Monday, September 28, 2009

Skype submission of SILK Speech Code to IETF

SILK is a speech codec for real-time, packet-based voice communications. Targeting a diverse range of operating environments, SILK provides scalability in several dimensions. Four different sampling frequencies are supported for encoding the audio input signal. Adaptation to network characteristics is provided through control of bitrate, packet rate, packet loss resilience and use of discontinuous transmission (DTX). And several different complexity levels let SILK take advantage of available processing power without relying on it. Each of these properties can be adjusted during operation of the codec on a frame-by-frame basis.
This is description of SILK in its IETF draft, which looks promising. Although that doesn't change much the closed behavior of Skype. Their main intention behind it is actually start being effectively used inside companies and being available in a wider range of supported devices.
It is very early stage to say if Skype is in fact moving towards open standards. Besides IMHO, that is really not big deal, as being open won't bring that many benefits to the open standards and open source community. The biggest openness step Skype still needs to take is about the cryptography as the P2P topology still close but is actually a simpler solution than humans might think. Jingle Nodes is aiming for same results and honestly I truly believe we will have similar approach in a simpler, safer and more balanced way by July 2010 when the first prototype phase shall be finished.

Congratulations Skype, you are now one step away from the dark closed side.


  1. It think this is the reason Skype is operating so closed. If you ask me they're not going to open up anytime soon....

  2. Indeed, but for Jingle, SIP and open standards as more they stay close as better. As SIP Carriers like Betamax already shows many signals to be bigger than it.
    They finally realize than closing was not a good decision, even if we now know that was not a decision, but more a requirement from the company that designed their P2P architecture.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hi, I'm a student at Concordia university. As my master thesis I work on a project in the area of Peer to Peer Universal Presence service. I know some work has been done so far by Nimbuzz, Fring and ... that unifies the contacts from different IM clients into one. I need to get some clue by reviewing the related works like fring or Nimbuzz to be able to design the architecture and seems that you are familiar with their technology.
    I really appreciate if you could help me to get a general overview (limited to what is available in public domain).
    You can check my linkedin profile at:
    my email: