Google Brings an Open Source Gun to the Video Codec Battle

Google on Thursday announced WebM, a royalty-free media file format for online video. With WebM, Google has thrown the gauntlet to H.264, the codec backed by rivals Apple and Microsoft, among others.

Buried within the new format’s FAQ was news about another Google project: Android. The next iteration of the mobile operating system, dubbed “Gingerbread,” will be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

What Is WebM?

WebM is an open, royalty-free media file format designed for the Web. Its files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. Its file structure is based on the

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