“It’s official. The Opus audio codec is now standardized by the IETF as RFC 6716. Opus is the first state-of-the-art, fully Free and Open audio codec ratified by a major standards organization. Better, Opus covers basically the entire audio-coding application space and manages to be as good or better than existing proprietary codecs over this whole space. Opus is the result of a collaboration between Xiph.Org, Mozilla, Microsoft (yes!), Broadcom, Octasic, and Google. See the Mozilla announcement and the Xiph.Org press release for more details.”
It is still a lossy compression (ie. it won’t sound like a FLAC file on a good stereo), but as it supports constant and variable bitrates up to 516 kbps at ultra-low latency and decent quality, it seems to be an improvement on the oft-maligned mp3. It is especially suited for the open-source purists out there, among the ranks of whom I am sure some Soundscapees can be counted.