Re: [rtcweb] Confirmation of consensus on audio codecs

Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org> Wed, 29 August 2012 16:40 UTC

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Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 12:40:34 -0400
From: Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Confirmation of consensus on audio codecs
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On 08/29/2012 11:24 AM, Randell Jesup wrote:
> I support the selection of Opus and G.711 and MTI codecs (as I did in
> the room, even though I officially proposed Opus only as an option to
> vote on).
>
> I suggest anyone considering suggesting G.711 to examine the slides
> from Tim's presentation, and if possible watch that section of the
> video or listen to the audio (which I assume are online).  It wasn't
> an accident that the vote in-room (and there were a LOT of people) was
> basically "Opus only: ~5 votes; G.711 only: 0 or 1 votes; rest of the
> room: Opus and G.711"
>
In light of the fact that the proposal is actually rtc*web*, I'm
surprised that this discussion has gone on for so long.  It's a standard
for the web first, and specifically for realtime communication on the
web.  Interop is important, but it shouldn't be a factor that has such a
strong bearing on it that it blocks adoption of a superior standard for
one that is less so.

I appreciate the sentiment of Opus only as MTI, and the only reason I
would give any bearing to G.711 is for including a bear-minimum degree
of interop with already existing standards that are *not* web-specific.

Again, I reiterate, I fully support Opus as MTI for openness,
performance, efficiency, and latency reasons and G.711 as MTI for legacy
interop reasons.

And I also plainly state that amorphous IPR issues with Opus should be
made concrete before they be taken seriously, since the same claims have
held-up the wider adoption of other free codecs in a similar vein for
years (e.g., Vorbis and Theora, to cite examples) and *nothing*
materialized for them despite very juicy targets implementing them.  "It
hasn't been enough time" should not hold up the standardization
process.  There will never be enough time for the conditions that have
been brought-up again-and-again.

If I can go so far as to say that even the Web itself has faced IPR
issues, what with the alleged patents on hyperlinking, methods of
clicking on a button, and so on.  If we waited for the patent landscape
on such issues to clear before settling on a standard, there'd *be* no
web so to speak.  Opus has IPR in it already that has been licensed in
an RF manner.  This alone is a strong protection, and it's been made
widely aware to all interested parties, so factors such as estoppal and
what not are in effect that will mitigate any claims at this time.  But,
and I reiterate, to say it needs to be *clear* of IPR concerns is an
impossble condition.

I know these are not issues that Randell brought up, but I think this
discussion is no longer productive, and the consensus is clear, both to
people that attended in Vancouver and those outside.  The issues that
have been raised are simply not serious and are merely stalling tactics
at this point holding-up the rtcweb process.  Need I be more explicit
than that, considering a former player has already proposed a competing
standard to rtcweb about the real factors in play here?