One of the very first social networking sites, Myspace has evolved over the years into one of the Web's top sites for discovering and enjoying media, from music to photos and games to video. The site offers sophisticated tools for gathering friends, sending messages, and creating blogs, and the social dimension is still important. Indeed, millions of users make Myspace their online home. But the focus today will be on media, and in particular the site's fast-growing collection at Myspace Video.
In tandem with the release of Internet Explorer 9, Myspace has been transitioning to a new method of encoding and presenting videos. Some content -- for example, television clips and music videos supplied by third-party services -- is still managed by browser plug-ins. But many new videos, including movie trailers, user uploads, and most featured videos, take advantage of a new Web standard, the HTML5 Video container.
Why is this important? Because while plug-ins get the job done, they require frequent updates, they run separately from the rest of the Web page, and in some cases the user needs to sit through a plug-in download before enjoying the site content. On the other hand, the new HTML5 standard, fully supported by IE9 along with all other current desktop and mobile browsers, provides playback of high-quality video. In particular, IE9, right out of the box, can play videos encoded with the H.264 codec, which is also used by Blu-ray. The high-def videos at Myspace are all H.264. And because IE9 uses your graphics card to process HTML5 video, the playback is sharp, smooth, and fast.
As an added bonus, because HTML5 videos are equal citizens on the page with images and text, they're easily downloaded: just right-click on a clip and choose "save file." That's simply not possible with the videos you get through plug-ins.
This story, "Discovering Better Videos at Myspace" was originally published by BrandPost.