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Re: [Wikitech-l] Video codecs and mobile
On 20 March 2012 20:02, Lars Aronsson <> wrote:

> I'm not opposed to trying H.264, but I doubt it will solve our problem,
> which is that we have too few videos.
> The category:Videos from Sweden (an early adopter market) is now at
> 110 files, which is a ridiculously small number. It has doubled each
> year (30 in 2010, 52 in 2011), but that growth is too slow to reach
> any significant numbers in the next 2-3 years. I don't see that lack
> of H.264 playback is slowing this down, that mechanism isn't clear
> to me.
> I think that converting whatever comes out of my camera into
> something that Commons will accept is part of the problem. This does
> not imply that H.264 needs to be stored on Commons, only that
> whatever is uploaded gets converted by the server rather than by
> the user before upload.

Yes. That's the biggest barrier to participation. We need to be able
to ingest whatever comes out of people's cameras.

> I was hoping that we would organize video competitions, but I have
> held back, because I don't see any crowd with camcorders in their
> hands. Now, if we get there in 2013 or 2014, and then discontinue
> H.264 playback in 2015, we could be in for a real backlash.

This is an excellent argument against making ourselves hostage to the
MPEG-LA. Giving people like that any leverage over Wikimedia strikes
me as a *spectacularly* awful idea.

(foundation-l added to cc: - changing the encumbered formats policy is
not a matter to be quietly decided over on a tech list.)

- d.

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