Google to push open source WebM web video format based on VP8 codec

May 19, 2010, By Thomas Antony

Ever since Google acquired the company On2, everyone has been speculating that they will be open sourcing the VP8 codec. It has now become a reality when Google officially announced a new video format called WebM. According to Google, tjhe new format is efficient enough to support playback on low-power devices such as smartphones and tablets, and encoding profiles simple enough to enable you to create the files easily. Google is also going to be pushing it as one of the options on YouTube, to drive widespread adoption.

The WebM container is based on Matroska, with VP8 video and Ogg Vorbis audio streams. The format is released open source under the royalty-free BSD license. This should help avoid all those licensing issues with the H.264. Firefox and Chromium nightly builds as of today already support the new format. Chrome will be adding support by May 24 and Opera later. What is left to see is whether the other big players in the market, Apple and Microsoft, add support for the format in their browsers.

Check out WebM Project website.

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