I was reading a discussion on the W3C Bug tracker about native video and whether it should, or should not, provide DRM to protect video content. In the process, the point was made by John Foliot that Apple is presenting their own answers in their browsers and devices to the DRM issue (emphasis mine):
> The question of DRM within the media formats supported by browsers is a > separate issue to be addressed in a different forum, but as I said, I'm fairly > sure there will be strong resistance to it. Really? I have it on first person confirmation that currently Apple is promoting "...H.264 with the m3u8 format for HTTP streaming with optional AES encryption..." to commercial content producers in North America. Either that gets supported directly in the browser, or gets handed off to a third party (QT)player... Frankly at this point I could care less if Opera, Mozilla and Google see this as a problem or not - it's your business models, not mine. Apple will profit by selling their iDevices that *do* support encryption, as will Roku, Wii, X-Box and other companies who understand the real business needs at the intersection of the multi-billion dollar industry that is "the Internet" (delivering content over the global network) with the multi-billion dollar industry that is the Entertainment Industry.
My best guess, without having all the information personally available, is that the statement above (placed in bold type) means that if you’re using a Mac, DRM is supported directly in the browser because more info
QuickTime is built in. If you’re using a PC, just as happens currently with native video, you must install QuickTime to view it.
Isn’t a plugin just a plugin?
QuickTime is a plugin. So the question I keep asking is this one — Apple refuses to allow the Flash plugin on their devices (and until very recently also refused Adobe the hooks they needed into the OS to speed Flash up like it has on a PC). Much of the web that needs video is already standardized on Flash. They seem to be attempting to move people to their plugin (which they can either build into their own products or ask people to download—as they do Flash now).
Was native multimedia added to HTML5 to make plugins extinct?
The W3C says the co-existence of plugins and native multimedia are par for the course and expected. One was never meant to kill the other—the embed element was even made valid and acceptable in HTML5. Thus, Apple’s stance that HTML5 multimedia should be the only solution—and it’s been taken to the extreme by blocking Flash altogether on their devices—then they circle back around with their plugin to provide the features that Flash already provided… Sorry, it seems disingenuous at best and anti-trust/anti-competition at worst.
Why don’t I hear people discussing this? Am I making up the gravity of what’s happening? Am I seeing something others haven’t noticed? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I’m starting to wonder…