The End of MP3? Opus Audio Codec Promises Better Sound with Less Bandwidth
Opus Audio Codec promises better sound with less bandwidth
Did you know there was such a thing as an Internet Engineering Task Force? Turns out, there’s a “large open international community of network designers, vendors, and researchers,” whose mission is to organize, codify, research and document evolving standards for online applications. And this week, they approved the Opus Interactive Audio Codec as a new standard for online audio, in a move that may improve the sound of everything from streaming radio to VoIP calls, even as it lowers prices.
The Opus codec was developed by a consortium of researchers from Mozilla, Xiph.org, Skype, Microsoft, and Broadcomm. Previous audio codecs have been optimized for specific uses – MP3 for music, SILK for voice, and so on –– but Opus promises better sound for everything, no matter how low your bitrate. Opus switches between different codecs based on how much bandwidth it detects, so it can reduce latency and drop-outs on any connection.