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OGG vs MP3

tacet
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permalink   Wed, Mar 15, 2006 @ 3:33 PM
Quote: Remember on the internet if someone clicks on something and they don’t get a predicted reaction chances are they won’t open the file.

Your argument doesn’t really work for new generation machines which out-of-the-box won’t support mp3 any longer (because of the licencing issues and pressure from the recording industry). Many Linux vendors have stopped already, Apple are moving people towards AAC and Microsoft never did support playback from Media Player until you installed a suitable codec.

Format wars are fun, uh?

The support given to mp3 historically means it’s prolific, people are familiar with it you’re right, and they will want to get it working because they have a wealth of mp3s available to them.

Still, it’s no great reason to stick with mp3 which is highly inferior to most of the other formats available (not just my opinion but that of many listening tests & reviews). However, there is an argument to keep mp3 alive because of the recording industries nettle-like reactions to it…ie no in-built DRM.



Quote:
Agreed…MP3 is the dominant file format. Most oggs I haven’t bothered to download even though I can open them in Audacity…even zip files…I won’t open unless I’ve heard or I know there will be some serious sampling material in it. If you want your stuff to get heard and mashed up…MP3 is your best bet.


That’s a shame. OGG Vorbis is much more modern than mp3 and could help reduce the bandwidth of ccMixter if adopted. Most tracks could be encoded using 128bps OGG, as oposed to 192bps mp3….probably with a slight improvement in quality.

In your own case, if you want to mashup stuff and pass it on then that’s fine, but doesn’t it make sense to keep the samples and mixes as HQ as possible?

OGG vs MP3 is a no-brainer, OGG vs WMA or AAC is more difficult to assess, though OGG has no DRM, oh yeah, sorry, it’s a no-brainer too :D

How about setting up some listening tests?

Here’s one for starters that compares a number of codecs : xiph’s listening test

After you listen, consider also the ethos of Xiph’s OGG policy - for it remaining public domain, whilst all other formats are being manipulated into DRM lock-down and licensing oblivion.
shagrugge
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permalink   Wed, Mar 15, 2006 @ 4:12 PM
Quote:

Your argument doesn’t really work for new generation machines which out-of-the-box won’t support mp3 any longer (because of the licencing issues and pressure from the recording industry). Many Linux vendors have stopped already, Apple are moving people towards AAC and Microsoft never did support playback from Media Player until you installed a suitable codec.


I bought a machine in December that "out of the box" has MP3 support without coded installations. (Before I installed my audio production software on it)…nor have I seen any information in the media regarding policy decisions that indicate MP3 is not going to be used. (Have any links?)


Quote:
That’s a shame. OGG Vorbis is much more modern than mp3 and could help reduce the bandwidth of ccMixter if adopted. Most tracks could be encoded using 128bps OGG, as oposed to 192bps mp3….probably with a slight improvement in quality.



While I’m sure that file formats will forever change and evolve for the better (or perhaps worse…) I’m not yet convinced that OGG will be that new standard for audio.

OGG file format for me must pass a necessity and quality measure. For example I recently downloaded the flute and brazilian guitar samples because I knew the samples would warrant a download in that I would use them to no end.

I therefore had no problem with taking the time to open them all individually and convert them to a file format compatible with FL studio and Adobe Audition. But the compatibility issues remain. If the audio warrants a download I’ll take it…but OGG puts up one more roadblock that sometimes I won’t take the time to sit through.
tacet
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permalink   Wed, Mar 15, 2006 @ 7:16 PM
Quote:
I bought a machine in December that "out of the box" has MP3 support without coded installations. (Before I installed my audio production software on it)…nor have I seen any information in the media regarding policy decisions that indicate MP3 is not going to be used. (Have any links?)


Sorry, my bad for not being clear. By next generation I meant a few years into the future, I know it’s speculative but you can sense a sea change with tighter controls and DRM.

I also slipped up on playback without an additional codec, I meant to say mp3 recording/ripping which Microsoft left out of Media Player because of their wma interests.

Some Linux distributions HAVE dropped playback though, because of the licence fees.

Quote:
While I’m sure that file formats will forever change and evolve for the better (or perhaps worse…) I’m not yet convinced that OGG will be that new standard for audio.


I’m not totally convinced either, I was simply pointing out that OGG appears to be a good codec, much better than mp3 and if the only argument against OGG is that it’s not popular, then that’s a daft argument.

Quote:
OGG file format for me must pass a necessity and quality measure. For example I recently downloaded the flute and brazilian guitar samples because I knew the samples would warrant a download in that I would use them to no end. I therefore had no problem with taking the time to open them all individually and convert them to a file format compatible with FL studio and Adobe Audition. But the compatibility issues remain. If the audio warrants a download I’ll take it…but OGG puts up one more roadblock that sometimes I won’t take the time to sit through.


I understand completely, but we’re all going to have the same problems with any new format, it’s no encouragement that FL and Audition programmers haven’t implemented OGG import/export, when the code is freely available.

Maybe Vista will have better system-wide translators which allow for import/export of any format where a codec is installed to take the burdon away from application programmers….oh wait, you might be able to use that to circumvent DRM…sigh

Anyway, I think this is a discussion that will intensify over the coming years, formats will move on and hopefully the folks driving the transitions won’t only be interested in how "secure" the format is, but rather how good it sounds when compared to the original master.

:)
PorchCat
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 2:14 PM
Quote: Quote: If you want your stuff to get heard and mashed up…MP3 is your best bet.

The problem is, it is not clear if you will incur patent liabilities if you go that route. I prefer to do my stuff as wav, flac, and ogg vorbis when it comes to audio.


No offense but you’re just swallowing open source hysteria. End users have NEVER had patent liabilities with mp3. In fact, end users almost never have patent liabilities period. It’s the software manufacturers who face patent liabilities. The "mp3 is patented" issue is a dead dog that was overbeaten a few years already. The MP3 format and licensing is very well established.

*meow*
PorchCat
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 2:34 PM
Quote: Quote: Remember on the internet if someone clicks on something and they don’t get a predicted reaction chances are they won’t open the file.

Your argument doesn’t really work for new generation machines which out-of-the-box won’t support mp3 any longer (because of the licencing issues and pressure from the recording industry). Many Linux vendors have stopped already, Apple are moving people towards AAC and Microsoft never did support playback from Media Player until you installed a suitable codec.


*blinks* Are you serious? Windows Media Player supports the MP3 format out of the box. According to Microsoft their support for MP3 will continue. Apple has plans to continue MP3 support for the forseeable future as well. Linux has stopped distributing the MP3 codecs because it’s open sourced. However, XMMS or the like *easily* fixes that issue. Linux users will find it no problem to find and install an MP3 codec, while for the average WIndows user, OGG is a huge PITA.

I’m fairly computer savvy and it was still something of an inconvenience to acquire decoders for OGG to MP3 conversion and components to make my iTunes work with OGG.

Quote: Format wars are fun, uh?

The support given to mp3 historically means it’s prolific, people are familiar with it you’re right, and they will want to get it working because they have a wealth of mp3s available to them.

Still, it’s no great reason to stick with mp3 which is highly inferior to most of the other formats available (not just my opinion but that of many listening tests & reviews). However, there is an argument to keep mp3 alive because of the recording industries nettle-like reactions to it…ie no in-built DRM.


This I believe is largely a Betamax vs VHS issue. Yes, ogg and other format are TECHNICALLY better. However, MP3 is easier, more common and the standard.

Setting up a computer to work with OGG takes some time and computer savvy, which I doubt most people are willing to expend.

DRM standards do exist for MP3 by the by.

*meow*
PorchCat
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 2:52 PM
Quote: I also slipped up on playback without an additional codec, I meant to say mp3 recording/ripping which Microsoft left out of Media Player because of their wma interests.

That’s a *weak* criticism. Most audio players don’t include audio ripping capability. This has largely been the domain of software geared toward that purpose (or often included as a feature in CD burning software). Of course, when Microsoft included ripping capabilities they did it in their own format.

I might add that it is no more difficult to convert wma files to mp3 than it is to convert ogg to mp3.

Quote: I’m not totally convinced either, I was simply pointing out that OGG appears to be a good codec, much better than mp3 and if the only argument against OGG is that it’s not popular, then that’s a daft argument.

It’s not a daft argument, it’s simple market reality. If a format cannot gain popularity and industry wide support, it’s unlikely to succeed. I will again refer you to the Betamax vs VHS issue. OGG is currently more likely to be used by audio geeks, much like Betamax is still used by video geeks. (For the same reasons of quality.) The real differance currently is that Betamax is widely supported by the market for video editing, while OGG utterly lacks support in most of the common audio editing software.

It’s not really an arguement about what the BEST format is, but what is going to receive support in the industry. It’s simple market realities, like it or not.

*meow*
tacet
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 4:02 PM
Quote:
That’s a *weak* criticism. Most audio players don’t include audio ripping capability. This has largely been the domain of software geared toward that purpose (or often included as a feature in CD burning software). Of course, when Microsoft included ripping capabilities they did it in their own format.


I don’t think it was that weak in the context of the "what’s in the box" discussion we were having. We were originally discussing the fact that people don’t want to install codecs on their system, or don’t know how.

Media Player has long been crippled into wma-only encoding, only with the latest version does mp3 come as standard because of competition, namely itunes and the support in portable devices.


Quote:
I might add that it is no more difficult to convert wma files to mp3 than it is to convert ogg to mp3.


Firstly, DRM. Microsoft don’t want you to do that. Secondly, quality, converting from one lossy format to another is BAD.

Quote:
It’s not a daft argument, it’s simple market reality. If a format cannot gain popularity and industry wide support, it’s unlikely to succeed.


Well, I remember a time when people started swapping audio using a program called Napster and these weird things called mp3 files? You need a computer to play them? Pointless, surely ;)

Gaining popularity is about momentum, it’s about benefit and worth, sure, but it’s now also about corporate interests and rights management. This is why some think OGG is destined for the scrap heap if it doesn’t implement a mechanism to lock down the files with DRM.

Quote:
I will again refer you to the Betamax vs VHS issue. OGG is currently more likely to be used by audio geeks, much like Betamax is still used by video geeks. (For the same reasons of quality.) The real differance currently is that Betamax is widely supported by the market for video editing, while OGG utterly lacks support in most of the common audio editing software.


lol :D …no offence but maybe you should check where you are ;) …I think most of the ccMixter folks would proudly wear the badge of "Audio Geek", and most of the video production folks I know are using Premiere or Final Cut and mostly work in digital…no matter, I think I understand your point.

The bottom line is this - would a switch away from mp3 to a more modern codec be beneficial to ccMixter, it’s developers, users and listeners? …or even provision of an alternative as a choice?

Many many internet radio stations have been fighting with the very same question, mostly for the same reasons as Victor pointed out. Bandwidth, quality and with issues regarding support.

SomaFM were one of the first to jump to AAC, and RadioParadise have been trialing AAC, added to WMA and Realplay which they’ve provided for some time.

They are providing choice, they are saving bandwidth and providing higher quality. I think it’s something the ccMixter crew should seriously consider, that’s all.

Quote: *meow*

uh? …oh yeah, hey anyway, YOU of all people should support OGG, the logo is a BIG FISH!! :D

;)
PorchCat
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 5:04 PM
Reply posting on the Off Topic Forums, this has obviously moved from Features to a discussion about audio formats in general.

*meow*
fourstones
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 5:35 PM
Quote: Reply posting on the Off Topic Forums, this has obviously moved from Features to a discussion about audio formats in general.

*meow*


OK, I just split the thread and moved the bottom half to OT.

VS
PorchCat
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permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 6:04 PM
Quote: Quote: Reply posting on the Off Topic Forums, this has obviously moved from Features to a discussion about audio formats in general.

*meow*


OK, I just split the thread and moved the bottom half to OT.

VS


Dang it moved the thread while I was posting :-P

*meow*