Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
There was a big cheer at last years Google I/O when Google Wave was demoed. It made a great demo and really showed that the Web can do a looooot more than we think.
It sounds like we will have another big cheer moment for this years Google I/O though, and it will won’t be for a demo, but for something more meaningful.
It appears that Google will open source VP8, the On2 codec at the event. Video has been painful for the Open Web crew. Many bash Theora on the grounds of quality, and then others hit back saying that it is hog-wash. H.264 has been taken up almost ubiquitously, with Mozilla holding out on principled grounds (which has created a groundswell around that decision too). The folks who make money on H.264 extended our puff on the pipe, but wouldn’t it be nice for the Open Web to have a true open video alternative?
That is what folks like the FSF begged Google for when the On2 acquisition was happening. Now we may have our wish.
This doesn’t mean that all is well. Having a codec is one thing, but getting it out there and implemented is another. Chrome and Mozilla may support it out of the gate, but what about Apple and Microsoft? At the very least though, having a truly viable open codec allows us to hold the H.264 folks feet to the fire.
Google also recently funded open video work on ARM that does use Theora. I am looking forward to IO!
Posted by Dion Almaer at 1:15 am