I’ve actually been seeing more news items about this today than I would have expected. This is most likely because the 0.6 release is named “Works with HTML5”. Let it never be said that nerds don’t know marketing. The team really latched on to the hottest buzzword going right now.
The name of the release refers to FFmpeg’s new native support for Google’s WebM format. It can mux and demux the WebM container, and decode the Vorbis audio, all natively (FFmpeg’s Vorbis encoder has been demoted to “experimental” for this release and it is recommended to enable libvorbis for encoding). But the big news is that this release can support Google’s libvpx natively for VP8 encoding and decoding, without having to apply any other patches.
Getting libvpx to compile still might be a bit tricky. Fortunately, the first pass of a native, independent VP8 decoder is currently in review on the ffmpeg-devel list.