WebM and GStreamer

As many of you might be aware, Google today announced the open source release of the WebM Project and VP8 codec. What you might not be aware of is that Collabora Multimedia and Entropy Wave have been working with the WebM team and due to this are able to announce the availability of a full set of GStreamer plugins for this new and exciting video format, the needed updates to support the WebM container format and finally we have been working with Xiph.org and Monty to announce the availability of a Ogg container format mapping for WebM, which we have also implemented support for in GStreamer. So by grabbing our WebM branches from GStreamer git you can today do the following things with all GStreamer applications:

  • Encode video into the WebM VP8 video format
  • Decode videos which are in the WebM video format
  • Mux VP8 and Vorbis into the official WebM container format (based on Matroska)
  • Demux WebM files with VP8 and Vorbis
  • Stream VP8 video as part of Ogg http streams
  • Mux and demux VP8 into Ogg container format

We also hope to be working with the WebM project community to offer RTP streaming of VP8 as soon as possible after this launch.

So a big thanks to the good people at Google for releasing WebM to the world and for working with us and other members of the open source community to enable WebM usage in the open source community from day one.

So for the actual code all patches will be committed to gst-plugins-good/base/bad and will be available in new pre-releases today

For those of you running latest releases and prefer to stick with that until the next full release then patches against latest releases will be available from these locations (web interface):

You can read more about the WebM release at the official WebM blog post.

You find the official joint press release of Collabora Multimedia and Entropy Wave here.

Update: Thought I should also link to Montys blog which gives the official Xiph.org view.


#1 jorge on 05.19.10 at 17:23

Woo hoo! Great job guys!

#2 Mark on 05.19.10 at 17:24

Where does Opera fit into all this? They have been working on VP8 GStreamer too, and pushing their work back..

Don’t they get any credit too?

#3 mrmcq2u on 05.19.10 at 18:22

Opera already announced that webm support is indeed on the way.

#4 uraeus on 05.19.10 at 19:48

Well the sad part about the opera thing is that since both we and them worked under NDA we didn’t know about eachother, we will be going over the Opera patches though and try and merge anything we can from them.

#5 foo on 05.20.10 at 02:20


Yay for Google.

^ Not sure if that was sarcasm or not.

#6 Philip J├Ągenstedt on 05.20.10 at 03:55

Right, I had written our own VP8 GStreamer and encoder and decoder, not knowing that there was someone else doing the same. We will simply work together to take what’s good from our code and integrate it into one single codebase. The important thing is that we have rock solid VP8 support in GStreamer (and thus Opera), not who gets the credit.

#7 Mark on 05.25.10 at 07:03

Bad news in the fact there was duplicated effort due to Googles NDA’s but at least it’s now pulling in the same direction!

#8 zekopeko on 05.19.10 at 17:36

I have only one question. How is this going to work with the current hardware decoder solution in mobile phones which currently are use to decode h.264?

#9 mrmcq2u on 05.19.10 at 18:25


You can see a list of hardware manufacturers supporting the codec on that news entry, I am also interested in the specifics of hardware support on the gstreamer side though but I am sure that will fall into place with all of the awesome work going into hardware accelerated video atm.

#10 zekopeko on 05.19.10 at 18:30

That list doesn’t answer my question. The biggest obstacle to webm are CURRENTLY available phones that decode h264 in hardware. Apparently that can be fixed with a firmware upgrade but I would love to hear that from somebody who actually has the expertise.

#11 Jon Pritchard on 05.19.10 at 18:51

Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe anyone has a specific H.264 only decoding chip. It’s just a specifically written software decoder that uses the dedicated hardware DSP to speed up decoding and offload it from the CPU.

If that is the case, then as before, it’s someone having the impetus to write an optimised decoder for all the handheld devices that have a DSP.

#12 zekopeko on 05.19.10 at 20:23

That answers my question if its correct.

#13 mrmcq2u on 05.19.10 at 18:21

Is it wrong to be sooooo f-ing excited by this?
Thanks so much for your great work.
I guess this means epiphany will be one of the first to support webm for html5 video :D A great day for the open source community indeed :D
I also heard rumblings that webm will be supported in ie9 so if apple follow suite we just might have an open standard codec for video on the web.

#14 philn on 05.19.10 at 21:12

Yeah Epiphany will directly benefit from the WebM GStreamer support

#15 mrmcq2u on 05.19.10 at 18:25

Anyone know whether google will be switching to webm for google talk?

#16 uraeus on 05.20.10 at 09:29

Not to WebM as such, but I am convinced VP8 will find its way into Google Talk

#17 mjumbewu on 05.19.10 at 18:44

This is pretty awesome. I remember reading http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/google-free-on2-vp8-for-youtube/ a while back. Nice to see it’s coming to light.

#18 Onkar on 05.20.10 at 04:36

The Collabora git links you specified are not valid. Can you please fix them?

#19 uraeus on 05.20.10 at 07:25

Hi Onkar, sorry about that I thought I had fixed those links yesterday, but I guess my bad connectivity caused the change to never get updated. The links should be fixed now

#20 Sherwood Preisler on 05.24.10 at 18:09

Do you have a “top posters” page to reward your best blog comments?