back to article Google open-video codec goes experimental

Google has added an experimental branch to the VP8 code tree, encouraging developers to begin work on the next incarnation of its newly open sourced video codec. Mountain View open sourced its $124.6 million VP8 codec less than a month ago in an effort to create a royalty free standard for web video, rolling it into a larger …


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  1. asdf

    one more thing

    God save us from the east Texas court district (coincidentally also the modern geographic region hotbed of the KKK (cowards in bedsheets an American south tradition).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      #one more thing

      >east Texas court district

      No bearing on the rest of the world thankfully - its a shame that folk in the US will probably have to continue lining Lawrence Horn's pockets, but I won't be losing any sleep over it - sadly neither will he of course.

    2. fandom

      Not so fast

      Don't forget that Novell and Red Hat got sued for patent infrigment in Texas and the jury ruled that all the patents involved were invalid.

  2. asdf

    being able to patent math equations is bullspit

    As mentioned in a previous article about this topic the analogy of building a bridge is good. Copyright would say yes you can build a bridge but you have to build it yourself from scratch. Patents would say I am sorry you cant build a bridge at all unless you pay the guy who thought of the idea of bridges a fortune first. How can you patent software algorithms when Turning showed they are basically just math equations. The patent system is hopeless broke and as more get rich quick wannabe patent scumsucker lawyers jump on the gravy train the whole house of cards is going to collapse soon.

    1. g e

      Is it too late

      To patent Patent Trolling ?

      1. Sim~
        Thumb Up

        patent done

        there is a patent on patent trolling iirc,

    2. Christoph

      A closer analogy

      It's more like people crossing a bridge.

      There's two bridges available. One of them is free to use, the other is a toll bridge.

      The owner of the toll bridge uses every possible obstruction, legal harrassment and scare tactic to stop people using the free bridge. And then puts up his charges, and explains that of course people ought to pay him through the nose because he's generously providing the service of letting them cross the river, which they can't do any other way.

  3. lucmars

    VP8 can help hardware companies to reduce the H264 fees

    As well as some governments agencies threatened Microsoft to switch elsewhere in the aim only to renegociate the M.Tax.

    And Google could do the same to get an exceptionnal settlement with the MPEG LA, putting away Mozilla and Opera (on a non-discriminatory basis, but too much for these latter)

    I believe that the H264 codec will be free for reading, but Google has the cards and the opportunity to struggle the other browsers which haven't any mobile plateform.

    After all, Safari has its plateform, IE too as well as Chrome. Nothing new here: what can do the app bless the plateform.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Google's Dilemma ... Too Big to Fail?

    "The WebM community can use this unstable branch to propose changes to VP8 that will produce the best video codec possible, but without the constraints of a frozen bitstream. At some point in the future, when the experimental branch proves significantly better than the stable branch, we will create a new version of the codec." ..... Jim Bankoski.

    Crazy XSSXXXX Desire Branches are not unstable in Live Operational Virtual Environments ..... for they are ITs Immaculate Driver Life Energy Source for Lives Forever Changed to Success with the Sharing of XXXXPerienced XSSessions.

    Crikey, that is as much a #5 Scent Channel Plug In Feed and Raw Passion Bleed as makes no difference to Control Management with Pirates and Privates in Pilot Beta Programming, Mastering Spooks and Supporting Spivs.

    Global Control is a Timely Media Content Placement thing? A Significant Inflow of Spontaneous SMARTer Evidence and Intelligence on Matters which relate to the Future, rather than touch upon any substance in a notion of matters previously held Presently and formerly now Past, may very well cause a Chaotic DISOrder .... and Chronic Relief from Fed Led and Feed Lead Pain.

    It is as well to be prepared for such Opportunities ..... for they have Special Access Controls for SMART Pirate Capture and Private Special Delivery of Cloud Crowd Control Marketeers Savvy Drive, which is Information widely distributed for Using and Sharing with IntelAIgents.

    It should certainly be well known to Google, who know all of some of most plans and nothing of much substance worth sharing in FutureBuilding for Virtual Reality Fields that Deliver Automatic Drivers for Effortless Remote Thought Transfer Control Protocols.

  5. Charles 9

    There are bridges...

    ...and there are bridges. Or perhaps better, mousetraps. What's the difference between a program (which as you say can be express as equations and so on) and the design plan for the proverbial better mousetrap (which can also be digitized, expressed in electronic form, which can then in turn be expressed as a bunch of numbers themselves)?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      In MaJIC Kingdoms, Bold Lateral Lead Succeeds......

      "What's the difference between a program (which as you say can be express as equations and so on) and the design plan for the proverbial better mousetrap (which can also be digitized, expressed in electronic form, which can then in turn be expressed as a bunch of numbers themselves)?" .... Charles 9 Posted Saturday 19th June 2010 15:19 GMT

      There are none of any relative significance, Charles 9. And in IT is IT AIMost Graceful State of Right Royal Play for Astute CyberIntelAIgent Knight Servering.

      1. M Gale

        Err.. can be digitised, reduced down to and expressed as numbers. The other already is a bunch of math.

        In other news: Apple patents Pythagorus, Microsoft retaliates by patenting various sub-uses of the theory of general relativity. Method of implementation? Tacking "...on a computer" to the end of said uses.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    OC You Do know why they are so quick to make available this Experimental branch and virtually shoving 3rd party Dev's to look at and allow changes to the bit-stream right "

    read and understand Dark Shikari's

    05/19/2010 (9:30 am)

    The first in-depth technical analysis of VP8

    Filed under: VP8,google ::

    remember there is no such thing as really free, the end users will pay one way or the other, personally id rather pay my part for the highest quality AVC codec HW licence in that high profile AVC ARM Cortex/Neon phone ,360, PS3,HD DVB STB. AVC HDTV etc than suffer low quality VP8 baseline like profile and massive file sizes hiking my kbit/s bills to/from my mobile streaming video handset .

    and before You say well what can you expect from x264 dev's, remember This comments key point posted there.

    put simply x264 and All the dev’s that have contributed to its development have made the x264 Encoder the worlds best and most used H.264 encoder there is today, look at any AVC encoded content on the web today and you will find that 90%+ have been encoded with it.

    many of these same dev’s have written patches and whole sections of new code for the other apps ffmpeg,VLC,Mplayer etc , so don’t go pissing any of them off to much or your VP8 open project may find that these new VP8 patches don’t get written by the people that know quality and produce virtually all the quality video apps your end users are using today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some messy arguments

      To begin with, the baseline profile of h264 that mobile devices support (often in an unstable way from what I've heard) aren't hugely better in size-vs-quality compared to vp8. If we're talking about using the highest-quality x264 profile, good luck getting that video to run on (say) an iPhone. So there's no huge gap here, h264 only has a few years on vp8 in terms of having hardware decoder support, and vp8 has been designed partly with that hardware in mind. The problem is that VP8 is a messy chunk of code being passed for a "standard". Whether this can result in less lazy implementations of vp8 compared to the situation with h264 is anyone's guess (I doubt it).

      As for "nothing is ever free", you are mincing words. Freedom may be in the eyes of the beholder, but then the difference of freedom is what's important to a lot of people here, not some mystical "perfectly free" concept. If "freeing up" h264 was truly possible, then vp8 wouldn't exist. People living outside the scope of these patents should be doing less whining and more fighting to ensure that those patents don't creep up on them where they live, otherwise they might be wishing they'd taken vp8 more seriously.

      As for pissing off "the best devs", let them be pissed off. If they're that immature, perhaps it's time they stopped pretending to be F/OSS devs, and just got straight jobs. The world of F/OSS is a brutal place where smart people will turn into idiots in a heartbeat because money isn't usually involved.. just raw pride and passion for your craft. If you're going to write off your target audience for a few jerks, then it might be time to re-evaluate things and step aside.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @AC Some messy arguments indeed, Not

        @ AC on Saturday 19th June 2010 21:20 GMT said ...." from what I've heard..." well that statement tells us a lot about your current knowledge and effort spend on actually researching and referencing the Facts of the matter, you are so off it's unreal.

        don't you even actually try these things Before making statements like "If we're talking about using the highest-quality x264 profile, good luck getting that video to run on (say) an iPhone. " again , For the record , originally when the 3GS came out, IT WOULD play High L4.1, but only if you bypassed iTunes, as iTunes won't let you transfer the files.

        today OC. The newer apple portable devices (iPhone GS, newest iPod Touch, iPad) can all decode high profile AVC/H.264, they all support syncing High Profile via iTunes, the problem is iTunes only limits the Level to 3.0. so you still need to use other means for your higher level "High Profile" Encoded content.....

        it's beleaved all current Arm Cortex A8/A9 Neon SOC Hardware assuming their device dev's don't fuck it up and remove SOC functionality Can decode "Main Profile" AVC , perhaps with a few restrictions.

        But OC You Need to actually make the time and Test these things by actually running a generic "High Profile" video on them to be sure, for instance CURRENTLY Android has terrible video support. Arm Cortex A8/A9 Neon SOC hardware may be capable of it, but the Android system doesn't actually have the hardware accelerated decoding software code written for it (Yet?....).

        mortal, don't go spouting "Some messy arguments" at other people, clearly You didn't take the time to research and test the use so it just makes You look foolish, if you don't know something then fine go learn it Then, and only make informed comments or at least qualify with id think/from what I've heard... so people know you don't know the subject good enough to help inform and enlighten readers

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Get a Clue AC

        Get a Clue ACSaturday 19th June 2010 21:20 GMT "if we're talking about using the highest-quality x264 profile, good luck getting that video to run on (say) an iPhone." High Profile AVC/H,264 WORKS just Fine, No Luck Required.

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      So what you're saying is...

      ...don't compete. Because you might regret it. Nice little codec you got here, shame if anything were to happen to it...

      Yeah, that's real friendly that is.

      For the record their comparison was with a very old version of VP8.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        LOL, do You make it up as You go along Graham Dawson, cant You Even check Facts ....

        For The the Real record, the comparison was performed on the code as it became available the other week, so not old versions at all, unless you actually agree with DS's write-up, and mean the code as supplied is rooted in older code that's existed in its closed form longer than x264 has existed... and for the real record too, DS has just today written New ffmpeg code for vp8 mc functions, to give but one real and proven example, You Need to re-define your Not real friendly implication...

  7. Glen Turner 666

    Technical pros and cons don't matter

    The technical merits of VP8 versus X.264 miss the point. So irrelevant that if there were to be a codec tomorrow that used half of the bandwidth of X.264 neither Google nor Apple would move to it.

    However, if that codec was free (as in freedom) and the patents were royalty-free licensed and had good defence then Google would drop VP8 in a heartbeat. Apple, on the other hand, would stick with X.264.

    As for MPEG-LA, it would want to be mighty sure that no VP8 patents undermine the X.264 MPEG-LA patents before it sued anyone who did not license WebM from their proposed patent pool. Since VP8 and X.264 are roughly contemporary there's a good chance that not all of the patents required to implement X.264 are held by MPEG-LA. Because of the risk of shooting itself in the foot, I really don't see MPEG-LA doing anything about WebM beyond FUD.

    You article misses a point on support on MacOS. A Quicktime plugin can support WebM just fine and thus Safari can run WebM once a non-Apple Quicktime plugin is written. So the positions of Microsoft and Apple towards WebM are roughly the same in practice.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Goggle Use x264

      Glen Turner 666, You do know that goggle actually commissioned the x264 AVC/H.264 Dev's to write new x264 routines for their many goggle back end AVC encoders right ?, true it's [b] an older x264 [/b] codebase their using RIGHT NOW, not the cutting edge current x264 codebase but still, as do facebook, veetle and many others too....

      OC goggle would move to it, as would MANY others, including the worlds DVB Broadcaster etc, If this mythical New Encoder were ACTUALLY 'Visually better' and used half of the bandwidth than current x264, what planet do you live on , it would save MASSES of corporate bandwidth costs and become a world standard in no time, but that's the Whole point, it NEED to be BETTER, not the same or werse in all regards.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VP8 is poor codec

    VP8 compares to h.264 baseline profile which is a poor limited variant of h.264 that uses up to 68% more data than high profile h.264.


    Effectively this means that a choice for VP8 can cost consumers up to 60% more on traffic and storage costs. (harddisk in computers, memory cards in camera's, more internet traffic or higher flatfee cost)

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    MS and Apple.

    I wonder if the MPEG LA H.264 group terms for members oblige them "to promote the use.....etc"?

    A fairly common clause in such things, but in this case it would explain a lot. It would also imply that Apple are rigorously following the rules and MS are bending 'em a bit to suit, which would neatly fit too.

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