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Title: WebM  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: WebP, Vorbis, Video file format, HTML5 video, Chromium (web browser)
Collection: 2010 Introductions, Articles Containing Video Clips, Free Container Formats, Google, Videotelephony
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


WebM logo
Filename extension .webm
Internet media type video/webm,
Developed by Initially On2, Xiph, and Matroska; later Google
Initial release 19 May 2010 (2010-05-19)[1]
Type of format video file format
Container for VP8/VP9 (video)
Vorbis/Opus (audio)
Extended from Limited subset of Matroska
Open format? Yes[2]
Website .org.webmprojectwww

WebM is a video file format[3] intended primarily for royalty-free use in the HTML5 video tag. The WebM Project releases WebM-related software under a BSD license and all users are granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license. The project is sponsored by Google and has a sister project WebP.

The WebM container is based on a profile of Matroska.[2][4][5] WebM initially supported VP8 video and Vorbis audio streams. In 2013 it was updated to accommodate VP9 video and Opus audio.[6][7]


  • Vendor support 1
    • Software 1.1
    • Hardware 1.2
    • Services 1.3
  • Licensing 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Vendor support


Native WebM support by Mozilla Firefox,[8][9] Opera,[10][11] and Google Chrome[12] was announced at the 2010 Google I/O conference. Internet Explorer 9 requires third-party WebM software.[13] Safari for Windows and Mac OS X relies on QuickTime to play web media,[14] which as of 1 April 2011, does not support WebM[15][16] unless a third-party plug-in is installed.[17] 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

Adobe Systems announced that its Flash Player will be updated to support WebM, but no exact date was specified for its addition.[20][21]

Media players such as Miro,[22][23] and Winamp,[24][25] have announced support. VLC media player,[26] MPlayer and K-Multimedia Player have native support for playing WebM files.[27] FFmpeg can encode and decode VP8 videos when built with libvpx support, as well as mux/demux WebM-compliant files.[28] On 23 July 2010, Fiona 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.[29][30] mkvtoolnix, the popular Matroska creation tools, have implemented support for multiplexing/demultiplexing WebM-compliant files out of the box.[31] Haali Media Splitter has also announced support for muxing/demuxing of WebM.[31] 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.[29][32] The full decoding support for WebM is available in MPC-HC since version 1.4.2499.0.[33]

Android is WebM-enabled since version 2.3 - Gingerbread,[34] which was first made available via the Nexus S mobile phone and streamable since Android 4.0[35]


WebM Project licenses VP8 hardware accelerators (RTL IP) to semiconductor companies for 1080p encoding and decoding at zero cost.[36] AMD, ARM and Broadcom have announced support for hardware acceleration of the WebM format.[37][38] Intel is also considering hardware-based acceleration for WebM in its Atom-based TV chips if the format gains popularity.[39] Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have announced support,[40][41] with native support coming to the TI OMAP processor.[42] Chips&Media have announced a fully hardware decoder for VP8 that can decode full HD resolution (1080p) VP8 streams at 60 frames per second.[43]

Nvidia is supporting VP8 and provides both hardware decoding and encoding in the Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i SoCs.[44]

On 7 January 2011, Rockchip released the world's first chip to host a full hardware implementation of 1080p VP8 decoding. The video acceleration in the RK29xx chip is handled by the WebM Project's G-Series 1 hardware decoder IP.[45]

In June 2011, ZiiLABS demonstrated their 1080p VP8 decoder implementation running on the ZMS-20 processor. The chip's programmable media processing array is used to provide the VP8 acceleration.[46]

Also ST-Ericsson and Huawei have hardware implementations in their computer chips.[47]


YouTube offers WebM videos as part of its HTML5 player experiment.[48]

An example of a WebM video

All uploaded files are encoded into WebM in 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p resolutions. YouTube has committed to encode its entire portfolio of videos to WebM.[49][50] The YouTube app for the Nintendo Wii uses WebM for streaming videos[51] or H.263 as a fall-back option.[52]

  • Wikimedia uses WebM for the HTML5 player.[53]
  • Skype has implemented the VP8 codec into the Skype 5.0 software.[54]
  • Logitech is planning to use WebM as part of a video calling service.[55]
  • Nvidia announced 3D video support for WebM through HTML5 and their NVIDIA 3D Vision technology.[56][57][58]
  • 4chan allows WebM files limited to 120 seconds in length and 3 megabytes in size, containing no audio to be uploaded with posts since 6 April 2014.[59]


In May 2010, Simon Phipps, a board member for the Open Source Initiative, expressed doubts as to whether the original WebM license was an open-source license, since it had not been submitted to the OSI for approval.[60] In response, the WebM Project decoupled patents from copyright, offering the code under a standard BSD license and patents under a separate grant.[61] The Free Software Foundation, which maintains the Free Software Definition, has given its endorsement for WebM and VP8[62] and considers the software's license to be compatible with the GNU General Public License.[63][64] On 19 January 2011, the Free Software Foundation announced its official support for the WebM project.[65] In February 2011, Microsoft's Vice President of Internet Explorer called upon Google to provide indemnification against patent suits.[66]

Although Google has irrevocably released all of its patents on VP8 as a royalty-free format,[67] the MPEG LA, licensors of the H.264 patent pool, have expressed interest in creating a patent pool for VP8.[68][69] Conversely, other researchers cite evidence that On2 made a particular effort to avoid any MPEG LA patents.[70] As a result of the threat, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) started an investigation in March 2011 into the MPEG LA for its role in possibly attempting to stifle competition.[71][72] In March 2013, MPEG LA announced that it had reached an agreement with Google to license patents that "may be essential" for the implementation of the VP8 codec, and give Google the right to sub-license these patents to any third-party user of VP8 or VP9.[73][74]

In March 2013, Nokia, which was in alliance with Microsoft and soon to be acquired by the latter, filed an objection to the Internet Engineering Task Force concerning Google's proposal for the VP8 codec to be a core part of WebM, saying it holds essential patents to VP8's implementation.[75] Nokia(i.e. Microsoft) listed 64 patents and 22 pending applications, adding it was not prepared to license any of them for VP8.[76] On 5 August 2013, a court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that VP8 does not infringe a patent owned and asserted by Nokia.[77]

See also


  1. ^ Patel, Nilay (19 May 2010), Google launches open WebM web video format based on VP8, Engadget 
  2. ^ a b "WebM FAQ". 19 May 2010. WebM is an open media file format designed for the web. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Doig, Jeremy; Jazayeri, Mike (19 May 2010), Introducing WebM, an open web media project, WebM Project, retrieved 19 May 2010 
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Google's VP9 video codec nearly done; YouTube will use it | Internet & Media - CNET News
  7. ^ The WebM Open Media Project Blog: VP9 Lands in Chrome Dev Channel
  8. ^  
  9. ^  
  10. ^  
  11. ^ Mills, Chris (19 May 2010). "Opera supports the WebM video format". Dev.Opera. Opera Software ASA. Retrieved 8 March 2011. On the day of the announcement, Opera released an experimental WebM-enabled build. This feature is now part of the core functionality of Opera 10.60 and all of our future desktop browser releases. 
  12. ^ Bankoski, Jim (19 May 2010). "WebM and VP8 land in Chromium". The Chromium Blog. Google Inc. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Hachamovitch, Dean (16 March 2011). "HTML5 Video Update—WebM for IE9". IEBlog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2011. IE9 supports HTML5 video using WebM for Windows customers who install third-party WebM support. As an industry, we still face many legitimate, unanswered questions about liability, risks, and support for WebM, such as [~snip~]. 
  14. ^ "Safari HTML5 Audio and Video Guide: Audio and Video HTML". Safari Developer Library. Apple Inc. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2011. Safari on the desktop (Mac OS X and Windows) supports all media supported by the installed version of QuickTime, including any installed third-party codecs. 
  15. ^ "Apple – QuickTime – QuickTime Player – Tech Specs". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Media formats supported by QuickTime Player in Mac OS X v10.6". Apple Support. Apple Inc. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Adding additional media format support to QuickTime". Apple Support. Apple Inc. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  18. ^ Jazayeri, Mike (14 January 2011). "More about the Chrome HTML Video Codec Change". The Chromium Blog. Google Inc. Retrieved 8 March 2011. the WebM Project team will soon release plugins that enable WebM support in Safari and IE9 via the HTML standard  
  19. ^ "WebM Media Foundation Components for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (Preview release)". The WebM Project. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Shankland, Stephen (9 May 2011). "Adobe issues CSS Web publishing prototype". Gourdol confirmed tonight it would get the full WebM support, which also includes the Vorbis audio encoding technology and a container to bundle the data together. 
  21. ^ Google Operating System: WebM and Broken Promises
  22. ^ Reville, Nicholas (21 May 2010), Miro Video Converter is the first WebM / VP8 converter!, Participatory Culture Foundation 
  23. ^ Kaba, Martin (21 May 2010), Miro Video Converter 2.0 adds support for open WebM (vp8) video format, Kabatology 
  24. ^ Winamp Player Features, Nullsoft 
  25. ^ Winamp 5.58 Released, 29 June 2010 
  26. ^ VideoLan - VLC 1.1.0 Release, VideoLAN 
  27. ^ Add webm/VP8 support to native matroska demuxer., 5 June 2010 
  28. ^ ffmpeg 0.6 release,, 15 June 2010 
  29. ^ a b Diary Of An x264 Developer: Announcing the world’s fastest VP8 decoder 
  30. ^ PATCH VP8♫ decoder, FFmpeg-devel, 15 June 2010 
  31. ^ a b webm support in Matroska tools,, 20 May 2010 
  32. ^ Add : Internal VP8 Decoder, 23 June 2010 
  33. ^ "Changelog/1.4.2499.0", Media Player Classic Home Cinema, 7 September 2010, retrieved 28 August 2012 
  34. ^ Android 2.3 Platform Highlights, Android Developer, 6 December 2010 
  35. ^
  36. ^ WebM Video Hardware RTLs, WebM Project 
  37. ^ Metz, Cade (19 May 2010), Google open sources $124.6m video codec, The Register 
  38. ^ Broadcom Accelerates WebM Video on Mobile Phones, Newswire, 19 May 2010 
  39. ^ Shah, Agam (27 May 2010), Intel eyes hardware acceleration for Google's WebM, ComputerWorld 
  40. ^ Talluri, Raj (19 May 2010), Google's Impact on Web Video, Qualcomm 
  41. ^ Meehan, Joseph (19 May 2010), Our OMAP processors embrace WebM and VP8 with open ARMs, Texas Instruments 
  42. ^ Demo of WebM Running on TI OMAP 4 Processor, WebM Project, 5 October 2010, retrieved 15 October 2010 
  43. ^ Chips&Media delivers latest dual HD video IP core with VP8 hardware decoding capability, Design & Reuse, 18 November 2010 
  44. ^
  45. ^ Rockchip and WebM Release RK29xx -- World's First SOC to Support WebM HD Video Playback in Hardware, PRNewsWire, 7 January 2011 
  46. ^ ZiiLABS VP8 Support Delivers Smooth Playback of 1080p WebM Video on ZMS Processors, ZiiLABS, 11 June 2011 
  47. ^ Aki Kuusela (2012-03-29). "WebM Gaining Momentum in Hardware". WebM Hardware Team. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  48. ^ "YouTube HTML5 Video Player".  
  49. ^ Google I/O 2010 - WebM Open Video Playback in HTML5, Google, 28 May 2010 
  50. ^ Google I/O 2010 Keynote Day 1, pt. 3, Google, 19 May 2010 
  51. ^ Jeremy W (2012-11-15). "YouTube API Blog: Using WebM to power the YouTube app for Nintendo Wii". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  52. ^ Janko Roettgers (2012-11-15). "YouTube comes to the Wii, thanks to Google’s WebM video codec". GigaOM. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  53. ^
  54. ^ WebM Video Codec in Skype 5.0 Group Video, Skype / Google, 9 November 2010 
  55. ^ Kintz, Eric (19 May 2010), Commitment to Open Standards such as VP8 is Critical to Innovation, Logitech 
  56. ^ Introducing 3D WebM Support with NVIDIA 3D Vision, The WebM Open Media Project Blog, 26 May 2011 
  57. ^ YOUTUBE NOW IN 3D VISION, NVIDIA Blog, 26 May 2011 
  58. ^ Open 3D video comes to the web thanks to NVIDIA, YouTube and Mozilla, ThinkDigit News, 26 May 2011 
  59. ^ WebM support on 4chan,  
  60. ^ Phipps, Simon (24 May 2010), WebM: Missing The Assurances Open Source Needs?, ComputerworldUK 
  61. ^ DiBona, Chris (4 June 2010), Changes to the WebM Open Source License, WebM 
  62. ^ Lee, Matt (19 May 2010), Free Software Foundation statement on WebM and VP8, Free Software Foundation 
  63. ^ Smith, Brett. "Google's updated WebM license". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  64. ^ "Various Licenses and Comments about Them - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  65. ^ Smith, Brett. "No double standards: supporting Google's push for WebM". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  66. ^ "HTML5 and Web Video: Questions for the Industry from the Community". 2 February 2011. 
  67. ^ Metz, Cade (20 May 2010), Google backs open codec against patent trolls, The Register 
  68. ^ Metz, Cade (21 May 2010), Google open video codec may face patent clash, The Register 
  69. ^ Fulton, Scott M. (21 May 2010), Patent pool may be in the works for 'free' VP8 codec, Betanews 
  70. ^ Daffara, Carlo (25 May 2010), An analysis of WebM and its patent risk, 
  71. ^ Catan, Thomas (4 March 2011), Web Video Rivalry Sparks U.S. Probe, The Wall Street Journal 
  72. ^ Cheng, Jacqui (4 March 2011). "Report: DoJ looking into possible anti-WebM moves by MPEG LA".  
  73. ^ "Google and MPEG LA make a deal over VP8 codec - Update". The H. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  74. ^ "Google and MPEG LA Announce Agreement Covering VP8 Video Format". 7 March 2013. 
  75. ^ "Nokia and Google clash on web video tech". BBC News. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  76. ^ "Nokia Corporation's Statement about IPR related to RFC 6386". 21 March 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  77. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • WebM Container Guidelines
  • WebM test video
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