[whatwg] Proposal: Changing Section to Recommend Support of Speex

Conrad Parker conrad at metadecks.org
Sat May 26 21:39:12 PDT 2007

On 27/05/07, Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves <justivo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello all,

Hi Ivo,

> Section of the HTML 5 specification (regarding the <video>
> element) recommends that user-agents should suport both Theora and
> Vorbis.  This, I believe, is a great idea for interoperability between
> the different platforms out there, to make sure that <video> will work
> on as many user-agents as possible.

Yes, it's very important to have a baseline video codec that's
supported everywhere, just like JPEG and PNG image formats are
supported everywhere.

> I would like to propose that section, regarding the <audio>
> element, be changed to recommend that user-agents should support the
> Speex voice codec, as Speex seems perfectly suited for podcasts, as
> well as for pages read aloud.  These situations seem to be one of/the
> aim of the <audio> element, hence it appears that Speex, due to its
> quality, patent-free status, open specification, and architecture
> reflecting the needs of the Internet seems to be the natural choice
> for interoperability of the <audio> element.

That's a great idea.

So, the three main open source and patent-free audio codecs (ie.
developed in a documented manner that avoids patent encumberances by
using known-free algorithms) are:

Speex (http://www.speex.org/) -- low bitrate speech-quality codec
Vorbis (http://www.vorbis.com/) -- music codec (similar to MP3, widely
supported on hardware devices).
FLAC (http://flac.sf.net/) -- lossless, compressed audio (CD quality)

It would be interesting to allow use of any of these, but in
particular Speex and Vorbis as they provide useful compression for

These codecs have standard mappings into the Ogg container, as used by
Ogg Theora (the standard video codec). So, it could simplify things to
harmonize the audio codec recommendations for both video and audio, to
include these audio profiles.

As an implementation note, the oggplay plugin for Firefox currently
supports Theora with either Vorbis or Speex as the audio codec.



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