Android still doesn't support Opus ringtones

Android 5.1 only has partial support for the hot new codec.

Android still doesn't support Opus ringtones

Updated: 2015-05-26

  • It seems that Android does support Opus, just not when it's in its native container. Putting the Opus audio into a MKV container and dropping the resulting files into the Music and Ringtones directories on the Android phone, the files just started showing up in the relevant applications and settings and were fully playable.

When Android 5.0 Lollipop came out i got all excited over the native support for the Opus Codec.

It's a geeky thing to get excited about, i know, but Opus is a state-of-the-art codec that bests all comers. Not since Ogg Vorbis took MP3 out back for a beating fifteen years ago has a royalty-free lossy audio codec held such promise.

So i flashed my Nexus 5 with the 5.0 factory image and copied some Opus files across… only to discover that nothing, not even Google's own Play Music app, takes advantage of this native support.

Perhaps i was expecting a bit much for apps to support this immediately, but it's been a few months since Lollipop was released now and still Play Music doesn't support Opus.

But it's not just Play Music that doesn't support Opus, for some bizarre reason Lollipop doesn't support Opus as ringtones (and, i suspect, the Android native SIP client) either.

Last night Android 5.1 was released and, this morning, after reading lots of Opus fixes in the changelog, i eagerly installed it hoping it would now "just work". No such luck.

Come on Google, Opus isn't just for WebRTC. It should be used wherever it can improve things. So, music playback, SIP, ringtones and probably a whole lot more.