Google and Open Video

Been following the news and discussion about Google and their recent acquisition of on2. For those who doesn’t know On2 is a codec company that created such codecs as VP3 (which become Theora) and VP6 which became Flash video. Their latest codec is VP8 which they claim is comparable to H264 in terms of quality.

The big question of course is what Google plans on doing with On2 and the codec acquired. I guess there are two likely routes Google could be going. One is to try to create some kind of vendor lock in with Youtube offering higher quality video using VP8 for Google clients like Android and Chrome. The other is that they want to remove the dependency on proprietary video formats on the web and will thus release VP8 as open source in a similar vein to Theora and Dirac. If they combine that with youtube offering high quality HTML5 videos in VP8 combined with ensuring that Firefox and Opera supporting the format in addition to Chrome then it could be a big move. Silvia Pfeiffer got some good thoughts and comments on the subject in her blog, including interesting comments from Monty and former On2 employee Dan.

From a Collabora Multimedia viewpoint we would of course love to add support for liberated On2 codecs in GStreamer, so if anyone from Google is reading this, just know that we would happily help you implement the needed GStreamer plugin code to get these codecs supported in GStreamer and the linux desktop.

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