So while Adobe and Apple are having their little spat over Flash – Google swoops in with a new open source, royalty-free video format called WebM. This could be HUGE! Google has already announced that they will be converting 720p and higher res YouTube videos into WebM. WebM supports HTML5 and Flash, and hopefully will work great on my iPad. Sorenson and Telestream have already announced WebM support.
A key factor in the web’s success is that its core technologies such as HTML, HTTP, TCP/IP, etc. are open and freely implementable. Though video is also now core to the web experience, there is unfortunately no open and free video format that is on par with the leading commercial choices. To that end, we are excited to introduce WebM, a broadly-backed community effort to develop a world-class media format for the open web.
- 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
The team that created VP8 have been pioneers in video codec development for over a decade. VP8 delivers high quality video while efficiently adapting to the varying processing and bandwidth conditions found on today’s broad range of web-connected devices. VP8′s efficient bandwidth usage will mean lower serving costs for content publishers and high quality video for end-users. The codec’s relative simplicity makes it easy to integrate into existing environments and requires less manual tuning to produce high quality results. These existing attributes and the rapid innovation we expect through the open-development process make VP8 well suited for the unique requirements of video on the web.
A developer preview of WebM and VP8, including source code, specs, and encoding tools is available today at http://www.webmproject.org/.
We want to thank the many industry leaders and web community members who are collaborating on the development of WebM and integrating it into their products. Check out what Mozilla, Opera, Google Chrome, Adobe, and many others below have to say about the importance of WebM to the future of web video. Here a re a couple of links to some additional blog with more WebM insights:
- Kroycom: The Future of Web Video – WebM
- Mashable: Google Introduces the WebM Video Format
- cnet: Google tries freeing Web video with WebM