VP8 Video Codec Rebranded WebM, Also Open Sourced

It’s what many of you hoped for: Google has open sourced VP8. It’s all documented on the new official webpage, The WebM Project.

Some quick thoughts and notes:

  • YouTube is converting all its video to the WebM codec, starting with 720p video. You can opt in to the beta HTML5 version of YouTube today, and play the videos using Google Chrome dev channel.
  • So H.264 is “patent encumbered”, WebM is not. Which is why this is a big deal.
  • Microsoft previously announced they’ll only support H.264 in Internet Explorer 9. With Opera, Chrome and Firefox supporting WebM, IE is further digging into irrelevance unless they adopt this.
  • The interesting thing is whether Safari will adopt WebM. My bet is they will, eventually.