Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Video Compression for Flash, Apple (iOS) devices and HTML5

Jan Ozer, a colleague and friend who writes for Streaming Media magazine and a number of other online and magazine publications, has just released his most recent book: Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5.

The 258-page book covers the title's topics in detail, looking first at the evolution of the H.264 video codec (also known at AVC as well as MPEG-4 Part 10 for ITU and ISO) and how it has been adopted by Adobe for Flash Player, Apple for its past and current player (QuickTime 7 and QuickTime X, respectively) and Microsoft for its Silverlight player.

Jan then moves on to the questions of royalties (a topic I've covered in multiple articles, including one on H.264 and one on WebM) and then moves into the meat of the book: tips and tricks for working with a variety of compressor tools, including Apple's Compressor, Rhozet's Carbon Coder, Sorenson's Squeeze, Telestream's Episode and several others.

When it comes to specific environments where H.264 content will be played back, Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5 really shines. Whether it's encoding for the specific vagaries of Blu-Ray discs, Apple's multiple iOS devices—including the variations for iPhone/iPod versus the larger screen size of the iPad—or just the basics of Flash or Silverlight playback, the book examines processing and protocols necessary to make your streaming or offline delivery of H.264 a success. 

Jan's focus is on software-only encoding solutions, but the principles are the same for hardware-based encoding and transcoding solutions, such as the Elemental Server, Elemental Live and Inlet Spinnaker products tested during last year's 2010 Best Workflows report. 

I highly recommend Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5 for anyone needing to refine their media compression workflow, as the tips and insights Jan Ozer provides are pertinent to a variety of today's hottest consumer electronics devices.

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