Opus: Skype’s Standard Codec for Best Quality Internet Calls

Doing their best to continue serving Skype users with better quality voice calls, Skype has launched Opus – the latest standard audio codec.

“We believe that Opus will be the new, free, go-to codec for real time communication, streaming and storage, and we are excited to see its birth as a fully-fledged IETF standard,” Skype’s Audio/Video Product Engineering Director Karlheinz Wurm stated.

“If you’ll pardon the pun, Opus will make a quiet but crystal clear entry into the world – most people will take for granted the high sound fidelity when it arrives in the Skype client, through browsers and gateways, and we hope on mobile phones, game consoles and conference rooms, too.”

So how is Opus different from Skype’s past codecs? Here’s what Wurm elaborated:

  • Improved audio experience. Opus will make Skype users talk in CD quality from narrowband mono to fullband stereo for both voice and music.
  • Higher quality voice and music. Compared to existing codecs like MP3 and AAC, Opus promises better quality.
  • Fewer megabyte usage.
  • Adjusts between any operating modes. Wurm and the Skype team believe that Opus is the first codec with state-of-the-art performance for any type of audio signal and any application (communications, streaming and storage)under any condition. From 3G to WIFI or when using broadband, the codec easily adjusts to these internet resources.
  • Fewer gaps. Opus’s multiple mechanisms that deal and recover packet loss makes calls avoid gaps in conversations.
  • All in one. It does the tasks of the previous collection of codecs with higher quality.
Although it has been delivering users good quality calls with their current audio codec SILK,  Skype initiated on making a standardized codec ‘built for the internet’ and usable by everybody else – hence Opus was made.

This open, royalty-free, and versatile audio codec which fuses the technology from Skype’s SILK codec and Xiph.Org’s CELT codec is available for download through their website.

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