IPHONE FLOGGER Apple has quietly joined the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), a consortium focused on developing next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies
Originally founded by the likes of Google, Microsoft and Netflix in 2015, the alliance aims to bring the collective technology and expertise of various key industry players to shrink the size of online videos.
It is doing this by working on a technology called AV1, which is said to compresses video before it's stored or sent over a network. This would be helpful in that, as video quality becomes better over the coming years, the compressed format would help keep your phone from running out of storage space or your 4G plan from running out of data.
According to the AOM's website, Apple silently joined the alliance as a founding member, after it was updated on Wednesday. Apple's plans for AV1 aren't clear just yet, but joining the AOM as a founding member definitely shows its strong support.
However, the long-term goal of AV1 is to meet growing Internet demand for top-quality video, audio, imagery and streaming across all devices, worldwide, creating a common format based on members' existing codecs but brought under a single banner. This means that hopefully, one day, one size will fit all - even if that size is 4K streaming.
The challenge is a big one, but it's long overdue. Codecs are a complicated beast, with thousands of subtly different variations, meaning that two files of the same format might not work in the same player on the same machine.
The AOM is likely to take on new members in the coming months, especially now Apple has joined, to ensure anyone who has any relevance whatsoever in the online streaming industry is supporting to move to compress streaming media. µ
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