xiphmont: (Default)

I'm about to get an official press release together, but in the meantime, I'm pleased to announce we've released Opus 1.2!

Quoting Jean-Marc Valin, the Opus lead developer:

Opus gets another major upgrade with the release of version 1.2. This release brings quality improvements to both speech and music, while remaining fully compatible with RFC 6716. There are also optimizations, new options, as well as many bug fixes. This Opus 1.2 demo describes a few of the upgrades that users and implementers will care about the most. You can download the code from the Opus website.

xiphmont: (Default)

Last week, Fraunhofer and Thomson suspended their MP3 patent licensing program because the patents expired. We can finally welcome MP3 into the family of truly Free codecs!

Then came a press push calling MP3 dead. That's dumb. Fraunhofer is only calling MP3 dead to push unwary customers into 'upgrading' to AAC for which they can still charge patent fees.

This is a bit like the family pediatrician telling you that your perfectly healthy child in college is dead-- and solemnly suggesting you have another child immediately. Just to keep making money off of you.

I would call that disingenuous at best.

No, MP3 isn't dead, and it's not pining for any fjords. The money that Thomson and Fraunhofer were previously collecting in patent royalties now stays in your (and everyone else's) bottom line. Don't license something new and unnecessary just to spend more money.

If you really do need something more advanced than MP3, the best alternatives are also open and royalty-free. Vorbis is the mature alternative with 20 years of wide deployment under its belt. Better yet, consider Opus, the world's most advanced officially standardized codec.

That said, the network effects that have kept MP3 dominant for so long just got stronger. Nothing beats its level of interoperability and support. There's no reason to jump off a thoroughbred that’s still increasing its lead.

xiphmont: (Default)

Oh look, an official announcement: http://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2015/09/08/announcing-vp9-support-coming-to-microsoft-edge/

Called it!

In any case, welcome to the party Microsoft. Feel free to help yourself to the open bar. :-)

(And, to be fair, this isn't as fantastically unlikely as some pundits have been saying. After all, MS does own an IP stake in Opus).

xiphmont: (Default)

...and the final 1.1 release lands!

The release also features an extensive demo page that describes and shows off the improvements in 1.1 in detail. (The page will look familiar to those who have been following over the past few months; it's an updated and expanded version of the demo for last July's beta test release.)

xiphmont: (Default)

Opus 1.1 just hit release candidate; pending any last minute bug discoveries or showstoppers, this will become the final 1.1 release.

The release candidate includes two major improvements over the previous 1.1 beta.

We've further improved surround encoding quality and tuning of both surround and stereo at lower bitrates. As an example, full 48kHz 5.1 surround is now tested and tuned down to 45kpbs (it's nowhere near audiophile quality at that rate, but it is surprisingly good).

In addition, we also landed additional encode/decode optimizations for all CPU types, but especially ARM which now includes NEON encoding optimizations.

And of course, we hopefully cleared the 1.1-beta buglist :-)

xiphmont: (Default)

Xiph and Mozilla's Greg Maxwell (or as Dave has been teasing, 'Professor Max') gave a good thorough presentation on Opus and progress being made on Daala at the 2013 GStreamer conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Unlike many of our presentations, we were more careful to get complete video for this one.

If you've been a fan of the Daala demo updates, his talk touches on some of the topics of upcoming demos, specifically PVQ, the range coder, and motion compensation. Obviously, I'll be going into more detail on those in the actual demo pages.

xiphmont: (Default)

I've made another demo page, this one in celebration of the Opus 1.1 beta release today...

"Opus marches onward toward its manifest destiny with today's beta of the upcoming 1.1 release. This will be the first major update to libopus since standardization as RFC 6716 in 2012, and includes improvements to performance, encoding quality, and the library APIs. Here's a few of the upgrades that Opus users and implementors will care about the most."

Cheers!

xiphmont: (Default)

Greg Maxwell has just posted a nice second 'demo' page for Opus. It mostly covers the recent listening testing done by volunteers at Hydrogen Audio. Pretty colors and interactive listening/comaprison scripting!

For those of you new to Opus, it's the FOSS/RF codec we're working on within the IETF codec working group. Opus is a collaborative hybrid speech / high-fidelity audio codec built using primarily Xiph's CELT codec and the Skype SILK voice codec as inputs. That makes Opus similar in some ways to what MPEG is trying to achieve with USAC (Unified Speech and Audio Coding), though Opus is also ultra-low latency, so it looks like we're considerably ahead of MPEG here.

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