New Open Video Project: WebM Announced at Google I/O

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In the keynote here at Google I/O a little bit ago, Google announced the Web M Project, a new open codec for web video with support from Mozilla and Opera.

Web M includes:

  • VP8, a high-quality video codec we are releasing today under a BSD-style, royalty-free license
  • Vorbis, an already open source and broadly implemented audio codec
  • a container format based on a subset of the Matroska media container

More info on the official blog for the project.

Mike Shaver VP, engineering for Mozilla, who spoke during the keynote has this to say about the project:

Since Mozilla first announced support for HTML5 video, we have worked to improve the performance, usability and capabilities of open video on the web. We’ve been grateful for the opportunity to support the visionary work of the Ogg Theora project, and in collaboration with them we’ve brought royalty-free web video to hundreds of millions of users around the world. Most recently, Mozilla commissioned work to provide hardware acceleration for Theora, making it dramatically more efficient on today’s mobile devices.

Until today, Theora was the only production-quality codec that was usable under terms appropriate for the open web. Now we can add another, in the form of VP8: providing better bandwidth efficiency than H.264, and designed to take advantage of hardware from mobile devices to powerful multicore desktop machines, it is a tremendous technology to have on the side of the open web. VP8 and WebM promise not only to commoditize state-of-the-art video quality, but also to form the basis of further advances in video for the web.

The project was met with a great deal of entusiasm from the sold out crowd of developers attending the keynote. It was one of the many announcements made (and still being made from the event).

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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