Google Video: Pragmatism at work

Personally, I think that Google switching to Flash happens to make a heck of lot of sense. Even though Google is all about the OSS solutions, there are no guarantees that OSS is always going to meet your needs 100% of the time.

I’ve been following the news about Google switching to Flash Video lately and I am watching with interest their technical implementation of it. While I can mostly only make assumptions some things are interesting.

Google loves Open Source solutions, the cost savings for them are certainly immense. The original implementation of Google Video was using a custom plugin which was based on VLC. VLC in itself is heavily lending code from the ffmpeg project to decode and encode a number of video streams, an effort originally driven by Fabrice Bellard, while most of the real interesting stuff is now done by Michael Niedermayer. ffmpeg incidentally has support for Flash 7 video, supporting the .FLV and .SWF file formats. So the step from going from a VLC based solution to using FLV was probably a small one. At least on the encoding and other server side tasks. [Read the rest]