebM back wouldn't take more than a minute for us. So until the decision parameters, for whatever reasons, change drastically -- we will now support only MP4. We would still be covering majority of the browsers out there.

So what do you think? Do send me your thoughts ..