What is WebM Format

WebM is an audio-video container format designed to provide royalty-free, open video compression for use with HTML5 video. The project’s development is sponsored by Google Inc. A WebM file consists of VP8 video and Vorbis audio streams, in a container based on a profile of Matroska. The project releases WebM-related software under a BSD license and all users are granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license.

Native WebM support by Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome was announced at the 2010 Google I/O conference. Internet Explorer 9 requires third-party WebM software. Safari for Windows and Mac OS X relies on QuickTime to play web media, which as of 1 April 2011, does not support WebM unless a third-party plug-in is installed. In January 2011, Google announced that the WebM Project Team will release plugins for Internet Explorer and Safari to allow playback of WebM files through the standard HTML5 <video> tag. As of 9 June 2012, a public preview version of this plug-in is available for Internet Explorer 9.

Adobe Systems announced that its Flash Player will be updated to support WebM, but no exact date was specified for its addition. Media players such as Miro, and Winamp, have announced support. VLC media player, MPlayer and K-Multimedia Player have native support for playing WebM files. FFmpeg can now encode and decode VP8 videos when built with libvpx support, as well as mux/demux WebM-compliant files. On 23 July 2010, Jason Garrett-Glaser, Ronald Bultje, and David Conrad of the FFmpeg team announced the ffvp8 decoder. Through testing they determined that ffvp8 was faster than Google’s own libvpx decoder. mkvtoolnix, the popular Matroska creation tools, have implemented support for multiplexing/demultiplexing WebM-compliant files out of the box. Haali Media Splitter has also announced support for muxing/demuxing of WebM. As of version 1.4.9, the LiVES video editor has support for realtime decoding and for encoding to WebM format using ffmpeg libraries.

MPC-HC as of SVN 2071 and higher builds supports WebM playback with internal VP8 decoder based on FFmpeg’s code. The full decoding support for WebM is available in MPC-HC since version 1.4.2499.0. Android is WebM-enabled since version 2.3 – Gingerbread, which was first made available via the Nexus S mobile phone and streamable since Android 4.0.