A WebM file consists of VP8 video and Vorbis audio streams, in a container based on a profile of Matroska. The project releases WebM-related software under a BSD license and all users are granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free patent license.
WebM was to be updated to accommodate the VP9 video codec and the Opus audio codec on June 17, 2013, according to Google. The updated version was released two weeks later.
Native WebM support by Mozilla Firefox,Opera, and Google Chrome was announced at the 2010 Google I/O conference. Internet Explorer 9 requires third-party WebM software.Safari for Windows and Mac OS X relies on QuickTime to play web media, which as of 1 April 2011 (2011-04-01)[update], does not support WebM unless a third-party plug-in is installed. In January 2011, Google announced that the WebM Project Team will release plugins for Internet Explorer and Safari to allow playback of WebM files through the standard HTML5 <video> tag. As of 9 June 2012 (2012-06-09)[update], a public preview version of this plug-in is available for Internet Explorer 9.
Media players such as Miro, and Winamp, have announced support. VLC media player,MPlayer and K-Multimedia Player have native support for playing WebM files.FFmpeg can now encode and decode VP8 videos when built with libvpx support, as well as mux/demux WebM-compliant files. On 23 July 2010, Jason Garrett-Glaser, Ronald Bultje, and David Conrad of the FFmpeg team announced the ffvp8 decoder. Through testing they determined that ffvp8 was faster than Google's own libvpx decoder. mkvtoolnix, the popular Matroska creation tools, have implemented support for multiplexing/demultiplexing WebM-compliant files out of the box. Haali Media Splitter has also announced support for muxing/demuxing of WebM. As of version 1.4.9, the LiVES video editor has support for realtime decoding and for encoding to WebM format using ffmpeg libraries.
MPC-HC as of SVN 2071 and higher builds supports WebM playback with internal VP8 decoder based on FFmpeg's code. The full decoding support for WebM is available in MPC-HC since version 1.4.2499.0.
Android is WebM-enabled since version 2.3 - Gingerbread, which was first made available via the Nexus S mobile phone and streamable since Android 4.0
On 7 January 2011, Rockchip released the world's first chip to host a full hardware implementation of 1080p VP8 decoding. The video acceleration in the RK29xx chip is handled by the WebM Project's G-Series 1 hardware decoder IP.
In June 2011, ZiiLABS demonstrated their 1080p VP8 decoder implementation running on the ZMS-20 processor. The chip's programmable media processing array is used to provide the VP8 acceleration.
Also ST-Ericsson and Huawei have hardware implementations in their computer chips.
YouTube offers WebM videos as part of its HTML5 player experiment. All uploaded files are encoded into WebM in 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p resolutions. YouTube has committed to encode its entire portfolio of videos to WebM. The YouTube app for the Nintendo Wii uses WebM for streaming videos or H.263 as a fall-back option. Wikimedia uses WebM for the HTML5 player.
Although Google has irrevocably released all of its patents on VP8 as a royalty-free format, the MPEG LA, licensors of the H.264 patent pool, have expressed interest in creating a patent pool for VP8. Conversely, other researchers cite evidence that On2 made a particular effort to avoid any MPEG LA patents. As a result of the threat, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) started an investigation in March 2011 into the MPEG LA for its role in possibly attempting to stifle competition. In March 2013, MPEG LA announced that it had reached an agreement with Google to license patents that "may be essential" for the implementation of the VP8 codec, and give Google the right to sub-license these patents to any third-party user of VP8 or VP9.
In March 2013, Nokia filed an objection to the Internet Engineering Task Force concerning Google's proposal for the VP8 codec to be a core part of WebM, saying it holds essential patents to VP8's implementation. Nokia listed 64 patents and 22 pending applications, adding it was not prepared to license any of them for VP8. However, as of August 5, 2013, a court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that VP8 does not infringe a patent owned and asserted by Nokia.
^ ab"WebM FAQ". 19 May 2010. "WebM is an open media file format designed for the web. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container."
^Mills, Chris (19 May 2010). "Opera supports the WebM video format". Dev.Opera. Opera Software ASA. Retrieved 8 March 2011. "On the day of the announcement, Opera released an experimental WebM-enabled build. This feature is now part of the core functionality of Opera 10.60 and all of our future desktop browser releases."
^Hachamovitch, Dean (16 March 2011). "HTML5 Video Update—WebM for IE9". IEBlog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 16 March 2011. "IE9 supports HTML5 video using WebM for Windows customers who install third-party WebM support. As an industry, we still face many legitimate, unanswered questions about liability, risks, and support for WebM, such as [~snip~]."
^"Safari HTML5 Audio and Video Guide: Audio and Video HTML". Safari Developer Library. Apple Inc. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2011. "Safari on the desktop (Mac OS X and Windows) supports all media supported by the installed version of QuickTime, including any installed third-party codecs."
^Jazayeri, Mike (14 January 2011). "More about the Chrome HTML Video Codec Change". The Chromium Blog. Google Inc. Retrieved 8 March 2011. "the WebM Project team will soon release plugins that enable WebM support in Safari and IE9 via the HTML standard <video> tag"
^Shankland, Stephen (9 May 2011). "Adobe issues CSS Web publishing prototype". cnet.com. "Gourdol confirmed tonight it would get the full WebM support, which also includes the Vorbis audio encoding technology and a container to bundle the data together."