Steve Jobs: Unimpressed by Google's VP8 WebM Codec
Apple's CEO Steve Jobs appears to be hitting reply on emails again, this time responding to Google's offer of a free open source video codec announced earlier this week. Apparently Jobs responded to a Register reader at 4.30 a.m. California time, sending a reply to the question: "What did you make of the recent VP8 announcement?" The Register adds that Google has already started encoding YouTube videos with the codec and the standard will embraced by Google's Chrome browser and Mozilla's Firefox and Opera browsers.
VP8 is proprietary video codec, owned by Google and created by On2 Technologies, which forms part of a new larger WebM Project supported by Google, Mozilla, Opera and forty plus other publishers, software and hardware vendors. Google announced it was making VP8 open source on Wednesday, which should enable any HTML5 web browser and any video player to play video, clearly a potential rival to the Apple preferred H.264 codec. In a short reply, the Apple boss, clearly favouring the H.264 codec, simply pointed to a recent blog post by x264 developer Jason Garrett-Glaser headed 'The first in-depth technical analysis of VP8.'
"Overall, VP8 appears to be significantly weaker than H.264 compression-wise," Garrett-Glaser notes, highlighting potential patent problems between the two. "VP8 is simply way too similar to H.264: a pithy, if slightly inaccurate, description of VP8 would be 'H.264 Baseline Profile with a better entropy coder'. Though I am not a lawyer, I simply cannot believe that they will be able to get away with this, especially in today's overly litigious day and age."