YouTube will be migrating it’s entire video catalogue over to Google’s new WebM video codec standard. At present only the most viewed videos will be transcoded to WebM, which represent 99% of all viewed videos. However eventually all previously uploaded content will be transferred also. YouTube will continue to support the existing H.264 codec along side it. Approximately 30% of all YouTube videos have been transferred so far. Google’s transcoding processing technology is continuously running in the cloud and at busier times it will transcode the newest most popular videos.
A spokesperson for the search giant has said: “The world of online video is incredibly complex and dynamic,”- “Yet, our goal is to ensure that nothing stands between you and the great content you’ve always enjoyed. We’ll continue to invest in new video technology that improves the experiences for all users, builds a better infrastructure for online video, leads to greater access of information and spurs continued innovation.”
The move to WebM is designed to push this new codec on users and make it a new universal standard. WebM is a totally royalty-free video technology, which Google believe will be essential to create more innovation in the industry and reduce the expense incurred by paying royalties for use of patented video codecs like H.264. To date only Chrome, Opera and Firefox browsers support WebM. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer will only support it via an external plug-in, which there is no word yet on Apple’s Safari support.