Skype to let competitors license speech codec for free

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Skype, Software World, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Brad Linder


Voice over IP company Skype is known for a couple things. One of them is annoying the #@&! out of telephone companies by offering cheap or free voice and video calls over the internet. But another thing that Skype does well is offer users the ability to communicate across long distances with excellent sound quality (assuming you’ve got an excellent microphone plugged into your computer).

That’s because typically telephones only transfers audio signals in a limited frequency range (from around 400Hz to 3.4kHz.. Skype, on the other hand, uses technology that can transmit audio up to 12kHz, which is higher than most of the frequencies in the human voice. In other words, if you’re using decent audio equipment you’ll sound like you’re in the same room.

The problem is it takes internet bandwidth to deliver that kind of voice quality. Skype uses a codec in Skype 4 for Windows called SILK to deliver high quality audio even over low bandwidth internet connections. And now Skype is making that codec available for other companies to use, with no royalties.

According to the company, SILK users 50% less bandwidth than other codecs. It can be scaled in real-time to adjust to network conditions. So what’s in it for Skype? The company wants its codec to be adopted as a standard that could be used in applications, electronic devices, and even phones.

Source: downloadsquad


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