Following yesterday’s celebration of Firefox 15 beta, which is said to fix the browser’s long maligned memory leak issues, Mozilla announced that it will support the Opus audio codec going forward, starting with v15. This new codec, developed in part by Mozilla’s own Jean-Marc Valin and Timothy B. Terriberry, is now playable in Firefox 15 beta today.
According to Mozilla, the free format was created as a “collaboration between members of the IETF Internet Wideband Audio Codec working group, including Mozilla, Microsoft, Xiph.Org, Broadcom, Octasic, and others,” and is targeted for use with HTML5’s <audio> tags.
Here are some more benefits, from Mozilla:
We designed it for high-quality, interactive audio (VoIP, teleconference) and will use it in the upcoming WebRTC standard. Opus is also best-in-class for live streaming and static file playback. In fact, it is the first audio codec to be well-suited for both interactive and non-interactive applications.
- Better compression than MP3, Ogg, or AAC formats
- Good for both music and speech
- Dynamically adjustable bitrate, audio bandwidth, and coding delay
- Support for both interactive and pre-recorded applications
The main potential here for Opus as a standard is its general versatility and potential to save bandwidth, while keeping audio quality high. Beyond that, it’s still one more format to consider, and will have to fight an uphill battle to gain support from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple.