Fang Talks

but I'm good at computers

If software will actually get around to supporting it, then yeah, why not!

I’m starting to see it pop up more and more often, and apparently this is also what YouTube uses for their HTML5 web player. So I figured I should make a post about it, to inform y’all about the latest haps in mind-blowing technology you use every day. WebM is really damn neat. It’s “just another video format”, like .mp4 and .mov and what have you. But it’s open-source, under a BSD license (you can do anything you want with it), and does really well on the web. It should, seeing as how YouTube is adopting it.

Of course you can also have WebM files without audio, so you’ll basically end up with a fancy .gif. And that’s one of the really great uses of WebM! Instead of just talking about it, I set up a little test, so I could present you some raw hard facts. I recorded the exact same thing on my computer screen twice: Once using LICEcap (my favorite .gif recorder), and once using the QuickTime screen recorder, converting the output file to WebM HD.
To clarify, the following regards a 500 by 500 pixels screen area with little color variety and some moving parts, recorded for 20 seconds.

Format Framerate Filesize File
GIF 16.7 FPS 878 KB size_comparison.gif
WebM 60 FPS 688 KB size_comparison.webm

Notice the difference in size? The WebM has a much higher framerate (you can see it feels a bit smoother) and still manages to shave a solid 20% off the filesize of the .gif, which was recorded at a mere 16.7 FPS. And then of course there’s the cool option to pause, go fullscreen, but those are left out of this comparison, since it’s not something .gifs were ever meant to do.

Conclusion after way short a look, WebM is great. If I ever need to share fancy gameplay footage again, I won’t have to restrict myself to the ten seconds within which a .gif will grow to several megabytes in size. And hey, if I ever get around to using audio somewhere, I can share that easily too!

Now we wait for more browser and other software compatibility.
~ Fang


  • 24/04/2014 (7:23 PM)

    First time I’ve heard of WebM! Thanks for the write-up and teaching me something new. :)

  • 22/04/2014 (10:12 AM)

    I heard about when Google bought webm but I didn’t know it was open source, efficient or what html5 youtube used. Cool stuff! I’m glad Google is shaping the future. Now they just need to bring their Fiber to my city lol.

    • 22/04/2014 (10:21 AM)

      As far as I’m aware they’re sponsoring it, never officially bought it.
      “I’m glad Google is shaping the future.” You came to the wrong neighborhood kiddo.

  • 22/04/2014 (1:41 AM)

    At first I was going to be all “Do we REALLY need another video format?” but okay, I’m sold. I’ve made a few gifs and they can be tough to balance filesize and quality. Not to mention audio gifs sound pretty neat.

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