|Internet media type||
|Developed by||Initially On2, Xiph, and Matroska; later Google|
|Initial release||19 May 2010|
|Type of format||video file format|
|Container for||VP8/VP9 (video)
|Extended from||Limited subset of Matroska|
WebM is a video file format intended primarily for royalty-free use in the HTML5 video tag. The WebM Project releases WebM-related software under a BSD license and all users are granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license. The project is sponsored by Google and has a sister project WebP.
Native WebM support by Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome was announced at the 2010 Google I/O conference. Internet Explorer 9 requires third-party WebM software. Safari for Windows and Mac OS X relies on QuickTime to play web media, which as of 1 April 2011[update], does not support WebM unless a third-party plug-in is installed. In January 2011, Google announced that the WebM Project Team will release plugins for Internet Explorer and Safari to allow playback of WebM files through the standard HTML5 <video> tag. As of 9 June 2012[update], a public preview version of this plug-in is available for Internet Explorer 9.
Media players such as Miro, and Winamp, have announced support. VLC media player, MPlayer and K-Multimedia Player have native support for playing WebM files. FFmpeg can encode and decode VP8 videos when built with libvpx support, as well as mux/demux WebM-compliant files. On 23 July 2010, Fiona Glaser, Ronald Bultje, and David Conrad of the FFmpeg team announced the ffvp8 decoder. Through testing they determined that ffvp8 was faster than Google's own libvpx decoder. mkvtoolnix, the popular Matroska creation tools, have implemented support for multiplexing/demultiplexing WebM-compliant files out of the box. Haali Media Splitter has also announced support for muxing/demuxing of WebM. As of version 1.4.9, the LiVES video editor has support for realtime decoding and for encoding to WebM format using ffmpeg libraries.
MPC-HC as of SVN 2071 and higher builds supports WebM playback with internal VP8 decoder based on FFmpeg's code. The full decoding support for WebM is available in MPC-HC since version 1.4.2499.0.
WebM Project licenses VP8 hardware accelerators (RTL IP) to semiconductor companies for 1080p encoding and decoding at zero cost. AMD, ARM and Broadcom have announced support for hardware acceleration of the WebM format. Intel is also considering hardware-based acceleration for WebM in its Atom-based TV chips if the format gains popularity. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have announced support, with native support coming to the TI OMAP processor. Chips&Media have announced a fully hardware decoder for VP8 that can decode full HD resolution (1080p) VP8 streams at 60 frames per second.
On 7 January 2011, Rockchip released the world's first chip to host a full hardware implementation of 1080p VP8 decoding. The video acceleration in the RK29xx chip is handled by the WebM Project's G-Series 1 hardware decoder IP.
Also ST-Ericsson and Huawei have hardware implementations in their computer chips.
All uploaded files are encoded into WebM in 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p resolutions. YouTube has committed to encode its entire portfolio of videos to WebM. The YouTube app for the Nintendo Wii uses WebM for streaming videos or H.263 as a fall-back option.
- Wikimedia uses WebM for the HTML5 player.
- Skype has implemented the VP8 codec into the Skype 5.0 software.
- Logitech is planning to use WebM as part of a video calling service.
- Nvidia announced 3D video support for WebM through HTML5 and their NVIDIA 3D Vision technology.
- 4chan allows WebM files limited to 120 seconds in length and 3 megabytes in size, containing no audio to be uploaded with posts since 6 April 2014.
In May 2010, Simon Phipps, a board member for the Open Source Initiative, expressed doubts as to whether the original WebM license was an open-source license, since it had not been submitted to the OSI for approval. In response, the WebM Project decoupled patents from copyright, offering the code under a standard BSD license and patents under a separate grant. The Free Software Foundation, which maintains the Free Software Definition, has given its endorsement for WebM and VP8 and considers the software's license to be compatible with the GNU General Public License. On 19 January 2011, the Free Software Foundation announced its official support for the WebM project. In February 2011, Microsoft's Vice President of Internet Explorer called upon Google to provide indemnification against patent suits.
Although Google has irrevocably released all of its patents on VP8 as a royalty-free format, the MPEG LA, licensors of the H.264 patent pool, have expressed interest in creating a patent pool for VP8. Conversely, other researchers cite evidence that On2 made a particular effort to avoid any MPEG LA patents. As a result of the threat, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) started an investigation in March 2011 into the MPEG LA for its role in possibly attempting to stifle competition. In March 2013, MPEG LA announced that it had reached an agreement with Google to license patents that "may be essential" for the implementation of the VP8 codec, and give Google the right to sub-license these patents to any third-party user of VP8 or VP9.
In March 2013, Nokia, which was in alliance with Microsoft and soon to be acquired by the latter, filed an objection to the Internet Engineering Task Force concerning Google's proposal for the VP8 codec to be a core part of WebM, saying it holds essential patents to VP8's implementation. Nokia(i.e. Microsoft) listed 64 patents and 22 pending applications, adding it was not prepared to license any of them for VP8. On 5 August 2013, a court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that VP8 does not infringe a patent owned and asserted by Nokia.
- Patel, Nilay (19 May 2010), Google launches open WebM web video format based on VP8, Engadget
- "WebM FAQ". 19 May 2010.
WebM is an open media file format designed for the web. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container.
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On the day of the announcement, Opera released an experimental WebM-enabled build. This feature is now part of the core functionality of Opera 10.60 and all of our future desktop browser releases.
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IE9 supports HTML5 video using WebM for Windows customers who install third-party WebM support. As an industry, we still face many legitimate, unanswered questions about liability, risks, and support for WebM, such as [~snip~].
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Safari on the desktop (Mac OS X and Windows) supports all media supported by the installed version of QuickTime, including any installed third-party codecs.
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the WebM Project team will soon release plugins that enable WebM support in Safari and IE9 via the HTML standard <video> tag
- "WebM Media Foundation Components for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (Preview release)". WebMProject.org. The WebM Project. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Shankland, Stephen (9 May 2011). "Adobe issues CSS Web publishing prototype". cnet.com.
Gourdol confirmed tonight it would get the full WebM support, which also includes the Vorbis audio encoding technology and a container to bundle the data together.
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- Winamp Player Features, Nullsoft
- Winamp 5.58 Released, 29 June 2010
- VideoLan - VLC 1.1.0 Release, VideoLAN
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- Add : Internal VP8 Decoder, 23 June 2010
- "Changelog/1.4.2499.0", Media Player Classic Home Cinema, 7 September 2010, retrieved 28 August 2012
- Android 2.3 Platform Highlights, Android Developer, 6 December 2010
- WebM Video Hardware RTLs, WebM Project
- Metz, Cade (19 May 2010), Google open sources $124.6m video codec, The Register
- Broadcom Accelerates WebM Video on Mobile Phones, Newswire, 19 May 2010
- Shah, Agam (27 May 2010), Intel eyes hardware acceleration for Google's WebM, ComputerWorld
- Talluri, Raj (19 May 2010), Google's Impact on Web Video, Qualcomm
- Meehan, Joseph (19 May 2010), Our OMAP processors embrace WebM and VP8 with open ARMs, Texas Instruments
- Demo of WebM Running on TI OMAP 4 Processor, WebM Project, 5 October 2010, retrieved 15 October 2010
- Chips&Media delivers latest dual HD video IP core with VP8 hardware decoding capability, Design & Reuse, 18 November 2010
- Rockchip and WebM Release RK29xx -- World's First SOC to Support WebM HD Video Playback in Hardware, PRNewsWire, 7 January 2011
- ZiiLABS VP8 Support Delivers Smooth Playback of 1080p WebM Video on ZMS Processors, ZiiLABS, 11 June 2011
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- Google I/O 2010 Keynote Day 1, pt. 3, Google, 19 May 2010
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- "Introducing Wikipedia’s new HTML5 video player « Wikimedia blog". wikimedia.org.
- WebM Video Codec in Skype 5.0 Group Video, Skype / Google, 9 November 2010
- Kintz, Eric (19 May 2010), Commitment to Open Standards such as VP8 is Critical to Innovation, Logitech
- Introducing 3D WebM Support with NVIDIA 3D Vision, The WebM Open Media Project Blog, 26 May 2011
- YOUTUBE NOW IN 3D VISION, NVIDIA Blog, 26 May 2011
- Open 3D video comes to the web thanks to NVIDIA, YouTube and Mozilla, ThinkDigit News, 26 May 2011
- WebM support on 4chan, 4chan, 6 April 2014
- Phipps, Simon (24 May 2010), WebM: Missing The Assurances Open Source Needs?, ComputerworldUK
- DiBona, Chris (4 June 2010), Changes to the WebM Open Source License, WebM
- Lee, Matt (19 May 2010), Free Software Foundation statement on WebM and VP8, Free Software Foundation
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- Metz, Cade (20 May 2010), Google backs open codec against patent trolls, The Register
- Metz, Cade (21 May 2010), Google open video codec may face patent clash, The Register
- Fulton, Scott M. (21 May 2010), Patent pool may be in the works for 'free' VP8 codec, Betanews
- Daffara, Carlo (25 May 2010), An analysis of WebM and its patent risk, carlodaffara.conecta.it
- Catan, Thomas (4 March 2011), Web Video Rivalry Sparks U.S. Probe, The Wall Street Journal
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- "Nokia and Google clash on web video tech". BBC News. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
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