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You know those videos of cute kittens that people convert into animated GIFs to share them on Tumblr and elsewhere? There’s now a website that converts those videos-turned-into-moving-pictures back into videos. Consider your mind blown.
“You see, the gif file format is pretty bad. In the 28 years since GIF was created, we’ve made huge strides in video compression. So, in order to give you gifs faster, we convert them to videos. Pretty neat, huh?”
But this isn’t just about compression. Animated GIFs became popular in part because they can be played back by any browser, without the need for any additional plug-ins. No need to fire up Flash just to load up a three second-long joke clip. But modern browsers can play videos without any help from third-party software, right within a website.
How efficient is it? I tried MediaCrush with a few files and can confirm that the bandwidth savings are notable. A 3 MB animated cat fight GIF of was reduced to 422 KB, a 541 KB nature scene came in at 52 KB. And this 6 MB Brickfilm animated GIF was reduced to 500 KB.
Od course, there’s one downside. Not every site allows you to embed videos from MediaCrush. Ours for example doesn’t, which is why I had to resort to linking to all those videos. Maybe there’s some future for animated GIFs, after all.