The Xiph.Org Foundation announces the release of Theora 1.0.
Theora is a video codec with a small CPU footprint that offers easy portability and requires no patent royalties. While the Theora bitstream format was standardized in 2004 and our beta releases have been used by millions, this 1.0 release is an important milestone reflecting the maturity and stability of the Theora codebase.
A number of leading multimedia web groups already support Theora. Upcoming releases of Mozilla Firefox, the world's most popular open source browser, will support Theora natively, as will releases of the multi-platform Opera browser. Top-10 website Wikipedia uses Theora for all of its video. "Open media formats are critical for ensuring a future where everyone can create and share media freely," says Kat Walsh, Wikimedia Foundation board member, "and so we congratulate Xiph.org on this important achievement." Theora's success in these applications paves the way for wider adoption.
The Theora 1.0 package includes a reference library using the revised 3-clause BSD license, allowing use in all software, free or proprietary. The reference library uses a new decoder which supports the entire Theora specification and is significantly faster than earlier versions. This high-performance decoder is already used on the XO laptop from the OLPC project.
The package also supplies numerous resources for developers: a 190 page format specification, API documentation, example encoder and decoder software, and a draft RTP specification for real-time streaming.
Theora development does not stop with the 1.0 release. With sponsorship from Red Hat Inc., Xiph.Org has been working on a next-generation encoder, codenamed 'Thusnelda', which has already demonstrated substantial quality improvements without breaking backward compatibility. While Theora is already the preferred format for applications where freedom, CPU consumption, and cost are important, Thusnelda will make Theora more attractive for applications where quality and bit-rate are the only considerations. The new encoder is slated for inclusion in the upcoming 1.1 release of Theora.
Theora 1.0 is available for download from the following URLs:
Theora is mature software; do not be afraid to try it. This release reflects countless hours of debugging, manual code audits and fuzz testing. A scan by the Coverity static analysis tool revealed only two defects: one false alarm and the other now fixed. We would like to thank all the volunteers involved in this project throughout the years for their hard work. Your dedication helped improve Theora; this release is dedicated to you.
The Xiph.Org Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to open, unencumbered multimedia technology. Xiph's formats and software levels the playing field for digital media so that all producers and artists can distribute their work for minimal cost, without restriction, regardless of affiliation. May contain traces of nuts.