For more than three years, Skype has worked to improve online audio through involvement in a project now called Opus. But perversely, Skype's new owner, Microsoft, is undermining Opus just as a Web standards effort is poised to carry it into the mainstream.
Opus is an audio "codec" -- technology to encode and decode media streams for efficient transmission over the Internet or storage on computing equipment. Opus backers besides Microsoft's Skype division include Google, Opera, and Mozilla.
Opus has a lot of potential to improve online audio, something that's increasingly important as more communications … Read more