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What's WebM Format

What is WebM

As a new open standard for compressed Video Content, WebM is specially designed to provide the royalty-free, high-quality open video compression for HTML5 videos. Generally speaking, WebM is based on two open codecs for compressing the video and audio component of the content: VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec. Users will be granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license, in some ways, WebM offers an alternative to commercial formats such as h.264, MPEG4 and MPEG2, which are patented with commercial licence required.

What is VP8 Video Codec

Developed by ON2 Technologies in February, 2010 and acquired by Google in the recent year, VP8 is an open, free and highly efficient technology used to compress the video content of a WebM file. As far as we are concerned, there are a limited number of standards capable of keeping up with the modern MPEG4 compression standards both in quality and file size, while VP8 is luckily one of them.

What is the Vorbis Audio Codec

Vorbis(Ogg Vorbis), is a completely open-source, general-purpose audio compression technology empowered by Xiph Foundation. It can be used as an alternative to MP3, compressing the audio-component of a WebM file lossly. Remarkably, Vorbis is as competitive as some popular audio representations like MPEG-4 (AAC), and similar to, but higher performance than MPEG-1/2 audio layer 3, MPEG-4 audio (TwinVQ), WMA and PAC.

Impact of WebM

The fast growth of online video websites and consumers' demand for high video quality require a high quality codec, which is able to deliver the highly-compressed HD videos with the highest possible quality. As mentioned previously, the H.264/MPEG4 Standard is patented with a commercial license required, which means, it is suitable for commercial applications only. Given this, a free and open-source alternative was developed by Google--the video compression software with acquisition of ON2 and Vorbis audio compression technology. Currently, the Online-Video Giant YouTube is able to support the WebM file. On the other hand, WebM is natively supported in Gecko (Firefox), Chrome and Opera, and support for the format can be added to Internet Explorer and Safari by installing an add-on. In addition, chances are good that some open Phone Operating Systems like Google’s Android and the upcoming Tizen will have built-in WebM support, making WebM a veritable alternative to Flash/h.264. Notes: converting SWF to WebM is a good way for embedding the videos on webpage with no plug-in required.

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WebM Related Guides on Mac

WebM Related Guides on Windows

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