Skype’s Audio Codec SILK codes open source and online

Updated: January 14, 2011

Skype’s Audio Codec SILK codes open source and online

Written by: Amelia Gurley

Skype has now published the source code for the SILK audio codec in an Internet Draft.

According to Skype’s chief technology officer Daniel Berg, "This means that anyone and everyone can now see, download, use and improve upon the software.”

Berg goes on to say that “this represents a key step in the development of an international standard for a wideband codec for use on the Internet."

SILK, first released in 2009, is included in Skype for Mac and recent versions of Skype for Windows, and will soon be available on the iPhone. It focuses on improving call quality in low-bandwidth environments, and uses 50% less bandwidth than previous developments. Skype first issued it to address one of users’ primary concerns with wideband voice technology. Skype hopes to collaborate with the Internet Engineering Task Force to continue improving SILK’s bandwidth, provide real-time bandwidth scalability, balance codec optimization between voice, tones and music, and background noise, and offer an overall more consistent audio experience, regardless of the user’s situation.

According to Berg, “By offering it to partners in this way, we’re removing one of the biggest hurdles to adoption of wideband audio, while setting a new industry-wide standard in speech processing: clearer, richer, warmer sound”

The SILK code is available at this link: http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-vos-silk-01

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