How Dropbox streams your videos almost instantly

This is a pretty fascinating read for all you multimedia geeks out there: Dropbox detailed its approach towards video streaming in a blog post this week that dives deep into the technical details of codecs and transcoding pipelines. In short, Dropbox takes the first few seconds of each and every video its users upload and preps them for streaming onto a variety of devices. When a user starts to stream a video, it serves up those transcoded bits, and immediately starts to transcode the rest on the fly. Also interesting: A comment by Drobox engineer Pierpaolo Baccichet hints at plans to bring Dropbox video streaming to TV devices.

YouTube’s 4K MacGuffin

YouTube’s embrace of 4K at this year’s CES is akin to what Alfred Hitchcock called the MacGuffin: a plot device that creates suspense or tension but is incidental to the real story.

Open audio codec Opus gets real, gains VLC support

The popular media player application VLC just added support for Opus, the new open audio codec co-developed by Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and others. Meanwhile, there has been more speculation on how music platforms like Spotify could benefit from switching to Opus.

Encoding.com adds Vid.ly universal URLs to its cloud encoding platform

A year after launch, Encoding.com has decided to bring its Vid.ly universal URL service in-house. The cloud encoding vendor will make Vid.ly, which was originally rolled out as a standalone service, part of its offering to enterprise customers, which will bolster its overall product offering.

4 out of 5 videos are encoded in H.264

A full 80 percent of videos are encoded in H.264, according to new data from MeFeedia. The latest figures show just how far the industry has come in adopting the H.264 video format as the de facto standard for video encoding.

H.264 is still winning the codec war

H.264 remains the dominant force in online video, as the video codec now accounts for more than two-thirds of online video, according to a blog post by MeFeedia. Meanwhile, Google’s WebM format has yet to gain any significant traction after being released a year ago.

Cord Cutters: How to Convert Videos for iPad & Apple TV

Want to play a DivX or an MKV file on your iPad, iPhone or Apple TV? Then check out this Cord Cutters quick tip, where we show and explain how to easily convert any kind of video file to make it playable on iOS devices.

All YouTube Video Uploads Now in WebM

Any new video uploaded to YouTube will be automatically encoded in WebM, the open-source video format that’s backed by Google, Mozilla and others. YouTube has also been busy transcoding its back catalog and has now around 30 percent of all videos available in WebM.