Video formats on the Web are a mess right now. Apple supports H.264, but not Flash. Google recently declared that its Chrome browser will soon stop supporting H.264 in favor of its own WebM. To make a video play on an iPhone or iPad requires support for different formats than for an Android phone, and other phones require yet other formats.
Today, Encoding.com is trying to simplify this mess by launching Vid.ly, a service which creates a single short URL for any video and plays it appropriately across 14 different browsers and devices. The vid.ly link can be shared via SMS, Twitter, or Facebook. If you would like to try Vid.ly, we have 1,000 invites for TechCrunch readers (use the beta test code: TCRUNCH2011).
Jeff Malkin, the president of Encoding.com, came by the TC San Francisco offices on Friday to talk to me about the new service and why Web video formats are so confusing right now. Just as H.264 is becoming a standard—about 93 percent of all videos which go through Encoding.com are output in H.264 versus 66 percent last May.
My interview with Malkin is in the video above, and he demos Vid.ly in the video below.