AfterDawn: Tech news

First stable release of Theora video codec finally available

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 10 Nov 2008 14:30

First stable release of Theora video codec finally available The Xiph.Org Foundation has just announced the release of Theora 1.0. Theora is an open source video codec designed to be a royalty free alternative to high compression formats like MPEG-4.
Theora is based on the proprietary VP3 codec developed by On2 Technologies, but is licensed under a BSD-style license. This means it doesn't have any of the common open source restrictions on commercial software like forcing derivative works to also be released under as open source.

Even though the format itself has been unchanged since 2004, as the first official stable release Theora 1.0 is still a major milestone. In order to attract the interest of commercial software and especially hardware developers stability, or at least the perception of stability, is an important consideration.

Another aspect of Theora its developers hope will be significant is its relatively low CPU footprint. That makes it particularly suitable for mobile devices like smartphones and portable media players.

Still, it remains to be seen if it can truly become an industry standard (in any industry). It may be that the widespread support for standards like MPEG-4 ASP (DivX, XviD, Nero Digital, etc,... ), MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), and VC-1 already in place will prove more of a factor than any perceived benefits to Theora.

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