Everyone remembers the Great Format War of the 1970’s – Betamax vs VHS. Ok, well, not everyone. Your Practically Perfect Programmer wasn’t even born then, but she does remember a lot if comparisons to it being made during the brief HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray format war just last year, so that’s got to count for something.
As most of you have seen this week, video on the web can be found in numerous formats, identified only by arcane-sounding letter/number strings – AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc. So, what does it all mean? And why don’t we have just one convenient, easy to use video format for the web?
If you’re looking for an explanation from me, I’m afraid you’re out of luck; I, being a personage of great importance, have other demands on my time (and also actually don’t know a great deal about the whats and whys file formats beyond the very basics). Instead, I’ll leave you in the hands of the technology gurus at Gizmodo: Giz Explains: Every Video Format You Need to Know. Doom9.net also has a nice glossary that may help shed some light, while W3Schools has a brief overview.