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Google has spent a lot of time evangelizing for open formats for Web applications and media. Today it took another step in that direction by announcing a new free, open source video technology called WebM.

WebM will combine three technologies — VP8 for video encoding (a technology that Google acquired when it bought On2), Vorbis for audio encoding, and the Matroska media container format. Videos created in WebM can be made available in both HTML5 and Adobe’s Flash format.

WebM will compete with H.264 video encoding technology, which is widely supported, but is controlled by the MPEG LA cosnortium of companies.

Representatives from browser companies Mozilla and Opera demonstrated WebM video on-stage, showing off the high quality of the video and the fact that developers can build their own custom players.

Here’s a full list of partners from the WebM blog post:

  • AMD
  • ARM
  • Brightcove
  • Collabora
  • Digital Rapids
  • Grab Networks
  • iLinc
  • Kaltura
  • Logitech
  • Marvell
  • MIPS
  • Nvidia
  • Ooyala
  • ooVoo
  • Qualcomm
  • Skype
  • Sorenson
  • Telestream
  • Texas Instruments
  • Verisilicon
  • Viewcast
  • Wildform

Web video startup Brightcove, one of the WebM partners, sent the following comment on the news:

At Brightcove, we like quality, open and free. The other side of this announcement is that at least for the next few years there is a lot of complexity for anyone publishing video to manage — do I target Flash or HTML5 or native apps or all three? Do I use H.264 or WebM and with what combinations of browsers and Flash Player on which devices and how do I manage this complexity? That is where Brightcove fits in. We manage all of that complexity (and more) in the cloud so that our customers can focus on content and let us focus on delivering great video experiences.

And here’s a demo WebM video from the Brightcove blog post:

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