“For months, powerful companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have been working to shrink online video sizes,” Stephen Shankland reports for CNET. “But their work just got more important, because Apple has now joined the partnership too.”

“The Alliance for Open Media is working on technology called AV1 that compresses video before it’s stored or sent over the network. That technology is crucial to keeping your phone from running out of storage space or your data plan from pushing past monthly limits,” Shankland reports. “But compression technology is useful only when it’s widely supported, and Apple was a major holdout.”

“Apple quietly joined the alliance as a founding member, according to the group’s website, which was updated with the change Wednesday,” Shankland reports. “Apple’s plans for AV1 aren’t yet clear — the company didn’t respond to a request for comment — but joining as a founding member sends a strong signal of support.”

“The dominant standard [is] called H.264 or AVC. Apple in 2017 championed its successor, called HEVC or H.265. But HEVC has been mired in patent problems as companies that contributed technology wrangle for lucrative royalty fees,” Shankland reports. “AV1 is still a work in progress, though the first version of the technology should be finalized in coming weeks. Mozilla, which supports an early version, said in November that AV1 cuts file sizes 25 percent to 35 percent compared to HEVC and VP9. Better compression can come with a problem, though: longer times to compress video and a greater burden on scarce computing resources like memory and battery life.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: AV1 just became real, thanks to Apple.

Now, let’s see if it can avoid being the subject of myriad video compression patent claims.