Google purchases On2

One of my favorite companies purchases one of my least favorite companies. Not sure what to make of that. In any case, Google has announced its acquisition of On2 Technologies, makers of the VP6 video codec (among others) which powers most flash video content. On2 is also the company that created the framework for what became Ogg Theora.

It’s an acquisition that makes a lot of sense. Between YouTube and all of the other Google properties, having an IP-rich video R&D group can only benefit them. And for $100 million, it seems like quite the bargain.

Logitec launches a serious mic for the iPhone

Not available in the states yet, but Logitec (not Logitech) has revealed an XY stereo mic attachment for the iPhone. The price in Japan is under $100, so it’s a realistic alternative to a standalone recorder like a Zoom. It’s also got a separate mini-jack stereo line input.

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Check out the translated product description, or the product listing at importer Geek Stuff 4 U.

Kodak continues the pocket-cam arms race, announced 1080p cam

Kodak has announced the Zi8, the next in their line of flip competitors. Features are pretty similar to the Zi6, but now you get 1080p video, instead of 720p.

The bigger feature, in my book, is the external mic jack. Suddenly the camera is a whole lot more flexible. It’ll be very interesting to see if the quality can match the features, as I was immensely let down by the original Kodak cam, the Zi6.

 Eknec Documents 8C 0900688A80B7788C Zi8 Fl-Bf Black02 250X200

One also wonders what the point of 1080p is, with tiny, crummy sensors, but I suppose a bit more oversampling can’t hurt, if your goal is nice-looking web video.

All about the HTML5 Video tag

I’ve been meaning to write something about the hubbub surrounding the HTML5 video tag, but in the meantime, Ars Technica has a nice writeup.
I got a chance to see an amazing example of the video tag, combined with some simple JS and CSS, at a recent conference. It had everyone in the audience salivating. Unfortunately, licensing and patent issues could prevent widespread implementation. And of course, without support in IE, you’ll be stuck creating fallback flash videos for the foreseeable future.
Anyways, I’ll have more thoughts on the debate before too long, for now check out the Ars writeup.
And, yeah, I’ll get back to blogging.

Evom – a replacement for iSquint?

Cough, is this thing still on? Sorry for the absence, the end of the semester sort of owned me.

TUAW posted a little blurb about a new app called Evom, which is a super simple video conversion app. Similar to the now-defunct iSquint, it’ll take anything in, and spit out ipod-compatible video.

It’s still in beta, and may not be free when it launches, but it looks pretty slick.

Foundry fix for rolling shutter

FreshDV has an interview with a developer from the Foundry, discussing a demo project they have to correct rolling shutter. It’s worth a viewing if you’re interested in the pros and cons of CMOS. I’ve had discussions with folks in the past about the sort of optical analysis necessary to correct rolling shutter in post, so it’s pretty cool to see it being done. Also interesting is his guess that within 2-3 years, rolling shutter won’t be an issue (in new cameras).