Farewell GIFs, hello WebM! (Vanilla support?)
I've recently been made aware of the awesomeness that is WebM, a format that could very well dethrone the GIF. So I'm wondering, would it be possible for future versions of Vanilla to feature WebM embed support? It could either function like GIFs do (auto-play or on-hover play) or something similar to YouTube embeds. Sound should probably be disabled by default though.
Why use WebM?
- 60 FPS
- More colours
- Vastly superior image quality
- Fast loading
- Save bandwidth
The only downside seems to be CPU usage.
What is WebM?
A brief explanation of WebM can be found here. I've posted some of it below:
What is WebM and how is it better than the GIF format, the current king of easily-embeddable, looping animations? Here's a quick rundown on the WebM technology, the way of the future for compressed video.
WebM is an open-source audio-video codec for HTML5 video sponsored by Google, but originally built around technologies developed by On2, Xiph, and Matroska. "The WebM format combines the [On2's] VP8 video codec, the Matroska container, and the Vorbis audio codec developed by Xiph into a high-quality, open, unencumbered format for video delivery on the Web," wrote Xiph's Chris Montgomery back in 2010, shortly after that year's Google I/O Conference, when the format was announced.
Initially WebM was lauded for being a royalty-free alternative to the H.264 codec, which powers everything from online videos to Blu-Ray discs. But it also has an interesting advantage as compared to other video formats: WebM videos can be easily coded to autoplay and endlessly loop without an additional video player, which makes them a potential competitor to the GIF, which currently reigns supreme for easily-shared, easily-embedded animations.
Its advantages over GIF include "superior image quality, support for more than 256 colors, and reduced file size," as 4chan's Moot (Chris Poole) noted. "Its main disadvantage is browser compatibility, however 86% of 4chan’s visits come from browsers that include full or partial support for WebM, and plug-ins are available for those that don’t (like Internet Explorer and Safari)." WebM animations are still more like a video than an image file, which means they're trickier to manipulate and upload, as evidenced 4chan's WebM encoding guide. Currently, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera offer browser support for WebM, while Safari and Internet explorer require third party plugins.
PS: I wasn't sure whether to post this as a question or feedback. Feel free to correct me as you see fit!