September 19, 2012
IETF Standardizes Opus Audio Codec for Interactive Speech and Music over the Internet
By Ashok Bindra
A post on Zingaya blog indicates that Opus audio codec has been standardized by Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF as RFC6716. The blog post suggests that Opus audio codec is based on Skype’s (News - Alert) SILK codec and Xiph.Org’s CELT codec.
Media reports indicate that Opus is an open, royalty-free, versatile audio codec that is tailored for interactive speech and music transmission over the Internet. In addition, it can also be used for storage and streaming applications.
Zingaya blog post shows that Opus can handle a wide range of audio applications, including Voice over IP (VoIP), videoconferencing, in-game chat, and even remote live music performances. Plus, it can scale from low bit-rate narrowband speech to very high quality stereo music.
Some other features highlighted by the blog include bit-rates from 6 kbps to 510 kbps, sampling rates from 8 kHz (narrowband) to 48 kHz (full-band), frame sizes from 2.5 ms to 60 ms, support for both constant bit-rate (CBR) and variable bit-rate (VBR), audio bandwidth from narrowband to full-band, and support for speech and music. Furthermore, it also offers support for mono and stereo, and multistream frames (up to 255 channels), and dynamically adjustable bit-rate, audio bandwidth, and frame size. Likewise, the codec provides good loss robustness and packet loss concealment (PLC). It incorporates both floating-point and fixed-point processing.
The blog also indicates the WebRTC working group is considering making Opus, along with G.711, a mandatory audio codec for browsers that are going to support WebRTC standard. Consequently, it makes Opus a default choice for all web-based audio and music, says Zingaya blogger.
Hopefully, the blog suggests that the progress on the audio codec front must now be extended to video space. In other words, the Zingaya blogger would like to see a similar standard with respect to video codec.
Meanwhile, in the near future, the Zingaya blogger would like to see Opus audio codec supported in Chrome Canary and WebRTC.
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Edited by Rich Steeves