Today’s release of Firefox 65 supports AV1 so video content can be freely enjoyed by all.
The Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), a consortium featuring some of the biggest names in content creation, software, hardware, video conferencing and web technologies including Amazon, Apple, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix and NVIDIA, has developed and standardized a next-generation royalty-free video compression technology called AV1. In short, this will allow producers and consumers of content to access the best in video compression technology that was, until now, prohibitively expensive.
Mozilla's engineers working on the Daala project spent years studying how they could create a better way to compress videos, and in the spirit of Mozilla that better way had to be open source. To succeed however, Mozilla would also need all parties to ensure there would be no royalty fees. In 2015 Mozilla helped launch AOMedia to ensure that video compression technology becomes a public resource, open and accessible to all.
The technology also had to be superior to today’s royalty-encumbered alternatives and offer better quality for a large number of use cases. Mozilla says that AV1 can stand up against and surpass the existing alternatives. Mozilla claims that the AV1 format is already 30% percent better than competing formats such as HEVC and VP9.
"An open source and royalty free video codec is needed for video to thrive on the internet. If licensing fees become a relic of the past then the expensive barrier to entry for new content creators and streaming platforms will be eliminated. They’ll no longer have to fear the threat of patent lawsuits, and can move forward unleashed," said Mozilla fellow David Bryant.
Enhanced tracking protection in Firefox 65
The latest version of the Firefox web browser also brings more simplified content blocking settings -- standard, strict, and custom options to control online trackers. A redesigned content blocking section in the site information panel shows what Firefox detects and blocks on each website you visit.
macOS, Linux, and Android users also enjoy enhanced security via stronger stack smashing protection which is now enabled by default for all platforms. "Stack smashing" is a common security attack in which malicious actors corrupt or take control of a vulnerable program.
In addition, an updated Language section in Preferences allows users to install multiple language packs and order language preferences for Firefox and websites, without having to download locale-specific versions.
Improved performance and web compatibility are also included, with support for the WebP image format: WebP brings the same image quality as existing formats at smaller file sizes, which saves bandwidth and speeds up page load.