Jan Ozer


Jan has worked in digital video since 1990, and is the author of over 20 books related to video technolgy, including Producing Streaming Video for Multiple Screen Delivery and the Premiere Pro CC: Visual QuickStart Guide. Jan currently writes for Streaming Media Magazine and Streaming Media Producer, and consults widely on streaming media-related topics.

Content Posted by Jan Ozer

MPEG-LA Announces No royalties on Free Internet Videos - Ever

This is a story I've been following for awhile. By way of background, MPEG-LA represents the H.264 patent holders and is charged with administering all licenses and collecting all royalties, which are paid by companies who build H.264 encoders, pl...

WebM vs. H.264: A First Look

This article compares H.264 to WebM, Google's implementation of the VP8 codec, using three variables (encoding time, compressed quality, and CPU requirements) for playback on three personal computers. Here's the CliffsNotes version of the results: Using Sorenson Squeeze to produce both H.264 and WebM, the latter definitely took longer, but there are techniques that you can use to reduce the spread to less than 25%, which is pretty much irrelevant. Though H.264 offers slightly higher quality than the VP8 codec used by WebM using the aggressive (e.g., very low data rate) parameters that I tested, at normal web parameters, you couldn't tell the difference without a score card. Even compared to H.264 files produced with x264, VP8 holds its own.

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Producing H.264 Video

H.264 is the most widely used codec today, whether for streaming via Flash or Silverlight or for the Apple iPod, iPhone, and iPad product lines. If you've worked with H.264 before, the format is old hat for you. But if you're cutting over from VP6 or Windows Media or expanding distribution to H.264-compatible devices, you're faced with a learning curve.

Well, we're here to help. In this article, I'll detail what you need to know to produce H.264 files for streaming or device playback. Our target reader is the novice working with encoding tools such as Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor, Sorenson Squeeze, and Telestream Episode Pro. If you're looking for help with more advanced tools, they simply provide too many options to address in an introductory article.

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Interesting Newsletter on Video White Papers

I haven't followed the video white paper market at all, but according to a newsletter from Accela Communications, usage is booming. Here's a blurb. "The rate of adoption for video white papers is definitely increasing, as evidenced in this collecti...

VP8/WebM - A Collection of Resources

WebM/VP8 is Google's recent entry into the codec market. Here's a roughly chronological list of resources about the codec/technology.

The Moving Picture: Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Success

Google recently open-sourced the VP8 codec for video on the web (for the key facts on this development, see Tim Siglin's latest Streamline column). Should you care? Not so much, I'd say; Google's recent launch of VP8 reminded me of a couple of theories that I hold dear, one current, one from long ago. The current one is that past performance is no guarantee of future success, though unfortunately, in many instances, past performance will at least let you step up to the plate for future at-bats.

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VP8 vs. H.264 - Quality, Encoding time, Playback CPU

StreamingMedia just published my H.264 vs. VP8 comparison - the first to consider both encoding speed (VP8 is slow, but not that slow) and CPU playback (VP8 takes lots more than H.264 on some platforms, but there's a big glimmer of hope). Check ...

Review: Telestream Wirecast

There's an old Hollywood joke with the punch line, "but I really want to direct." I'm not sure what the actual joke is, or if it's funny, but the reason I bring it up is that if you talk to writers, most would say, "but I really want to be onTV."

Apple Mac Pro - How Much Memory is Enough?

In the first edition of this month’s Affordable HD enewsletter, we keep the focus on the Apple Mac Pro, specifically analyzing the optimal memory configurations for editing and encoding with Apple Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite 4, and Telestream Episode Engine. I looked at several scenarios.

Camtasia 7 Review

Camtasia has been my go-to screen recording application on Windows since forever, and I have at least 200 Camtasia recorded projects under my belt. But seldom, if ever, have I edited and produced my project in Camtasia, preferring the more familiar environs of Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro. To be brutally honest, in previous versions, Camtasia's editing application, Camtasia Studio, felt clunky, inefficient, and frequently dysfunctional, as if it were created by engineers who had never really edited video. Its resemblance to consumer video editor Microsoft Movie Maker did nothing to dispel that notion.