With the countdown to the arrival of the iPad moving closer to zero, more companies are hurrying to get an HTML5-friendly online video solution up and running in time to take advantage of what's sure to be a flood of traffic to the new device. Encoding.com, a cloud-based video encoding service, is one of the latest online video firms to say it'll offer support for the iPad when the tablet hits the streets Saturday.
The iPad--sales of which analysts say could top 10 million units this year--doesn't support Adobe Flash, which is one of the most common video formats on the Internet. Publishers are scrambling to convert their video assets to the H.264 codec that Apple prefers.
It's a huge undertaking, and one Encoding.com says it's well situated to take advantage of. The company said it'll provide its clients with watch folders that video can be dropped into that contain presets customers can select for the iPhone, iPod and iPad video needs, reducing a major pain point for publishers at the right time.
"The Codec format war that's been brewing between apple, Google, and Flash and all of that together has created a perfect storm for a business like ours where we're automating a very complex process and taking it off the plates of our clients," Encoding.com President Jeff Malkin told FierceOnlineVideo. "We're making it simple for our customers and, timing-wise, our new service couldn't be better situated."
Malkin said supporting HTTP streaming--which enables publishers to provide iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users with a better video experience by continuously adapting the video stream in real-time to match the user's available bandwidth--came out of discussions with several large customers who were having trouble getting their iPhone apps through Apple's approval process because they were using too much bandwidth.
"In past couple of weeks, Apple has been rejecting video apps unless they use adaptive bit rate streaming because 3G bandwidth is just too clogged," said Malkin. "We've been working with customers to help create stream segments at low enough bit rates so Apple wouldn't reject their apps anymore."
He said the new service has been in beta for the past month.
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