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Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and Html5 Paperback – May 2, 2011
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Ozer is best known for his profusion of articles for magazines including PC Mag, Event DV, and Streaming Media, as well as his popular seminars at the Streaming Media Conferences and other events.
His expertise comes not only from shooting and producing video, but also from working with manufacturers for product evaluations and with application developers for in-depth reviews and comparisons.
And now Ozer has packaged up his experience and advice in his new book, chock full of detailed information and practical advice for getting the best video for today's most important distribution mediums: Apple iOS portable devices and H.264 Web streaming (just in time for the new HTML5 browsers).
The book starts with an introduction to streaming production and encoding parameters. The next set of chapters focuses on H.264 encoding and production, with specifics for preparing material for Apple QuickTime, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and HTML5. The section on producing for iDevices and other mobile platforms then covers both video for download delivery via iTunes and for steaming over Wi-Fi or cellular.
Next, Ozer digs further into related issues for producing videos, including adaptive streaming (adjusting quality to the download bitrate without requiring a dedicated streaming server) choosing an encoding tool (for Mac and Windows), producing for related formats (Google WebM and VP6, and Microsoft Windows Media / WMV), and accelerating encoding on dedicated workstations.
Finally, Ozer provides specific guidance on actually distributing your productions, both online through video hosting sites, and via live streaming. And there's a nice concluding chapter on useful video file analysis tools.
Throughout the book, Ozer provides his trademark depth of information:
- Discussions of encoding options are made concrete with screenshots from a variety of encoding tools, side-by-side comparisons of video encoded with different parameters, and tables with details of options for different compression targets.
- Specific advice is grounded in the results of his encoding and playback testing, showing the real-word performance of different encoding resolutions and options on different platforms.
- And detailed recommendations are complemented with the results of his analysis of a variety of popular sites, showing how each has chosen to prepare video for different types of audiences.
Ozer is great about sharing his expertise and experience in his articles, seminars, and StreamingLearingCenter.com site -- and the book goes further to organize and expand what you need to know to make great-looking and efficiently-compressed video. It's a must-have for people concerned with sharing video to where the audience is, on iDevices and over the Web.
Imagine That Productions
The book starts with quite a bit of introductory theory to video compression, codecs and streaming before moving on to getting your hands dirty with H.264 encoding parameters for delivering to different devices, such as desktop, iOS (iPhone, iPad) Android, Blackberry, etc. The university currently has a very large mobile directive, so it was this section that I found the particularly useful. From this section I have already made some minor changes to my own encoding parameters for desktop delivery of live events and I will be moving forward with mobile delivery as soon as I get the go ahead to rebuild our servers
The book then moves onto talk about the Adaptive Streaming technologies, (which again I have implemented albeit in a testing environment) before discussing a selection of H.264 Encoding Tools. As HTML5 starts to become standard across multiple browsers and my interest in both HTML5 and video, I found the section on how to produce WebM, VP6 and WMV video really useful too.
The remaining third of the book takes you through the process of distributing your video to User Generated Content/ Online Video platforms to your own website and how to encode a video for uploading to these services. Streaming Live Events is discussed by informing the reader of the required workflow and what to look for in choosing an particular encoder (software, or hardware). If encoding speed is an issue for you, then this is discussed in a chapter named "Accelerating Encoding on Multi-Core Workstations", which tells you all you need to know. The last chapter is regarding the analysis of files and discusses a good selection of tools to accomplish this.
The icing on the cake with this book, apart from the great information provided is that it is very easy to read. I have read other technical books that have been a chore to finish, which normally ended in my putting them back on the shelf, but this reads very well and takes the reader through the journey of what is required to deliver video content successfully on the internet, whether that is a live event, or video on demand. The author has been in working the video field for a long time and I'm sure he could have written a lot more on the subject. However, I think this would have been a mistake. The book does not provide the reader with an overwhelming amount of information, which is one of the reasons it is easy to read.
Let me re-iterate that if you are delivering a live event, or videos online, then this book is a must - plain and simple.
This is new terrain for a lot of us, and everytime I refer back to this reference I am yet again greatful it is on my shelf. I own 2 copies, one I keep at the office and one for home - because who has the bandwidth to memorize EVERYTHING. I am excited to be compressing video now for iThings and thankfully Jan is here to help me find my way...