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54. Opus Gains Acceptance Among Codec Mfrs.   7/3/14   by Dave Immer

The relatively new (and free) Opus algorithm is showing up in more hardware and software codecs and seems to be the latest popular flavor for low-delay high-quality audio streaming.  Among the ISDN/IP codec manufacturers that offer Opus along with the standard legacy algorithms are  Musicam, Tieline, Prodys, Mayah and Comrex. Add to these the new software IP codecs such as ipDTL and Source-Connect Now and it looks like we have a ground swell of implementation among developers and manufacturers.

Opus is free, meaning the underlying algorithm is offered to developers with a free license. The end user will pay a small fee for the finished app or hardware option.

But don’t discount the power of inertia that continues to push back against new technology, also expressed as “old ways die hard”. In other words, studios who are happily using ISDN in MP2 mode for VO, AC2 and MP3 mode for ADR, and G.722 for interviews successfully on a weekly or daily basis are loath to replace existing hardware systems and pay for the new technology enabling Opus. Especially when ISDN and the old algorithms continue to work reliably with tolerable delay and good audio quality. If it works, why replace it?

But the software IP codecs  that use Opus such as ipDTL and Source-Connect Now are cheap, so it’s easy to justify the cost of adding one (or both) to your codec toolbox. Since these IP codecs are password/server controlled, both sides have to have the same one.

And while there may be some compatibility between hardware brands in the IP mode, to get from IP to ISDN you still need to bridge.

Let me know if you have comments about Opus.

-Dave