Robot Attack, Site Sluggish
skip
Home » Forums » The Big OT » OGG?

OGG?

PorchCat
.
permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 5:43 PM
Quote: 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.


WMP played MP3 before Windows XP. The Windows Media Player in Windows 98 (my OS before XP) played MP3s without issue. I don’t like the interface of Windows Media Player, but that’s a whole other issue! ;) Regardless, Windows Media Player has supported MP3 format for some time now and at least as far back as Windows 98, Microsoft included an MP3 codec in a standard install.

This nice things about Windows Media is it will play any encoded file you have the codec installed for on your Windows system. Most other players require an specialty installation or other add-ons (witness the need for the QuickTime components to play OGG using Apple software for example). Other "plug & play" players are video only (like DivX).

Point is though that most audio software doesn’t do encoding. I don’t see it as a detriment that WM only encodes WMA files, it’s an additional feature most players don’t include at all.

Quote: 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.


Eh, I’ve never had a problem with the DRM coverting WMA files to MP3. I agree that converting from one lossy to another CAN BE quite a bad thing for quality. However, it really depends on the converter and whether or it not its coded to "realize" the existing loss. Some converters show absolutely no discernable differance in sound quality. Also keep in mind that WMA now includes lossless codecs for compression as well and the OGG Vorbis itself is a lossy compression standard.

*meow*
PorchCat
.
permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 5:46 PM
Quote: 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.


I don’t think DRM concerns hurt as much (because there is significant consumer resentment of DRM and a fair share of companies will glady respond to the DRM antagonistic market). I think what hurts OGG the most is patent uncertainty. They’ve done at least one patent search but refuse to share the results. They constantly have made various excuses for this, but there is no reason for them NOT to share the results of a patent search, unless there are potential infringments. A number of people both opposed to OGG and supportive of OGG have pointed out patents which OGG almost certainly infringes. Of course the common reply is, well why haven’t they been sued or issued cease and desist orders? For the same reason such patent issues always sit on the burner: it’s simply not worth the time and expense to a patent holder until the infringement enters actual competition. Unfortunately, most large companies are not going to take the risk unless those patent concerns are laid to rest. It doesn’t help at all that xiph.org has consistantly made claims that fell through. (Anyone remember waiting years for the ability to peel bitstreams?)

I will point out at this point two important issues about the patent claims:
1) AOL and other large users of OGG Vorbis have huge patent pools and licensing agreements to draw upon. Even though they have done a patent search, they have only released statements stating that it was appropriate for their use. They have consistantly refused to state that no potential overlapping patents were filed.

2) The leaders of Xiph.org have refused repeatedly to provide any results from a patent search. The two main excuses they have used are attorney/client privelege and that they don’t want to provide their defense to any potential litigators. That suspiciously sounds like they have found potentially infringing patents for which they have only weakly founded defenses against. (This is based on my observations of company speak about patents witnessed in the past. All too much like M$-speak for my tastes.)

3) Notice that around 2000 and 2001 a large number of companies had expressed plans to support OGG in upcoming products, due to the cost of MP3 licensing. You will find that almost none of these companies implemented OGG Vorbis and have refused to speak about it since. This clearly implies there were serious business or (more likely) legal issues involved with implementing Vorbis.

I honestly believe the patent concerns are one of the largest impediments to the Vorbis format finding wider industry support.

*meow*
 
.
permalink   dbe Sun, Jan 30, 2011 @ 4:59 PM
Quote: PorchCat


3) Notice that around 2000 and 2001 a large number of companies had expressed plans to support OGG in upcoming products, due to the cost of MP3 licensing. You will find that almost none of these companies implemented OGG Vorbis and have refused to speak about it since. This clearly implies there were serious business or (more likely) legal issues involved with implementing Vorbis.

I honestly believe the patent concerns are one of the largest impediments to the Vorbis format finding wider industry support.

*meow*

As I understand it the complexity of the OGG format requires more expensive hardware to decode in realtime.
PorchCat
.
permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 6:01 PM
Quote: 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.


I just don’t think Vorbis is worth much consideration for a wide implementation until there’s a decent support for the format. See my above post about patent issues. There’s obviously serious reluctance to adopt the format, even from companies that previously expressed deep interest in using the format.

And you’re right, most people here are audio geeks. However, the site isn’t just for us, we have listeners and the like who aren’t quite as savvy. Ogg Vorbis files will simply turn off those users. People don’t want to have to install codecs, players and/or additional proprietary components for their software. Imagine someone using QuickTime/iTunes. They install the codec and it still doesn’t work. They install a player that installs codecs automatically and their Apple software still doesn’t work. How many people are going to go to the Xith site and download the QuickTime components? How many fewer would even know to do that?

By the by, talk to some folks who work with actual physical video and film. Beta is still quite the popular tape format for storage and editing (due to the high quality and insane amount of products). I agree, more of it has moved to computers, but most of the film hobbyists I know still use physical formats at some stage. Final Cut is great stuff, though I’d still take a real live Video Toaster any day :0)

Quote: Quote: *meow*

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

;)


I think Vorbis is a great format. I unfortunately find it to be lacking in enough support in the programs I use or would consider using. Until such a time as the format finds great support in audio programs, I am unlikely to make much use of it. Currently, my use of ogg vorbis files is almost entirely limited to converting to MP3 or another format where I can use them in the programs I use to create music. (And also the Apple components so I can preview the files from ccMixter.)

*meow*
tacet
.
permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 6:30 PM
Quote:
I think Vorbis is a great format. I unfortunately find it to be lacking in enough support in the programs I use or would consider using. Until such a time as the format finds great support in audio programs, I am unlikely to make much use of it. Currently, my use of ogg vorbis files is almost entirely limited to converting to MP3 or another format where I can use them in the programs I use to create music. (And also the Apple components so I can preview the files from ccMixter.)
*meow*


Looking back through the discussion, I think for the most part we actually agree, issue-wise. Though we’ll agree to disagree on the importance of a codec actually being a CO-DEC and not just a DEC like WMP’s MP3 support. Thanks for the extra OGG information, some of which I wasn’t aware of btw.

Sigh…I’m concerned for a computing industry that’s truly restricted by what’s installed when it ships a machine. If the grande conclusion is simply that folks can’t be motivated into installing a codec (assuming the installer actually works btw) and a codec format will not succeed without "popularity", then we’re all doomed! (as in Betamax!)

Hopefully new codec plug-in frameworks will allow transparency, as it should be (and was with older operating systems like AmigaOS and BeOS…OSX and XP are progress?…sigh)…download and it works (without having to RESTART!)

Patents? Don’t even get me started ;) …as time goes on and more patents are registered the chances of replacing mp3 with a better codec grow slimmer….

Can you hear the screams?

For *meow* read "DOOM!" ;)
PorchCat
.
permalink   Thu, Mar 16, 2006 @ 8:01 PM
Quote: Looking back through the discussion, I think for the most part we actually agree, issue-wise. Though we’ll agree to disagree on the importance of a codec actually being a CO-DEC and not just a DEC like WMP’s MP3 support. Thanks for the extra OGG information, some of which I wasn’t aware of btw.

I think we do mostly agree about Vorbis. I just have deep concerns and reservations about that opinion. Yeah it’s only mostly the truly ubergeeked open source folks who are even aware of the patent issues. It’s just very concerning, and I believe misleading, when Vorbis is touted as "patent-free" and marketed as being better than other codecs for the reason of "less patent hassles". Mostly because the Vorbis developers have only issued the lamest of excuses for not sharing the results of their patent search.

Quote: Sigh…I’m concerned for a computing industry that’s truly restricted by what’s installed when it ships a machine. If the grande conclusion is simply that folks can’t be motivated into installing a codec (assuming the installer actually works btw) and a codec format will not succeed without "popularity", then we’re all doomed! (as in Betamax!)

I agree it is a concern. However, wintel iTunes is doing just fine, along with WinAmp and a host of other install-yourself programs. I believe one of the main issues with ogg is that it’s not a convenient and easy installation and that it doesn’t seem to follow proper Windows framework. (Players which draw upon the OS codecs won’t always recognize the Vorbis codec. Seperate package installation for QuikTime/iTunes. Etc.) And I think Vorbis keeps shooting itself in the foot with the audio nerds like me, by consistantly failing to deliver on feature promises. (More often than not, they are technically in there, just unfortunately not implemented or implemented very poorly. See pelling bitrates agian for the perfect example.) If you were a developer who put countless hours into the codec only to see your work mangled, or left as a "hidden feature", how would you feel?

Quote: Hopefully new codec plug-in frameworks will allow transparency, as it should be (and was with older operating systems like AmigaOS and BeOS…OSX and XP are progress?…sigh)…download and it works (without having to RESTART!)

HUZZAH AMIGA! Remember my comment about a real live Video Toaster? *sighs* Goddamn Commodores were freaking amazing machines. They could do things that would take PCs and even Macs considerably more computing power to do the same. Amigas were/are freaking fantastic audio/video machines. It’s so sad they were mostly killed by bad business decisions. Commodores and Amigas were by far superior machines.

Codec plugin standards would be of a great boon to Vorbis and other "minority" codecs. Aboslutely!

Quote: Patents? Don’t even get me started ;) …as time goes on and more patents are registered the chances of replacing mp3 with a better codec grow slimmer….

Can you hear the screams?

For *meow* read "DOOM!" ;)


I don’t think patent issues make it unlikely. I think companies & groups being dishonest and dodgy about patents is the problem. A host of architectures are based on dozens, sometimes hundreds, of patents. ISO and other groups have excellant patent pools available for devlopers. Patents inhibit open-source development (and not even then in all cases, a number of open-source programs have reprieves from existing patents). Commercial producers (who actually carry formats & architectures into standards) have little worry as they are used to dealing with such issues (or quickly will become familiar, if painfully).

And honestly, I don’t have a problem with that. Patents are an excellant encouragement to development, like other forms of intellectual property. I don’t believe a fuly free model would develop much in the way of innovation, overall. There are a handful of sterling examples of open source development (or at the least they provide commercial quality software). However, most open source software is perpetually incomplete and rather shabby to be utterly honest, when it even works.

I gladly pay for FL Studio, because it’s an excellant product, particularly for the price. I’ve paid (via licensing fees and/or royalties) to make use of the fiction and music of others. I have no problem doing this, because it’s only fair that I pay someone for their hard work when my own efforts are directly dependent on it.

I will repeat a cavaet I have for you benefit:
I’m utterly biased, depending on intellectual property laws and that culture for a modest portion of my income as a writer.

*meow*