Opus audio codec version 1.2 released

The Opus audio codec just got another major upgrade with the release of version 1.2 (see demo). Opus is a totally open, royalty-free, audio codec that can be used for all audio applications, from music streaming and storage to high-quality video-conferencing and VoIP. Its standardization by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2012 (RFC 6716) was a major victory for open standards. Opus is the default codec for WebRTC and is now included in all major web browsers.

This new release brings many speech and music quality improvements, especially at low bitrates. The result is that Opus can now push stereo music bitrates down to 32 kb/s and encode full-band speech down to 14 kb/s. All that is achieved while remaining fully compatible with RFC 6716. The new release also includes optimizations, new options, as well as many bug fixes. This demo shows a few of the upgrades that users and implementers will care about the most, including audio samples. For those who haven’t used Opus yet, now’s a good time to give it a try.

About Jean-Marc Valin

Jean-Marc Valin has a B.S., M.S., and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Sherbrooke. He is the primary author of the Speex codec and one of the main authors of the Opus codec. His expertise includes speech and audio coding, speech recognition, echo cancellation, and other audio-related topics. He is currently employed by Mozilla to work on next-generation multimedia codecs.

More articles by Jean-Marc Valin…


4 comments

  1. Omega

    * Not supported in Microsoft browsers.

    June 26th, 2017 at 16:21

    Reply

    1. Jean-Marc Valin

      Actually, Opus has been supported in Edge for a while and it’s now in the latest Safari developer preview. Of course, it’s been in Firefox, Chrome and Opera for years now.

      June 26th, 2017 at 21:07

      Reply

      1. voracity

        (Re: Safari support.) Wow, that’s fantastic news! Surely, universal browser support should be a huge boost to making Opus the dominant audio standard. Once it’s actually in all release browsers, everyone should make a very big deal about this! We’ve never had a proper, open, universal audio standard in browsers *ever*. (Not counting the now patent-expired MP3, where support is still subject to an asterisk or two.)

        Hopefully AV1 will get universal support too, which is just missing Apple. Sadly, they just announced support for HEVC, but hopefully they still get on board with AV1. And soon, not 5 years after it’s too late.

        June 30th, 2017 at 22:25

        Reply

  2. Julian Lamb

    Wow, great work and great article summarizing v1.2. The audio sample comparison is fantastic, and the quality of the sound down to 32kbps is nothing short of amazing with v1.2. Keep up the good work!

    June 27th, 2017 at 18:19

    Reply

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