Why I don’t use Windows Media Video

Earlier this week, Robert Scoble wrote up why he thinks that the use of Flash is a bad idea. I thought I would provide my thoughts on that post.

Why don’t I use Windows Media Video for my Web sites? Here’s a good reason.

I have a brand new OS X Mac Book Pro machine. Loaded Safari on it. And visited Scoble’s site to watch an interview with him.

This is what it looked like. Now, if a “normal” person (non geek) hit this site, what would they do? I’ll tell you what they’ll do. They’ll hit back and get out of there. Note the title tag. Failed to open page? I click that little green back button and leave before I get hurt. Thank you very much. Have a nice day.

Lesson: always recognize poor implementations of technology, before you make sweeping generalizations about a technology based on that implementation.

(This applies to pretty much any technology).

(btw, I agree with Scoble that that particular use and implementation was poor. I do not agree with his assumption that that thus means all use of Flash is bad).

8 Responses to Why I don’t use Windows Media Video

  1. John Barrett says:

    I am pretty new to things, but can I say that web dev should make thier pages as user friendly as possible. I also use the mac. I hate when I go to sites and have to download some player, and I ask myself, have they not heard of flash?I like flash(cross platform!), and if you have the plugin(most people do) you can view things the way they are suppsed to be.What is my point–just that if you want people to view your content, make it easy for them. When I go to sites saying that I need to download something(WMP, Real player, etc.) I usually leave and do not return. That is my point, people can always go to another site if they don’t like they way your presenting.Thanks for listening

  2. Jack says:

    Flash is not everthing, people also need download a plugin and not everone got the latest version that you need to see you brand new flash 8/9 site and when I get one of that pages that tell ,aybe that I need the player X for view there content or that irri shary popup from the expres install thzt I am not even sure what it is downloading (spyware?) and news about yahoo and google bars in de install does not help also. And there is the point of the loading bar that goes on forever and ever I want my sites to load fast. Also the part of small text that I not can resize does not help.Yeah I know that got to do with bad designers… but hey almost 80 % of the flash sites on the web is bad design them who is to blame adobe or the unknowing designers. And for web owners is there always that part of SEO realy that meta tags do not help all that well.I do not say Flash is bad I do say it got still a long way for go!

  3. Robert Gatti says:

    I think that using a browser with poor standards support is not the way to justify an opinion of why some multimedia technology should not be used on the web. IE is no better then Safari, in my opinion, but because IE and Firefox control most of the browser market (and Safari is Apple only) their the ones sites are designed for.

  4. Robert,Safari is one of the most standards compliant browsers on the market today, and the mms protocol is hardly an industry standard. I’m not sure you caught the point of Mike’s post, which was that you *can’t* make sweeping generalizations of technology based on a single implementation. Or maybe I’m missing your point? 🙂

  5. Weyert de Boer says:

    Also don’t forget the lack of supporting DRM on MacOSX. No way you can’t buy DRM-ed music or video.

  6. Ney says:

    Q: Are you in the cave age of video technologies? Well, Flash Video (FLV) Kills The Real Media, QuickTime, and W Media Player. With fast playback with progressive or stream… plus HD-video support with high quality image the flv is just better… And I am not talking about the interactive fuctions the swf/flv have. The future is interactive television and flash video is the key for the next media designers/Creative and broadcasting areas. Flash is going to be global in all devices specially hd-dvds and hd-tv sets and freedom size tv/screen displays. If you don’t see that, time to upgrade your life.Be Creative!Best,NeyMultimedia Designer.websitedesignFX.com

  7. Matt Lee says:

    That does suck, but I’d say this.. at least most WMV videos will play on my PPC Debian box. Wish I could say the same for Flash, but until Adobe/Macromedia/Whateveryou’recalledtoday release Flash under some kind of free software license (like the GNU GPL) so the likes to Debian can bundle it, I’ll happily take most WMV over zero SWF.

  8. Using PC’s and OSX for work I’m used to either firefox or safari. The thing that P’s me off the most is visiting a a site in firefox and being able view WMV’s in WMP fine and then going to the same site on my MAC and coming up against windows disregard for all things OSX. I never forward funny movies or viral media to my friends and colleagues if it’s windows based because 5/10 times they wont be able to see it.I use Flash every day and used to be a real Pro flash monkey – these days I’m pretty discerning. I ‘m very much in the mind of; deploy flash where it makes the most impact. For example; Promotions for games, cool gadgets and technology. Everyone likes to see their new potential purchase displayed in 3d so they can spin it around – zoom in etc. Movie sites and games sites aer awesome if Flash is used well. ‘Underworld 2’ ‘Xmen 3’ and ‘Serenity’ were all mind blowing Flash experiences.Flash is not for information driven sites or sites that need to load quickly, accessible sites, sites where you want to copy and paste info etc. I used to make sure that my company site was Flash – tastic, but it’s a problem for people who don’t have the plugin or indeed the latest plugin. Yeah, they can download it, but if they are on a restricted corporate network or the IT teams are ‘jobsworth’ than its just not going to happen is it.In regards to video, however, Flash is the DADDY.If you have quicktime Pro and Flash 8 or just Flash 8 really, you have a great video authoring / encoding tool that deploys video perfectly. You can skin the component player or make your own, load in films via XML for ease of use like I have here: http://www.gd30.com/gd30movies/movies.htmland generally brand everything to fit in with your site. No other player can do that and while others are arguing over the best proprietary format – windows movie player or quicktime, Flash is almost ubiquitous and browser friendly.Apologies if my post is a little messy – it’s extremely hot today and my coffee is very strong.Anyway, to summarise. Flash = awesome if used correctly and not over – heavy or used for Flash’s sake. Flash menu’s in an otherwise HTML page are a bad idea – what’s the point? If you are going to use Flash video, it’s the best format simply because it’s more versatile and the Flash player sits tidily inbetween Apple and Windows offerings so while the battle rages between the big boys – Macromedia (I can’t use the ‘A’ word yet, it’s like an open wound) are grinning into their soup.As for realplayer – what IS the point? If it wasn’t for the BBC site I think Real would be sliding into the Saarlac by now. Why Google offer it as part of the destop thingy is beyond me. Money has changed hands there I think.Thanks for reading my rant. It’s Monday morning and I feel a whole lot better for it :)Off topic…Guy, I see your Xbox live gamerscore exceeds 1000. I always imagined that in your spare time you were tweaking actionscript and attending seminars, not maiming noobs on Billy’s box. Good to know though… Are you a Call of Duty man or a Battlefied man? No-matter – I hereby throw down the gauntlet. Here’s my tag; ‘Damo Biddles’And, ‘no’ I don’t play Uno – who wants to think after a day coding AS?Cheerio!Damien