Firefox support for H.264 has arrived. Sort of.

All the way back in March, we reported that Mozilla planned to add support for the H.264/MPEG-4 video compression standards to Firefox. Well now it’s happened, kind of.

Mozilla only wanted to support open source video codecs, as H.264 is surrounded by patents, and with Google on their side, could have supported Google’s own WebM video codec. But Google didn’t drop support for H.264 in Chrome and Mozilla’s hand has been forced and they have built H.264 support into Firefox.

Mozilla is being consistent with their policies; Firefox won’t have the support built in on any platform, instead relying on the host computers available codecs. This means no licensing costs for Mozilla!

H.264 is already available on the Firefox mobile browser. H.264 encoding and decoding functionality is built into the chips powering all smartphones, so Mozilla just had to tap those resources to provide the support. Firefox for Android 17 Beta should be able to run H.264 content natively and Firefox OS also supports H.264. Again this is likely due to smartphone hardware.

For Windows XP users, Flash will be used to feed the data and render the frames. Data will come to the user as an HTML5 video stream, with Flash only performing decoding tasks. It will look and feel like HTML5 video for the user.

Source: Softpedia | Image courtesy of GSMArena

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