Microsoft Edge to Support WebM, VP9 and Opus

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0

Microsoft Edge to Support WebM, VP9 and Opus

It seems like Microsoft announces minor improvements to Edge almost every day, and that the combination of these updates will someday but this web browser over the top. That day, alas, is not today. But with Edge queuing up support for WebM, VP9 and Opus, that day is getting ever-closer.

“We are adding support for these formats to simplify building interoperable websites, and to provide an alternative format for compressing 4K video content,” the Microsoft Edge Team notes in a new post to the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog. “To try them in Microsoft Edge, please install the most recent Windows 10 Insider Build.”

So what are these formats?

WebM and VP9 are open-source video file formats that were created by Google as royalty-free alternatives to MPEG-4 for use in web-based video. Opus, meanwhile is an open audio file format that was designed to provide both bandwidth-efficient speech capabilities and high-quality media playback in a single codec.

Microsoft’s post about this development goes into great detail about how well WebM, VP9 and Opus will perform in Edge, but let me just cut to the chase and simplify it to, quite well, according to Microsoft. But Edge will also protect battery life when playing these formats, too, thanks to hardware acceleration, something we first saw back in IE days.

As it stands now, support for WebM, VP9 and Opus is experimental. So if you are on the latest Windows Insider build and would like to test this functionality, you will need to enable it first. To do so, open Edge and type about:flags in the Address bar. Then, enable the features you want under “Experimental features.”

That sounds like a great tip for the book, actually.


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