Opus 1.2 Allows for High Quality Stereo Music @ 32 Kbps, Speech @ 12 Kbps

The Xiph.Org Foundation has recently announced the release of Opus 1.2 open source audio codec with ever lower high-quality audio bitrate for music (32 Kbps) and speech (12 Kbps), faster encoding and decoding, and other tweaks to the standard and library. If you’ve never heard about Opus or need to refresh your memory, you may want to read my previous article about Opus Open Source Audio Codec. The developers improve music quality by “adjusting the bit allocation trim, improving tonality analysis with better frequency resolution, and improving quality  on signals with a few very powerful tones”. You can compare Opus 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2, and MP3 at different bitrates with the samples below. You’ll need a browser that support Opus and MP3 in HTML5 for this to work (Chrome, Firefox and Opera do), or you may hear another samples as if Opus support is missing the file will be played as a very high bitrate MP3, and if MP3 support …

Perseus Video Codec Claims 2 to 3 Times Better Compression than H.265 using Legacy Hardware

H.265 (aka HEVC) is supposed to half the video bandwidth / bitrate required compared to H.264 by delivering the same quality, and VP9 should also offer equivalent compression, but it’s just not as broadly supported in media processors. UK based V-Nova claims its Perseus codec can even beat that, by providing 2 to 3 times better compression than H.265 thanks to a new approach to video encoding, that allow the codec to leverage existing hardware, meaning it can be encoded with existing computers, and decoded by leveraging the CPU and GPU parallel processing capabilities in existing mobile & computing devices. Perseus codec highlights: Highly efficient – >3x compression vs. state-of-the-art in practical use cases. Benefits further increase with increasing resolutions & frame rates. Extremely fast – Significant processing time reduction thanks to  massively parallel architecture. Designed to take advantage of modern hardware Multi-scale (continuously hierarchical) – Single bit stream for all quality levels. Adaptive streaming from a single encode and …

Opus Open Source and License-free Audio Codec Decreases Latency over VoIP Codecs, (Slightly) Betters MP3 and AAC Quality

I’ve just stumbled upon Opus, a relatively new audio codec, with the release of version 1.1 implementation which  improves encoding quality for VBR audio, automatically detect audio or speech to select the best encoding mode, and improved 5.1 surround quality/compression ratio. The new release also bring speed improvements for all architectures, and specifically for ARM, where decoding uses around 40% less CPU and encoding uses around 30% less CPU thanks to the use of NEON compared to an earlier version. You can go to the online demo page to find more about the latest released, and try some of the latest improvements. This all looks fun, but I wanted to know more about Opus, and especially how it compares against MP3 or AAC. It turns out Opus was not originally designed to compete against MP3/AAC which are used to store audio, but instead it was meant to be used for real-time applications like VoIP or video conferencing, which require a …

MPEG2 and VC-1 Codecs, H.264 Encode and HDMI CEC Are Now Available for the Raspberry Pi

Many people appear to have bought the Raspberry Pi in order to use it as a cheap media player by installing distributions such as Raspbmc or OpenElec. The only problem is that this low cost board was primarily designed as an educational platform, so the Raspberry Pi foundation only paid for H.264 licensing, which means you could only playback H.264 videos, and all other video codecs could not be played (by hardware) making it a rather poor media player. But things have improved, as the good people at the Raspberry Pi foundation have worked out a deal with the licensing organizations and now offer support for 2 new codecs: MPEG2 license key – 2.4 GBP (~3.8 USD) VC-1 license key – 1.2 GBP (~1.9 USD) Once those 2 codecs are enabled you should be able to play your DVD rips and most HD wmv files smoothly. The way it work is that you purchase the license keys via the 2 …

Raspberry Pi Codecs and Graphics/Video APIs

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced which codecs and API would be supported in the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi board will support the following Graphics and Video API via a set of closed source libraries that give access to the GPU acceleration features: OpenGL ES 2.0 –  OpenGL is a 3D Graphics API defined by the Khronos Group. OpenVG – OpenVG is a 2D vector drawing API also defined by the Khronos Group. EGL – EGL is the interface between Khronos rendering APIs such as OpenGL ES or OpenVG and the underlying native platform window system. OpenMAX IL – OpenMAX supplies a set of API’s that provides abstractions for routines used during audio, video, and still images processing. OpenMAX defines 3 layers, Raspberry Pi library will provide an interface to the IL layer, which provides an interface between media framework such as Gstreamer and a set of multimedia components. The first three libraries are standard in Linux, so porting …