80% of YouTube Videos Now Available In WebM


80 percent of the videos viewed every day on YouTube are now available in Google’s (s GOOG) open source video format WebM, according to WebM Product Manager John Luther, who gave an update on the status of the open source project at the Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles today.

“We are working on transcoding the entire YouTube corpus,” he said, adding that some of the rarely watched clips just haven’t been on top of the list for the project. YouTube offers WebM video as part of an opt-in testbed for HTML5 video integration.

Google open-sourced the WebM video format at its developer conference in May after getting hold of the VP8 video codec through its acquisition of On2. News about WebM has been sparse ever since the acquisition, but Luther and his colleague Matt Frost from the WebM business development team gave a much-needed update today, explaining that the project gotten a lot of support both on the browser as well as the hardware side. Opera 10, Firefox 4 and Chrome 6 now support WebM playback, and playback support is also available in Safari (s AAPL) and IE (s MSFT) through third-party codecs. Skype utilized WebM as part of its most recent multiparty video conferencing feature in Skype 5.

Frost added that Google has also been very active in aiding hardware support. The company has been developing hardware designs for WebM decoding at 1080p with 60 fps, and licensed those to over a dozen hardware manufacturers. The first chips supporting VP8 are expected to reach the marketplace in Q1 2011, and Frost said that markets like China could even see devices with VP8 hardware support in the first quarter as well.

One of the companies absent from the update was Adobe, which had announced support for WebM within Flash when Google open sourced the codec. “We do not have any additional announcements about Flash at this moment,” said Frost.

Want to learn more about the future of open codecs? The come to NewTeeVee Live on November 10, where we’ll present a Mininote of former Dirac lead developer and Entropy Wave CEO David Schleef.

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