Google I/O 2010 wasn’t all about Android, Chrome and Wave, as the search engine giant and a couple of browser makers announced their support for a new open source and royalty-free web video codec, WebM. This is supposed to take over from H.264, as a great alternative for all handsets out there and YouTube has already started converting videos for it.
Till now, the duel between Flash and HTML5 video was all about the H.264 codec, but now there’s new player in town. The reason to give up on H.264 is the fact that the codec is owned by the MPEG-LA consortium, that intends to charge fees for using it starting 2015.
Meanwhile, WebM will be royalty-free, fast and reliable. Mozilla and Adobe are already on board, as part of the project, as well as Adobe, believe it or not. Google is the one donating this codec, based on the VP8 engine, acquired with the purchase of On2 Technologies. The WebM Project includes the VP8 video codec and the open Vorbis audio codec, plus file extensions and a new mime type.
Even Flash players can adopt this technology and Chrome, Firefox and Opera will also support it.