This is quite possibly my own personal, irrelevant hangup, but I keep getting annoyed by the lack of precision in how people talk about online video.
On Daring Fireball today, John Gruber writes, “Ironically, Engadget’s video demos are only available in Flash. Why would a website devoted to leading-edge gadgetry continue to embed video in a format that can’t be played on the best web-reading gadget?”
It’s not that they’ve chosen a format that won’t play on the iPad; it’s that they haven’t yet done the additional work (necessitated by Apple not allowing Flash on the iPad) to target a different player. That is, they need to set up a switch that’ll let them target Flash Player in Mac/Windows Web browsers (giving them 98% desktop viewership) and target the Video tag in Mobile Safari. They can use the same format (H.264) in both cases.
I’d fully expect them to do so: as I’ve written previously, content creators & publishers will use whatever combination of technologies let them reach customers most effectively. On the desktop that means Flash Player; on iPad/iPhone, it has to mean something else.