Chapter 7. Video and Audio

In 2005, Web 2.0 gained a new standard-bearer. It was based in hot new technology, attracted people and venture capital dollars, and above all, it was viral. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention viral.

And yet, the technology that drove this company wasn’t Ajax. What made YouTube an instant hit was web video. YouTube took advantage of the video functionality found in Flash Player, not to mention gigabits of bandwidth, to deliver one of the most addictive experiences on the Web.

If you’re looking to be the next YouTube, this book won’t help you. In fact, maybe nothing will, unless you’re a CEO of a Fortune 100 company and you’re looking to unload a few billion dollars on hosting, content monitoring and filtering, and defending against international regulatory and civil actions. But video is now a first-class citizen of the modern Web, and everyone from designers to developers to marketing departments to educators should understand when, how, and why to use it.

Web Video: The Early Years

Though video on the Web came into its own only within the last few years, computing and video have a long history. If you know a former Amiga owner, this will be obvious to you, as they will have described its role in vivid, excruciating detail. From the release of the Amiga 1000 in 1985, it was one of the premier tools for editing video in production environments. However, in those days, a 7 MHz Motorola 68000 processor wasn’t quite up to the task of processing 525 interlaced ...

Get Universal Design for Web Applications now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.