YouTube WebM: improving the video compatibility page

Alex Perrier's Avatar

Alex Perrier

15 Jan, 2017 04:30 AM

Hi TenFourFox team!

I like this project so much. It's breathing new life into my vintage yet enjoyable iBook G4 (1.33 GHz, 1.25 GB RAM, Leopard) laptop, which was very affordable. I have a few suggestions. One is that video performance be moved separately from the AAATheFAQ page (a summary can be left on there) and moved to a separate page, as I often confuse VideoDeviceSupport (I think "WebcamSupport" would be a better name) for the WebM table. Also, I think names should change from "Acceptable" to "Best" and "Max" to "Fair". Example:
• Best (green) - A handful of programs and tabs can be opened, just not processing any tasks, while smooth playback is maintained.
• Better (blue) - Only about one other program or tab can be opened while smooth playback is maintained.
• Good (yellow) - No other programs or tabs can be opened while smooth playback is maintained.
• Fair (orange) - Playback hiccups uncommonly or rarely, even with no other programs or tabs opened.
• Poor (red) - Playback hiccups commonly, even with no other programs or tabs opened.

For example, my iBook G4 would get a "Best" grade for 360p WebM video on YouTube. I'm watching smoothly on a left Toogles window ( with four other tabs (including this TenderApp tab), Adium and TextEdit open.

Changing YouTube links to "watch_popup" instead of "watch" improves performance.

I find 10.4Fx 45.6 quite phenomenal, to the point that I can bring my iBook G4 to college. I will test these soon, which should go well:
• eMac at 1 GHz with 1 GB RAM (I may be getting more than one)
• iMac G4 at 1 GHz with 2 GB RAM (anticipated)
• Mac Mini G4 at 1.42 GHz with 1 GB RAM (currently ½ GB RAM)

I think that the tests shown in your table are outdated and I'm willing to test my machines. Please consider testing yours again, too. Unless the VP9 code is significantly more taxing than the VP8 code, I have no reason to believe that a G5 can't handle 480p.

Just for fun, I uploaded a photo of 10.4Fx 31.3 on a Bondi Blue iMac G3.

Thank you so much for this wonderful project! The AltiVec code works wonders for VP8 at 360p. Take care and keep up the good work!

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 15 Jan, 2017 05:22 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    I try not to change existing wiki page names, but having a separate video performance page sounds reasonable to me. However, I generally like to be conservative about what I promise. The values you see in the FAQ's video performance table are only a few months old, circa version 45.5 (45.7 is now out for testing), since there was no MSE support in the browser prior to that.

    The watch_popup URL change just redirects to an embed URL for me, which is suboptimal because it tries to fill the browser window. That sort of chugs performance on this 1080p screen. If you know of a URL that doesn't do that, let me know.

    In any case, I'd certainly like to get more samples from the community, so if people want to contribute their personal observations from their systems, I'd be willing to incorporate theirs and yours into a new video "expectations" page. I'm glad the browser works as well as it does for you and do post the results you get from your own machines. I assume these run 10.5 also?

  2. 2 Posted by Alex Perrier on 02 Apr, 2017 11:16 PM

    Alex Perrier's Avatar

    Hi Cameron!

    I finally have the machines listed above with just one exception: instead of an iMac G4, I have an iMac G5 with a 2 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. The G5 is a pleasant and very capable machine. However, I find it best to leave it with VP8, as VP9 isn't so great. Perhaps upgrading the RAM and/or installing an SSD would improve the performance.

    Some videos that have Content ID (such as "Silver Platform" videos for DDR gameplay or "Spinnin' Around" at Brittany Hargest's wedding) are only available in VP8, not VP9. Given this, and to facilitate multitasking, I use VP8 only. I'm thinking that Google will continue supporting VP8 for legacy and open source purposes. Do you plan to support the AV1 codec once it gets released? Will it be easier or harder than supporting VP8?

    Currently, among my machines, both my eMac and Mac Mini lack Leopard. They have Panther and Tiger, respectively. I plan to clone my iBook G4 drive to install Leopard.

    Take care!

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 03 Apr, 2017 07:07 PM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    I haven't made a decision about AV1, but it's mostly an issue of patterning off the existing support for VP9. However, it's very likely AV1 won't have AltiVec acceleration and we'll have to do that from scratch too like we're doing with VP9 to make it practical. This is lower down on my priority list especially since I'd like to get some sort of H.264 support working first. And while I'm wishing, I'd like a pony.

    VP8 is certainly the lowest impact on CPU of the three codecs, and it is the only video codec we offer where almost everything in the decoding chain has some sort of AltiVec support. VP9 currently just has AltiVec support for the IDCTs/IHTs/IADSTs (though this is the major amount of work required to decode frames) and a little bit in the convolver; I need to finish the intraframe prediction work I've been half-heartedly doing as I have time.

  4. 4 Posted by Alex Perrier on 06 Jun, 2019 11:12 PM

    Alex Perrier's Avatar

    I'm not sure if you'll notice my comment, as this thread is over two years old, but you may know that YouTube still has VP8 internally. It's just that from my experience, the website no longer serves VP8. (I've had a frustrating experience at a train station's computers, which included outdated browsers.) The youtube-dl tool allows still offers VP8, Vorbis and more. Were you thinking of patching TenFourFox to maintain VP8 on YouTube, or do you prefer MP4? (I know that MP4 above 480p will hiccup in QuickTime on my iBook G4; the same can be said for VP8 and Theora video.)

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