This is big news: Google to open Source VP8

This is big news: Google to open source VP8 for HTML vidoe http://bit.ly/90n9eA

Google acquired the On2 corporation largely for their codec expertise and got control over the VP8 codec (Flash 8-9 used the VP6 codec). They can open source it if they want, and they have. They are also pushing it for adoption as the video codec for the HTML5 <video> tag, which will allow video to play without using a plug-in like Flash, QT or any of the others.

However there is already contention between the Ogg Vorbis codec (also open source) and MPEG-4 (open and equitably licensed but not always free to publishers or software developers). The arguments usually go down the path of “Ogg is open source so it should be used” vs “Ogg quality is not great and MPEG-4/H.264 is much more widely deployed.

I would expect Chrome to gain support for the VP8 in the <video> tag but I’d expect Apple to fight VP8 as the only choice. Apple are very much behind MPEG-4/H.264.

3 thoughts on “This is big news: Google to open Source VP8”

  1. VP8 isn’t the Flash codec – that was VP6. VP8 is several years newer and supposedly more competitive quality-wise with h.264 but never really achieved much widespread use – until now it was a proprietary codec which wasn’t widely licensed by any major players.

  2. This could change everything. A big part of adoption will be wide-spread industry use. It could be a real third rail issue for broadcasters who strongly back h.264. I think the next few weeks and months will set the tone. It’s either going to be huge or another Google Buzz. I’m betting on the former for this one since the implications are so wide-spread.

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