Sometime last weekend it appears that Facebook upgraded the encoding of their video service from FLV files to H.264 with AAC for audio. So what does this mean? Well in simple terms Facebook now has better quality video. For those not up to date on the latest video specifications (I wasn’t when we were tipped off about this upgrade), check out the following description of H.264 provided by Adobe Labs:
H.264 is the next-generation video compression technology in the MPEG-4 standard, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 (ISO/IEC 14496-10). H.264 delivers excellent video quality across the entire bandwidth spectrum â€” from 3G (Mobile phones) to HD (Broadcast) and everything in between. H.264 is now mandatory for the HD-DVD and Blu-ray specifications (the two formats for high-definition DVDs) and ratified in the latest versions of the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasters) and 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) standards.
So three cheers for a new and improved Facebook Video. It appears that this is part of the Flash Player 9 update but Facebook is one of the early implementers of this update. For those that decide to record videos through their webcam, the videos will still be encoded in FLV but anybody that uploads their own videos will receive the higher quality encoding.