Rich Media Standards

spanflockInternet and Web Development

Jun 24, 2012 (5 years and 3 months ago)

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Rich Media Standards

Matt Haas

Matthew.Haas@Pearson.com


v1.3


2

Rich Media Standards


Problem
: Pearson publishes a large variety of file formats

-
Limits the ability to reuse assets

-
Forces our end
-
users to have multiple plug
-
ins/players to view
these assets

-
Requires Pearson to support multiple technologies



Solution
:

-
Publish fewer, best
-
of
-
breed file formats



Benefits
:

-
Greater asset reuse

-
Reduced support costs

-
Consistent and convenient end user experience


3

Challenges


High quality and low file sizes will always be desired



Hardware, plug
-
ins and infrastructure of end users vary
greatly across Pearson Markets

-
Age of computer hardware

-
Amount of available bandwidth

-
Ability to run the latest plug
-
ins



A one size fits all approach is not desired or possible



These issues are most critical in K
-
12 markets and less of
a concern in Higher Ed & Professional


4

What’s in the Standard?

Animation
,
Video
,
Audio
, &
Images




Standards

-
Best Practices and Industry Standards



Recommendations

-
Strong warning but acceptable in some circumstances



A look at emerging technologies


5

Animations


Standard

-
File Format:
SWF

-
Must support ActionScript 3

-
Must support Flash Player v9 r115 or newer



Recommendation

-
Avoid creating Shockwave assets



Tip

-
Easily upgrade older assets with Curriculum Group’s “Bridge” file.



6

Videos/Movies


Standards for Videos/Movies

-
File Format:
MOV

or
MP4

(MPEG)

-
Codec: H.264




Recommendations for Flash Videos/Movies

-
If possible, avoid wrapping videos/movies in Flash


Q: Why? A: Mobile devices

-
File Format:
FLV

or
F4V

-
Codec: On2 VP6 or H.264

-
Must support ActionScript 3

-
Must support
Flash Player v9 r115

or newer


7

Videos/Movies


Miscellaneous Standards

-
Stop creating
Windows Media

and
Real Player

assets



Recommendation

-
Source (Master) format:
AVI

or
MOV

(High Quality and
uncompressed)


If you are provided a file that is the master, keep the format as
-
is



Tip for Streaming

-
Combine Akamai streaming services with the server side
software: Pearson Media Player (aka: JW Player) to benefit from a
low cost, high quality solution.


8

Audio


Standards (stand
-
alone audio files)

-
File Format:
MP3


Great quality


Small file size


Most compatible (MP3s will play on all mobile devices)

-
Source (Master) format:
AIFF

or
WAV

(High Quality and lossless
compression)


If you are provided a file that is the master, keep the format as
-
is


9

Images


Standards

-
Use
JPG

for photographs

-
Use
PNG

for images that contain text or were converted from line
art








Recommendation

-
Avoid
GIF

...use only if customers have IE6


JPG works best

PNG works best

Photo

Line Art


10

Images


Tip

-
Images with both photos & line art (pick the best option):

Pros/Cons:

Saved as
JPG

PRO:

Smaller file size

CON:

Lower quality

Saved as
PNG

PRO:

Excellent quality

CON:

Larger file size


11

A Look Ahead


The Future of Flash



Emerging Technologies

-
HTML 5

-
Video Codecs



DRM with ePub


12

The Future of Flash


What’s the big deal? Why are we here?

-
Apple and Adobe are fighting



Recent History

-
Steve Jobs’ open letter: “Thoughts on Flash”


Why Flash is banned on the: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

-
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts
-
on
-
flash/

-
Apple changes developer agreement


SDK 3.3.1 (No ports of Flash allowed)

-
http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/iphone_agreement_bans_flash_compiler

-
US Gov Antitrust efforts against Apple over its new SDK

-
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/an_antitrust_app_buvCWcJdjFoLD5vBSkguGO


-
Adobe’s response is mild

-
http://www.adobe.com/choice/

-
Adobe stops development for Apple products



13

The Future of Flash
(cont.)


What is
REALLY

going on?

-
App development


Apple want the best Apps


App “ports” = lowest common denominator

-
Ads


Apple wants to get into the ad business


Revenue from Flash ads won’t go to Apple



14

The Future of Flash
(cont.)


Possible outcome 1: Apple’s influence over dropping
Flash takes hold

-
Ban on Apple devices remains in place

-
Move away from Flash has started


Virgin America drops Flash:
http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/virgin_america_web_site_drops_flash/


Scribd Drops Flash
http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/opensource/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224700967


YouTube’s non
-
flash beta:
http://www.youtube.com/html5



Possible outcome 2: Adobe’s finally rolls out a mobile
version of Flash & it’s
awesome

-
Ban on Apple devices remains in place

-
Many delays with Flash Player 10.1 for mobile


Mid 2009, Beginning of 2010, Mid 2010, End of 2010

-
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/04/18/adobe_slips_mobile_flash_player_10_1_to_second_half_of_2010.html

-
Android and other mobile operating systems run Flash


Market shifts away from Apple (Not likely)


15

The Future of Flash
(cont.)


First, let’s look at the strong points of Flash

-
Entire products can depend on a single plug
-
in

-
Develop once, publish to many platforms


Consistent experience

-
Advertisers love it


Easy end user data capture (pay per view/click)


Easy overlay of ads




16

The Future of Flash
(cont.)


Weak points of Flash

-
Develop once, publish to many platforms


Lowest common denominator

-
Apple claims Adobe is slow to implement changes

-
Recent security issues with Adobe

-
Performance


CPU usage


Stability issues

-
Issues on Macs (hardware acceleration)

-
Users see Flash as an annoyance


FlashBlock & ClickToFlash plug
-
ins


17

Emerging Technologies


HTML 5

-
Latest version of HTML (Obviously)


Replacement of HTML 4.01

-
Reduce the need for plug
-
ins


No Flash, Silverlight, etc.



Why should I care?

-
It will form the underpinning of the entire internet


http://www.businessinsider.com/what
-
is
-
html5
-
2010
-
5#and
-
dont
-
miss
-
1

-
It will be soon be everywhere


Sites first need to convert Flash assets. Debate continues.



More info

-
http://www.youtube.com/html5

-
http://html5test.com/


18

New Video Codecs


Current Standard: H.264

-
Owned by a patent consortium

-
Carries a cost but there’s no out
-
of
-
pocket expense to users


Fees are rolled into the Operating System


Browsers can use it free until 2016, after that: ???



Theora

-
Open Source
-

No licensing fees

-
Many passionate users but Theora is not widespread



Future Standard: VP8

-
Google purchased the creator of VP8 (On2 Technologies)

-
Google may replace H.264 with VP8 on YouTube

-
Google has made VP8 Open Sourced (2010 Google I/O Conference)


http://webmproject.blogspot.com/2010/05/introducing
-
webm
-
open
-
web
-
media
-
project.html


http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/google
-
free
-
on2
-
vp8
-
for
-
youtube


http://chillingsilence.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/why
-
vp8
-
matters/



19

DRM with ePub


What is it? DRM stands for
D
igital
R
ight
M
anagement



What does it do?

-
Confirms the content (video/music) is allowed to be played



How does it work?

-
Permission to play the file is requested and granted (behind the scenes)

-
Requires device to connect, via the internet, to a DRM Server



What can go wrong?

-
DRM Servers can go down on their own or by attack

-
Network issues prevent device from talking to DRM Server



There’s lots of DRM out there

-
Apple’s Fairplay, Amazon’s Kindle DRM, Sony DRM, etc.



DRM is usually attached to the player, not the content




20

DRM with ePub


Options

-
Pearson sells ePub files through iTunes, Amazon, etc.


DRM of those systems will be an option

-
iPad iBooks will contain fairplay

-
Kindle books will contain Amazon’s DRM


Store owners (iTunes, Amazon) will share revenue

-
Pearson sells ePub files directly to customers


DRM solution will be needed. No clear choice.

-
Adobe has a solution (not ideal)

-
http://www.adobe.com/products/contentserver/


Pearson does not share revenue

Thank You!

Matt Haas

Matthew.Haas@Pearson.com