Step one in any mobile video strategy is making sure your videos are viewable on Apple iOS devices. Android is a tough competitor, but most companies still put a premium on iOS support.
At the recent Streaming Media Europe conference in London, encoding expert Jan Ozer gave a one-hour introduction to encoding for iOS devices. Ozer started out with the basics:
“What is H.264? H.264 is a compression technology,” Ozer said. “If you’re producing for iOS devices, you should use H.264, and that’s the only codec you really need to know about.”
Simple, right? But other things are more complicated, such as video encoding profiles and levels:
“What are profiles and levels?” Ozer asked. “There are literally dozens of H.264 encoding options, but most of them impact quality, and if you mess those up maybe you’re quality’s a little bit sub-optimal, maybe your data rate’s too high. Not a big deal. If you mess up profile and level, the files that you produce won’t play on the target devices. So really, when you’re producing H.264 for iOS device delivery, the things you need to know when encoding your files are ‘what is the profile?’ and ‘what is the level?’”
Ozer went on to the explain the essential profiles:
“What are the H.264 profiles? There’s pretty much three that we worry about when we’re producing for computer playback. There’s Baseline, there’s Main, and there’s High. This is the definition from Wikipedia: it’s says that a profile defines a set of coding tools or algorithms that can be used in generating a bitstream,” Ozer said.
For a fuller look at encoding for iOS devices, watch the video below.