List of open-source codecs

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This is a listing of open-source implementations of media formats—usually called codecs. Many of the codecs listed implement media formats that are restricted by patents and are hence not open formats. For example, x264 is a widely used open source implementation of the heavily patent encumbered MPEG-4 AVC media format.

Video codecs

  • x264H.264/MPEG-4 AVC implementation. x264 is not a codec (encoder/decoder); it is just an encoder (it cannot decode video).
  • OpenH264 – H.264 baseline profile encoding and decoding
  • x265 – An encoder based on the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) standard.
  • XvidMPEG-4 Part 2 codec, compatible with DivX
  • libvpxVP8 and VP9 implementation; formerly a proprietary codec developed by On2 Technologies, released by Google under a BSD-like license in May 2010.
  • FFmpeg codecs – Codecs in the libavcodec library from the FFmpeg project (FFV1, Snow, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 part 2, MSMPEG-4, WMV2, SVQ1, MJPEG, HuffYUV and others). Decoders in the libavcodec (H.264, SVQ3, WMV3, VP3, Theora, Indeo, Dirac, Lagarith and others).
  • Lagarith – Video codec designed for strong lossless compression in RGB(A) colorspace (similar to ZIP/RAR/etc.)
  • libtheora – A reference implementation of the Theora format, based on VP3, part of the Ogg Project
  • Dirac as dirac-research, a wavelet based codec created by the BBC Research, and Schrödinger, an implementation developed by David Schleef.[1]
  • HuffyuvLossless codec from BenRG
  • Daala – experimental Video codec which was under development by the Xiph.Org Foundation and finally merged into AV1.
  • Thor – experimental royalty free video codec which was under development by Cisco Systems, and merged technologies into AV1.
  • AV1 – open royalty free video codec by AOMedia, inheriting technologies from Daala and Thor.

Audio codecs

  • FLAC – Lossless codec developed by Xiph.Org Foundation.
  • LAME – Lossy compression (MP3 format).
  • TooLAME/TwoLAME – Lossy compression (MP2 format).
  • Musepack – Lossy compression; based on MP2 format, with many improvements.
  • Speex – Low bitrate compression, primarily voice; developed by Xiph.Org Foundation. Deprecated in favour of Opus according to
  • CELT – Lossy compression for low-latency audio communication
  • libopus – A reference implementation of the Opus format, the IETF standards-track successor to CELT. (Opus support is mandatory for WebRTC implementations.)
  • libvorbis – Lossy compression, implementation of the Vorbis format; developed by Xiph.Org Foundation.
  • iLBC – Low bitrate compression, primarily voice
  • iSAC – Low bitrate compression, primarily voice; (free when using the WebRTC codebase)
  • TTA – Lossless compression
  • WavPack – Hybrid lossy/lossless
  • Bonk – Hybrid lossy/lossless; supported by fre:ac (formerly BonkEnc)
  • Apple Lossless – Lossless compression (MP4)
  • Fraunhofer FDK AAC – Lossy compression (AAC)
  • FFmpeg codecs in the libavcodec library, e.g. AC-3, AAC, ADPCM, PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, WMA, Vorbis, MP2, etc.
  • FAAD2 – open-source decoder for Advanced Audio Coding. There is also FAAC, the same project's encoder, but it is proprietary (but still free of charge).
  • libgsm – Lossy compression (GSM 06.10)
  • opencore-amr – Lossy compression (AMR and AMR-WB)
  • liba52 – a free ATSC A/52 stream decoder (AC-3)
  • libdca – a free DTS Coherent Acoustics decoder
  • Codec2 - Low bitrate compression, primarily voice

See also


  1. ^ "Schrodinger FAQ". Retrieved 2011-03-05.