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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Google Announces Open WebM Video Format

Google Announces Open WebM Video Format: "

Google WebM
(Image courtesy of Engadget)

If you’ve had restless nights wondering what Google plans to do with the VP8 video codec since it purchased creator On2, wonder no more: The search giant has announced a new, open video format for the web built around the technology.

Engadget is reporting that Google has announced the new, open WebM video format at its Google I/O conference this week. The WebM container is based on Matroska but features the VP8 video codec the company purchased from On2 as well as Ogg Vorbis audio streams. Google claims the new format is nimble enough to support playback on low-power devices, including netbooks, tablets and handhelds, while retaining simple encoding profiles for creating them.

WebM is open-source and licensed royalty-free, and industry support has already been lined up starting with Mozilla, who is already supporting the format in their nightly builds of Firefox as of Wednesday night. Needless to say, Google will also be adding WebM support in their Chromium nightly builds at the same time, with Chrome early access builds coming on May 24th and Opera listed as ‘coming soon.’

Google-owned YouTube will also support WebM, which of course will be a nice shot in the arm for the format’s adoption in a quick way. Despite a long list of partners announced on Wednesday, Apple is thus far mum on support for the format in Safari, while rival Microsoft confirmed its half-hearted support in Internet Explorer 9, which will exclusively feature H.264 as part of its HTML5 adoption; however, VP8 playback will be supported, but the codec will have to be downloaded separately rather than as part of the application install.

Other partners for WebM include hardware makers AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and TI -- Engadget notes that Intel is conspicuously absent from that list -- and Adobe has also pledged software support by adding VP8 support into Flash Player.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

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