Everything to know about the WebM format

WebM is a video format that was popularized and distributed by Google in 2010. It has a twin, WebP, dedicated to images. It was primarily created to offer a royalty-free service alternative to other video files format. We know that it is based on Matroska, which is an open source, open standard and extensible multimedia container that, in  the future, will probably become the standard container for every format if it keeps expanding. Now, because WebM works with Matroska, it is able to supports very high quality videos, and it is even able to stream audio files, supporting Vorbis as well.

WebM format is supported by all most important browsers: Google Chrome of course, but also Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer. Safari, however, needs to have QuickTime to play web media files. In 2015, then, Microsoft released a statement announcing that the new Edge Browser present in Windows 10 operating system was going to support WebM files.

Something else to be noted is also that you can upload WebM video files on YouTube, which can never be taken for granted when talking about video files, even though it is probably the most important question to ask for someone who has the need to realize video files. Thankfully YouTube offers the chance to upload WebM videos in all the main resolutions (360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p).

Why pick WebM?
Well, as we already said, WebM is a format able to provide one of the best quality for video files. This however does not mean that to play these kinds of files you need special machines, you can use ones with low technical characteristics. Online streaming becomes extremely easy thanks to this, free, format.

Another important feature of this format is that WebM video files can be opened in every single most important media player, some of them for example being:

  • Media Player Classic;
  • VLC;
  • KM Player;
  • Windows Media Players;

What about other formats?
Of course there are a lot of video formats: flv, avi, even swf, the last one being a Shockwave Flash file format extension. It stands for Small Web Format and its files can generally contain video that are based on animations. To view swf files you need a browser that is provided with the opposite Flash plug in.

However, among the many formats, there is only one that can be even remotely compared to WebM. That format is Mp4, which is the most popular now, the one that almost anyone probably uses. The main difference between Mp4 format and WebM format is, first of all, in the video codecs that are used in the build of each. WebM format uses Vp8 codecs, that are, from a quality point of view, much better than the H.264 codecs used by Mp4. However, Mp4 has advantages in other fields, like the smartphones one. As a matter of fact, mp4 is supported by plenty of them, while WebM is limited to the Android operating system.

In conclusion:
To summarize the article, WebM format is ideal for online streaming, is royalty-free and provides great quality for the videos. Unfortunately, it is not as popular as other formats, but that can be solved only with time.

Our webm Converter allows conversion of webm files to many other video formats, you can use it to change the format of your webm files.

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