Google Opens Up VP8, Launches New Container Format
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 19 May 2010 at 12:47 PM EDT. 167 Comments
While there has been speculation about it for weeks, Google has announced today from their I/O conference that they have open-sourced the VP8 video codec. VP8 is the video codec that was developed by On2 Technologies and then Google got its hands on it by acquiring the company a few months back. The older On2 VP3 codec is what went on to become the Theora codec. Google has also announced WebM as a new container format that combines the VP8 video codec with Vorbis audio.

Open-sourcing the VP8 codec (under a BSD license) is a major win for the open-source community and is even something that the Free Software Foundation had publicly been trying to get Google to pursue. WebM support is coming to YouTube and there are 40+ other companies banding together to support the open-source VP8 and WebM container format, including Opera and Mozilla.

The code to VP8 is already out and there are also VP8/WebM patches already available for FFmpeg, other plug-ins, and also an SDK. GStreamer plug-ins are also on the way. The code can be found at WebMProject.org. WebM/VP8 support in HTML5 can already be found in the nightly builds of Google's Chromium and Mozilla's Firefox as of today. Opera support for this new open-source format is coming very soon.

More details can be found on the project's website.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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