One of the first pieces of good news to come out of eComm Tuesday in San Francisco is the announcement from Jonathan Christensen, Skype’s General Manager for Audio and Video, that the company’s SILK wideband voice codec will soon be provided to third party software and hardware developers with a royalty-free license.
The SILK speech codec optimizes call quality, even in low network bandwidth environments by improving audio bandwidth going from 8 kHz to 12 kHz, meaning that a SILK conversation sounds like you are in the same room as the person you are speaking with. The effect can be experienced now between Skype users talking with one another over Skype 4.0 for Windows.
Christensen hopes that by providing the codec freely one of the biggest hurdles to the adoption of wideband audio as a communication standard — cost — will be removed, opening the door to its adoption as the standard across a huge range of platforms, applications and devices by web developers and chip manufacturers, as well as by consumer electronics and mobile device manufacturers.
No word yet on exactly when developers can get their hands on the codec, but details and developing information can be found at the SILK website.