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"Google release VP8 Video codec"

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Wed 19/05/10 at 20:15
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
Google are currently holding their annual I/O conference, and have today announced that they are open sourcing their VP8 codec, used for video, on a royalty free basis.

VP8 was developed by a company called On2, which Google acquired a little while ago, and has been rolled in to a project called WebM, which includes VP8 video and Vorbis audio, wrapped up in a Matroska Multimedia Container format, with the aim of it becoming used for HTML5 video.

For those of you who don't know, HTML5 is a new standard being put together with the aim of allowing web applications to be used within a web browser. Part of HTML5 is the easy inclusion of native Video playback, which currently is mostly done via the Flash plug-in.

There has been quite a divide over how to implement HTML 5 Video between browser vendors, with Microsoft and Apple wanting to use H.264, and Opera and Mozilla opting for Theora, which meant that if / when HTML 5 video becomes widely used, web authors would need to create two video files.

Opera and Mozilla are not keen on using the H.264 codec because it'll cost them money to implement, while Microsoft and Apple had opted to not use Theora because of possible patent issues and that Theora isn't as widely used and powerful as H.264.

With WebM, it seems the hope is to win over both camps, with VP8 comparable to H.264 (Microsoft & Apple ), while now not requiring any form of payment for use (Opera & Mozilla), so it could be that HTML5 has just got its preferable video format.

We shall see!
Mon 31/05/10 at 10:58
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
It seems WebM is gaining quite a bit of traction from quite a few organisations, though it remains to be seen if they all commit fully to the new format. I think the key element is if chip makers include hardware accelerated WebM support, which is of course important for mobile devices.

It's currently being implemented in nightly / preview builds of Opera and Mozilla, and I think the dev channel of Chrome will include support soon enough, and IE will playback WebM if it's been installed by the user (rather than offer native playback).

Adobe have also said WebM support will find itself in Flash, and consider Flash is the big video delivery method today, that certainly adds a lot to the format.

It's early stages, and the format needs to be better optimised (see note), but I think WebM is going to go far, and is certainly a viable competitor to H.264.
Thu 20/05/10 at 15:58
Regular
Posts: 19,415
Sorry, didn't mean to confuse you Garin.

I was expecting a lot more announcements yesterday, but I guess they're saving some of it for today. Although I can't imagine many developers waking up so early.

Google needs another event to show off what they're doing to the media instead of developers. It was pretty funny watching the Sports Illustrated guy talking sports with a bunch of geeks. :)
Thu 20/05/10 at 15:29
Regular
"Devil in disguise"
Posts: 3,151
Yes. I see what you mean now, read your original sentence slightly different.
Thu 20/05/10 at 14:58
Regular
Posts: 19,415
Garin wrote:
> Matroska isnt a codec.

I know, but it's that .mkv format that they're going to use right?
Thu 20/05/10 at 14:47
Regular
"Devil in disguise"
Posts: 3,151
Matroska isnt a codec.
Thu 20/05/10 at 12:34
Regular
Posts: 19,415
The VP8 isn't as good as H.264 and I'm not sure about Matroska which has been embraced by pirates for years. However it's a much better choice than Theora.

If Microsoft joins in I'm sure Apple will follow.
Thu 20/05/10 at 12:23
Regular
"Embrace the Martian"
Posts: 285
Garin wrote:
> Cue statement from Apple declaring its a closed platform and
> they'll be blocking all websites that use it in Safari to protect
> the user experience.

Bwhahaha, have you seen the Adobe's adverts?
Wed 19/05/10 at 20:32
Regular
"Devil in disguise"
Posts: 3,151
Cue statement from Apple declaring its a closed platform and they'll be blocking all websites that use it in Safari to protect the user experience.
Wed 19/05/10 at 20:15
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
Google are currently holding their annual I/O conference, and have today announced that they are open sourcing their VP8 codec, used for video, on a royalty free basis.

VP8 was developed by a company called On2, which Google acquired a little while ago, and has been rolled in to a project called WebM, which includes VP8 video and Vorbis audio, wrapped up in a Matroska Multimedia Container format, with the aim of it becoming used for HTML5 video.

For those of you who don't know, HTML5 is a new standard being put together with the aim of allowing web applications to be used within a web browser. Part of HTML5 is the easy inclusion of native Video playback, which currently is mostly done via the Flash plug-in.

There has been quite a divide over how to implement HTML 5 Video between browser vendors, with Microsoft and Apple wanting to use H.264, and Opera and Mozilla opting for Theora, which meant that if / when HTML 5 video becomes widely used, web authors would need to create two video files.

Opera and Mozilla are not keen on using the H.264 codec because it'll cost them money to implement, while Microsoft and Apple had opted to not use Theora because of possible patent issues and that Theora isn't as widely used and powerful as H.264.

With WebM, it seems the hope is to win over both camps, with VP8 comparable to H.264 (Microsoft & Apple ), while now not requiring any form of payment for use (Opera & Mozilla), so it could be that HTML5 has just got its preferable video format.

We shall see!

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