Skype's Opus audio codec gets IETF certification

Microsoft's own Skype division has been working on improving its audio features well before Microsoft acquired the company in 2011. In a new blog post today, Skype said that an audio codec it helped to develop has just been certified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The blog post states that the codec is called Opus. Skype actually started working on the project in June 2009 and submitted Opus to the IETF in 2010. The blog post states, "We believe that Opus will be the new, free, go-to codec for real time communication, streaming and storage, and we are excited to see its birth as a fully-fledged IETF standard."

So what's so special about Opus? Skype says that their codec will eliminate the need to have a ton of different codecs to handle all of your audio needs. The post says that the use of Opus will " ... improve audio experiences across the spectrum from narrowband mono to fullband stereo for both voice and music."

Users of Skype will be able to have CD quality audio when they speak to others on the service. It also claims that the audio will automatically adjust when switching to different bandwidth speeds. It adds, "Furthermore, it has multiple mechanisms to deal with and recover from packet loss plaguing the network, making for fewer annoying gaps in conversation and lost moments in your precious calls."

All of this sounds great, but as usual the real test is when Opus hits the outside world. So far there's no word on when Opus will be included in a future version of Skype.

Source: Skype blog | Image via Microsoft

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The title of the post is wrong. It is not a Skype's codec, it is IETF's codec.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_%28audio_format%29

Opus was proposed for the standardisation of a new audio codec at the IETF, which was eventually accepted and granted the codec working group. It is based on two initially separate standard proposals from the Xiph.Org Foundation and Skype Technologies S.A. (now Microsoft). Its main developers are Jean-Marc Valin (Xiph.Org, Octasic, Mozilla Corporation), Koen Vos (Skype), and Timothy B. Terriberry (Xiph.Org, Mozilla Corporation). Among others, Juin-Hwey (Raymond) Chen (Broadcom), Gregory Maxwell (Xiph.Org, Wikimedia), and Christopher Montgomery (Xiph.Org) were also involved.

KSib said,
Now to get a video standard.

yeah, currently Skype video call quality is crap compared to Microsoft's Messenger.

Yes I've very surprised this article has a misleading title. Skype was only one of the many organizations involved in making this happen.