Microsoft’s Skype revealed plans this week to significantly improve the quality of the call that now has the open standard of Opus which has received approval from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards body.
Opus is an audio codec standard designed to handle a variety of interactive audio applications, including VoIP, video conferencing, chat game and live music shows. Scale of narrowband speech of low bitrate in six kilobits per second to stereo music of high quality in 510 kilobits per second.
Skype has used its own silk audio codec since January 2009, but now will transition to the new specification of Opus. With sales of mobile phones with WiFi capability and booming tablet computers, high speed Internet providers are building WiFi access points in public areas to recruit and retain subscribers.
Karlheinz Wurm, director of audio and video for Skype product engineering, explained recently in a blog that Skype started the idea of develop and standardize a codec built specifically for the Internet in March 2009. The company introduced the new codec to the IETF in September 2010. Two years later it was approved.
"Opus will make a quiet but crystalline entry in the world - the majority of the people will be of course, looking forward to the high fidelity sound when it arrives on the Skype client browsers and gateways, and we also hope it will come to mobile phones, game consoles, and conference rooms," explained Wurm.
Because it was designed for the Internet, Opus can be adjusted in perfectly to any of their modes of operation, mobile 3G to WiFi or compete with the House of to the side for broadband bandwidth. Opus has "multiple mechanisms to cope with and recover from packet loss plaguing your network, doing less annoying gaps in conversation and moments lost in your precious calls," said Wurm.
In addition to Skype, Mozilla, Xiph.Org, Octasic, Broadcom, Google worked with IETF in Opus codec, related Jean-Marc Valin and Timothy Terriberry in Mozilla blog.
"Opus is the first State of the art, free to be standardized audio codec.""We believe that this will help us to achieve wider adoption of royalties prior Vorbis and Speex codecs," he explained. Opus "may fit within these operating points." This along with proprietary codecs would require at least six different codecs. Opus replaces all of them with the best quality, " they added.