Google has announced that YouTube users can now stream videos of cats, dudes getting hit in the nether-regions with footballs thrown by their kids, and Rebecca Black singing “Friday” in the WebM format.
The company says it has transcoded the videos that make up 99% of views on the site — nearly 30% of all videos on YouTube — into WebM. The less popular a video is, the further down the list to be transcoded it is.
Google says it will continue to support the H.264 standard used by Apple and others to stream video to devices without Flash (this would include many Android devices). James Zern, Software Engineer at Google:
In keeping with our goal of making videos universally accessible, we will continue to support H.264 as an important codec for video on YouTube. We are also committed to continuing to develop our HTML5 video player that we announced last year, and if you’d like to join the opt-in trial, you can do so here.
Currently, WebM is only supported in Chrome, Opera and Firefox. IE 9 and Safari require a QuickTime plugin to display WebM videos at this time. WebM is touted as a non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license video and audio standard that can play through theHTML5 video tag.