2010
07.24

Article on Orban Optimod PC 1100, a professional audio processor for digital broadcasting and streaming. Featured in Radio Guide in April 2006.

Abstract: To have a great sounding web stream you not only need a good codec, but you also need quality audio dynamics processing. Users have been accustomed by terrestrial radio broadcasting to set the volume at a certain level and not have to adjust it for every song. They expect the same from radio delivered through the Internet.

Key words: streaming, dynamics processing, perceptual coding, Orban, Orban Optimod, PC-1100

2010
07.23

A review of the Orban Opticodec, the first professional AAC and HE-AAC streaming encoder for broadcasters. Published in March 2006 in Radio Guide.

Abstract: Last month we took a look back into the history and problems with early streaming, and introduced you to aacPlus – the codec that makes all the difference. Now it is time to show you how easy it is to start streaming high quality audio on the Internet (and to mobile devices) with Orban Opticodec software.

Key words: streaming, AAC, HE-AAC, AAC+, aacPlus, dynamics processing, perceptual coding, Orban Opticodec

2010
07.22

A Radio Guide article published in February 2006. A quick overview of the history of streaming and the advances aacPlus codec brings to the table.

Abstract: Internet streaming seems like a good way for a station to increase its potential audience, as well as staying in touch with listeners who are away from their hometown. With today’s latest innovations, streaming looks to have a future brighter than ever before.

Key words: streaming, AAC, HE-AAC, AAC+, aacPlus, dynamics processing, perceptual coding

2010
06.09

FlumotionJust 48 hours after Google announced the WebM format specification for HTML5 multimedia content, Flumotion added support for live HTTP WebM streaming.

Flumotion is a Linux streaming server based on the Fluendo project and Gstreamer framework. It allows on-the-fly transcoding of content to many different formats, including WMA and WMV, Flash VP6, MP3, H264, AAC, HE-AAC, OGG-Vorbis-Theora and DIRAC.

Obviously eager to show their dedication to innovation, it is now the first streaming server to support Live WebM streaming.

2010
05.25

WEBM

It looks like HTML5 might get some standardization in terms of multimedia codecs afterall. Google just presented a WebM – a multimedia format for video and audio content in HTML5 .

After acquiring On2 in February, Google released the VP8 a week ago as a royalty-free, open source video codec. Now, it has established a multimedia standard for HTML5 called WebM. It combines Matroska container (Internet users will be familiar with the MKV), VP8 as the video codec and Ogg Vorbis as an audio codec. The standard was intentionally defined this  narrowly (no other audio or video codecs) to eliminate any incompatibility issues. There are already beta browser releases supporting WebM, from Mozilla FireFox, Google Chromium OS and Opera, with compatible Google Chrome release  announced to be released in a few days. Interestingly, Adobe announced it will support VP8 in the next version of Flash player as well, Google’s YouTube is already on board which basically puts most major players behind WebM. Except Internet Explorer that announced support for H.264 in IE9 earlier this month, but there might be plugins that will allow IE to play WebM.

The question is, however, how good are the codecs in WebM, especially the VP8 compared to the H.264, which has established itself as a de facto standard when it comes to high efficiency video codecs. In this early stage of WebM there are only two independent reviews on VP8 vs H.264 performance. One from streaming expert Jan Ozer and the other from Jason Garrett-Glaser, an x264 developer. Both reviews agree that VP8 is inferior, but according to Jan, only slightly and unnoticeable to most users. Jason however claims VP8 is clearly inferior and has issues with both with the codec and encoder. Being a x264 developer, I don’t if he can be impartial though. Read and decide for yourself. There are also claims VP8 (being very similar to H.264) might infringe on some of the patents.

Time will tell what will be the future of WebM, but it looks like a good move to standardize on a free, open-source multimedia format for all, that provides comparable quality to today’s highest quality codecs.

If you want to try it in action, download compatible browser and search for some HTML5 videos already on YouTube.