Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th May 2010 09:08 UTC
Multimedia, AV Monty from Xiph.org Foundation, the people behind Theora and Vorbis, have announced their support for Google's WebM container format. "The Xiph.Org Foundation is pleased to announce its support of the WebM open media project as a project launch partner. As announced earlier today at the Google I/O Developer Conference, the WebM format combines the VP8 video codec, the Matroska container, and the Vorbis audio codec developed by Xiph into a high-quality, open, unencumbered format for video delivery on the Web. Xiph will continue to contribute to WebM as a whole and collaborate in its further development and deployment." Remember, people, without the hard work from the boys and girls at Xiph, Google would not have been able to do this.
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I don't get it
by Stratoukos on Thu 20th May 2010 12:11 UTC
Stratoukos
Member since:
2009-02-11

I don't get what this means. Does it mean that they will focus on VP8 and theora development stops? Because I can't see any way they could keep developing both. Developing two competing codecs with the same goals really doesn't make sense to me.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't get it
by lemur2 on Thu 20th May 2010 12:32 UTC in reply to "I don't get it"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I don't get what this means. Does it mean that they will focus on VP8 and theora development stops? Because I can't see any way they could keep developing both. Developing two competing codecs with the same goals really doesn't make sense to me.


Xiph aren't developing WebM, they are merely stating that they support what Google are trying to do with WebM.

Xiph's part in WebM is the audio codec for WebM, which is Vorbis.

It is unclear what Xiph will be doing, but I imagine that they might decide to continue development of Theora. Despite repeated and vocal claims to the contrary, Theora is actually pretty good. Theora 1.2 (still in development) promises to be very competitive indeed.

Wikipedia currently use Theora.

http://videoonwikipedia.org/

I'm not sure if Xiph or Wikipedia will continue with Theora or go with WebM instead. It might depend on Mozilla and Opera and their continued support for Theora as well as their announced support for WebM.

It seems to me that two open video codecs would be harder for patent trolls to attack than just one. If Theora development continues, it could provide open video with a "fallback" position perhaps.

The Open Video Alliance seems to be assuming that Theora will continue:
http://openvideoalliance.org/2010/05/google-frees-vp8-codec-for-htm...

What happens to Theora?

It’s possible that this decision by Google will create an environment where there are several popular video formats (as there are currently several popular image formats). Google, in fact, has advocated for Theora as an alternative codec for mobile devices, and recently funded research for native decoding on ARM processors. As with other web formats, choice and competition are good.

Wikipedia is currently the largest site currently serving Theora video. Wikimedia Foundation’s head of communications Jay Walsh has said that the site is open to hosting multiple video formats, just as it currently hosts multiple image formats. “Ultimately, this isn’t so much about switching formats as it is about making more options available for more web users,” he said to NewTeeVee.


Edited 2010-05-20 12:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't get it
by Radio on Thu 20th May 2010 12:40 UTC in reply to "I don't get it"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

[quote]Does it mean that they will focus on VP8 and theora development stops?[/quote]
Nope. VP8 is (and has always been) designed and optimised for online video (streaming, efficiency at small resolutions, small processing and memory specs).
Theora is still the open codec of choice for offline videos, and may on the contrary suddenly improve a lot by focusing only on that, instead of trying to fit all cases. Which h264 manages to do, only because it is a very good codec (at the expense of more computational power and memory we just begin to catch up with - many new computers (notebooks) still can't natively decode h264 without buying specialized software (coreavc) or hardware (nVidia CUDA or Broadcom chipsets)) and because it has been designed from the ground up to have different "profiles" for different uses.

On the other hand, Ogg development may switch to transOgg (search for "VP8" in this webpage: https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/lj-pseudocut/o-response-1.html ).

Edited 2010-05-20 12:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I don't get it
by lemur2 on Thu 20th May 2010 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't get it"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

[quote]Does it mean that they will focus on VP8 and theora development stops?[/quote]
...
On the other hand, Ogg development may switch to transOgg (search for "VP8" in this webpage: https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/lj-pseudocut/o-response-1.html ).


Hmmmm.

transOgg quote:
That said, transOgg [the next rev of Ogg; if the Google VP8 leak is true, we'll have some breathing room soon to start more aggressively developing it] will use a lacing that pivots off of value 252 rather than 255. In this way, we still avoid 'wasting' an entire bit of numerical range when extending, but we avoid the runs of 255 to which Mr. Rullgard objects. And, it's truly the best of both worlds, which means there's no need for multiple optional encodings.


I don't know, but this quote seems to me to be saying that if Google open VP8 (as they have done, just announced), then Xiph would be interested in "back-porting" some of the optimisations in VP8 back into Ogg (Theora).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I don't get it
by DigitalAxis on Thu 20th May 2010 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I don't get it"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

That, or they bring their expertise on VP3 to VP8 and make Theora-II, becoming what x264 is to h264.

Reply Score: 3

Absolutely! Big thanks to Xiph!
by ciaran on Thu 20th May 2010 14:57 UTC
ciaran
Member since:
2006-11-27

Ogg Vorbis and Theora have been major forces for free software video over the past decade.

Whether Xiph decided to help WebM or not, any victory of WebM would be thanks to the ground breaking work over the last ten years by Xiph.

Glad to hear they're working together on this now.

Reply Score: 2

Yay
by kaelodest on Thu 20th May 2010 18:36 UTC
kaelodest
Member since:
2006-02-12

I have wanted a clean and not license-complicated way out of this mess. I know that Back in the day we had to deal with all of these crazy plug-ins and extensions and nonsense just to get basic video displayed on the desktop not even to mention the web. A few years ago most OSs did not ship with the ability to play video.
- - Truth being worth Gold I did not know that the quicktime environment ran like garbage on windows. Remember Realplayer? How about anything that came before it? how many of these are still in use. I really understand the market realities and the need to commodify and monetize the web But did we throw of the shackles of the old school just to go running to flash or silverlight.
- - I was at a conference and I remember the speaker explaining that if it wasn't for the Adult Entertainment industry then the internet would not have grown so swiftly and eCommerce also would have been delayed. This is the reality of the world despite my personal feelings.
- - I would love to live in a world where we all have common sense ideals that some company was not trying to subvert or co-opt or patent it. All I can say is Vote with your Ideals, don't hate - innovate. If you don't like Apple don't use it. If you don't like Microsoft don't send out your résumé in .doc if .rtf will do just as well. Why send out a picture in .psd (photoshop) if jpeg will do?

Reply Score: 1

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/video/article.php/3883451

With Mozilla now backing WebM, what does that mean for Theora?

"We don't have any plans to drop support for Theora. We've seen good uptake for it," Mike Shaver, vice president of engineering at Mozilla, told InternetNews.com. "I don't think there is any reason for us to take it (Theora) out, so we're planning on supporting both codecs going forward."

From an engineering perspective, Mozilla has had development resources tasked with improving Theora. Now that Mozilla is also supporting VP8, Shaver doesn't expect it to impact the continued contributions to Theora.


So there you go. Theora continues, despite WebM.

Reply Score: 2