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Ogg Vorbis in The Guardian (UK)
vlada
post Apr 30 2007, 16:48
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Well, yes you're partially right. From this point of view, first of all we need to exclude about 90% of Earth's population, people who never used a computer or who don't know it is possible to store music in a compressed format on a PC.

A lot of my friends are computer enthusiasts. But on the other side, I have a lot of friends who use computers, but have almost no technical knowledge about them. Usually if they want to do something on their computer, they ask me how to do it.

I would separate my friends into 3 categories:

1) Engineers (mathemticians, electricians etc.) - they usually use MP3s and Winamp. They're able to find the basic information by themselves, but usually take the first thing that "just works".

2) Doctors (usually lawyers) - they use what I tell them to use :-)

3) Programmers - paradoxically most of them use WMP and MP3s or WMAs. They know a lot about computers, but they don't care too much about music.

Sure - all of them are educated and clever people. It is not a typical population profile. But I meet a lot of other people too, since I work in a factory.

Anyway, I think that someone who is a potential Vorbis user must be: 1) a music enthusiast, 2) an advanced PC user. I think it should be possible to change the point 2) to "an average computer user". And that would bring a lot more people to the Vorbis user group.
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Squeller
post May 7 2007, 13:49
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I have a strong reason rather to encode to nero aac than ogg vorbis: Kenwood car radios (don't know about other manufacturers) can play lc aac.
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Mercurio
post May 7 2007, 14:31
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On osnews there is a "Review: The OGG-Compatible iRiver E10"
this is the start:

"Everytime we feature a multimedia device review here at OSNews the question is always the same: "...but does it support OGG?"

So, it seems that
- Iriver supports Vorbis
- geeks (and lead users) always ask for it.

I think there is no way from a player other than iPod to enter in the (small? high-priced?) segment of "audio enthusiasts" without vorbis.
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rjamorim
post May 7 2007, 17:17
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QUOTE (Mercurio @ May 7 2007, 10:31) *
I think there is no way from a player other than iPod to enter in the (small? high-priced?) segment of "audio enthusiasts" without vorbis.


Don't confuse "audio enthusiasts" with "computer nerds".


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Mercurio
post May 8 2007, 11:58
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ May 7 2007, 08:17) *
Don't confuse "audio enthusiasts" with "computer nerds".


I'm sure most of audio enthusiasts neither need, know, or use Vorbis, but all new "high quality" players I'm seeing these days support ogg Vorbis, more than the past. (but Creative, Microsoft and Apple, of course)

It seems Vorbis support is almost mandatory to differentiate your product if you don't have a large user base, high marketing budget, and you don't want to produce extremely cheap low-quality players.

Am I wrong?

off-topic: Vorbis is used by Wiktionary!!!
And publicized with an how-to page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Media_help_%28Ogg%29
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Maurits
post May 8 2007, 12:20
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Well, if for your definition of "high quality" a player needs to support Ogg Vorbis, then, naturally, all "high quality" players support Ogg Vorbis. biggrin.gif
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Mercurio
post May 8 2007, 15:06
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Here at Hydrogenaudio there are a lot of sophists blink.gif

Since I know I could be wrong, and I have sincere desire to learn,
do you think my "definition" is iniquitous, then, dear Protagoras? wink.gif

This post has been edited by Mercurio: May 8 2007, 15:07
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rjamorim
post May 8 2007, 15:45
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QUOTE (Mercurio @ May 8 2007, 07:58) *
(but Creative, Microsoft and Apple, of course)


Creative, Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, SanDisk, Archos...

The list goes on and on.

QUOTE
It seems Vorbis support is almost mandatory to differentiate your product if you don't have a large user base, high marketing budget, and you don't want to produce extremely cheap low-quality players.

Am I wrong?


Yes. If you want differentiation, it's much easier and cheaper to create a different, compelling design than adapting and optimizing Tremor to work on your hardware platform (unlike MP3 and WMA, you usually don't find highly optimized Vorbis libraries from the chip vendors themselves).


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sonytp50
post May 8 2007, 15:54
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QUOTE (Rio @ Apr 23 2007, 07:05) *
We just have to spread the word, that vorbis files are very efficient than your mainstream format.

If you're talking about grassroots promotion, that's already been/being done with little effect.


In my opinion Ogg needs an editor like mp3directcut to get really interesting for home users who encode their own recordings. Currently there's no really convenient way to cut any non-mp3 audio format.

If you convert your old cassettes, tapes, VHS-audio and other recordings into mp3, locating a part of a recording and exporting it takes only seconds. So I can happily record directly into mp3, knowing that cutting the parts I want to keep is not going to be any hassle.

With any other format (WAV, WMA, FLAC, Ogg, etc) I need to load the file into an audio editor - which takes way to long. Wait for 1-3 minutes just to open a 3 hour file? No thanks. This makes recordings directly into Ogg quite pointless. Instead I need to do the recording in WAV, cut it and export the result to Ogg. For a three hour radio show this is a 10+ minute workflow compared to less than one minute in mp3.

Recording directly into Ogg is dead easy. In Germany there's the No23 Recorder Freeware that comes with Mp3, Ogg and WAV. This piece of software is very popular with my non-computer-literate friends in the 30s and 40s. It looks and behaves like a cassette recorder. I even use it myself to record into mp3, allthough I know that the 192k CBR quality I get is slightly worse than other, less intuitive tools offer.

I'm also aware that there's a great command line splitter for ogg which would only need a GUI that compared to mp3directcut to be as convenient. Link: mp3splt.

My mp3 players plays Ogg. I don't really care about the patents, but I like that it sounds better than mp3 and has smaller files. Fast-forwarding within Ogg works and so does tagging. My Ipod Nano plays it (thanks to Rockbox.) If a convenient fast in-Format-editor for ogg comes up within the next year, I personally would switch to Ogg for my casual recordings.

This post has been edited by sonytp50: May 8 2007, 16:36
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Mercurio
post May 8 2007, 16:32
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ May 8 2007, 06:45) *
Yes. If you want differentiation, it's much easier and cheaper to create a different, compelling design than adapting and optimizing Tremor to work on your hardware platform (unlike MP3 and WMA, you usually don't find highly optimized Vorbis libraries from the chip vendors themselves).

Thanks for the reply rjamorin. I have seen that some chip-makers publicize even ogg support (as the SMTP3600), but I know I can't go further on the details of this discussion, and the complexity of the vorbis decoder is well know.
Anyway I really hope this is the main problem of Vorbis, because you can adapt the codec once for all, technology improves, but you must do the design each time...

I "hope" simply because I'm a tech nerd biggrin.gif

QUOTE
I'm aware that there's a great command line splitter for ogg which would only need a GUI that compared to mp3directcut to be as convenient. Link: mp3splt.

The programmer of mp3splt is working to a gui. You can see it at the same page you linked.
I don't know how it is good, I have used mp3splt only by command line. Well, I think this is the last problem to the Vorbis World Domination Plan. laugh.gif
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sonytp50
post May 8 2007, 16:59
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QUOTE
The programmer of mp3splt is working to a gui. You can see it at the same page you linked.
I don't know how it is good, I have used mp3splt only by command line.


I've tried the GUI of mp3splt. It's not very ergonomic.
For my taste using the command line is about as convenient as using this GUI,
so it's useless.

This is how it looks:


A convenient GUI editor should behave like mp3directcut:
Here you have:
- a visual display of the part of the file you're listening to.
- keyboard shortcuts, so you can edit without a mouse
- mouse support for those who like to click
- playback of the file with editing (plus fast audible moves within the file)
- handling of very long recordings. (like 24h full day surveillance of radio stations, etc)

Here's a picture


Alas I have not found anything like this for Ogg - not freeware and nothing good worth paying for either.

QUOTE
Well, I think this is the last problem to the Vorbis World Domination Plan. laugh.gif


Maybe. Having faster editing functions will lure more people into creating ogg content other than ripped CDs. These files would be passed around requiring more people to get to know the format. By being editor friendly Ogg could get a lot of new friends amongst tapers and radio fans. Here Ogg could have a clear advantage over the competing AAC and WMA who both lack fast editing and recording functions.

PS: The above mentioned user friendly (German language) No23 mp3/Ogg/WAV Recorder looks like this. Even my most computer challenged friends managed to get recordings done with this.


This post has been edited by sonytp50: May 8 2007, 17:37
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jcoalson
post May 8 2007, 22:47
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 23 2007, 05:54) *
QUOTE (jcoalson @ Apr 19 2007, 21:21) *
QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 19 2007, 16:58) *
QUOTE (LANjackal @ Apr 19 2007, 15:34) *
True, but if that's really the case, how is it that FLAC is the most widely supported lossless format without any patent/IP issues?

Maybe because it didn't become mainstream enough yet for interested (mischievous?) people to try to find patents inside it?

And if someone already found a patent he owns, he might be waiting for larger market acceptance. If he sued now, he would probably be able to catch nullsoft and a couple other big fish. He should at least until Apple includes it in Leopard, if he really wants profit.

practically every method in FLAC is also in ALAC, which FLAC predates by several years. so if anyone is submarining then even Apple is not a big enough fish.


Yeah, yeah. The difference is that Apple never released source code or specifications on ALAC. For someone to create a case against it, he'll either have to subpoena Apple into showing him the sources, or base his allegations on a reverse engineered decoder.

a subpoena is no barrier at all to a patent troll. all the evidence they need is in the reverse-engineered ALAC decoder, which demonstrably works at decoding some ALAC files and contains all the methods used in FLAC decoding.

by basing ALAC so closely on FLAC, apple has indirectly hitched its cart to FLAC. (I wouldn't be surprised if the same is true for WMA lossless but as far as I know, no one has reverse engineed that yet.) hopefully we'll see direct FLAC support in leopard as this is good for both apple and FLAC.
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rjamorim
post May 9 2007, 00:21
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QUOTE (sonytp50 @ May 8 2007, 11:54) *
In my opinion Ogg needs an editor like mp3directcut to get really interesting for home users who encode their own recordings. Currently there's no really convenient way to cut any non-mp3 audio format.

If you convert your old cassettes, tapes, VHS-audio and other recordings into mp3, locating a part of a recording and exporting it takes only seconds. So I can happily record directly into mp3, knowing that cutting the parts I want to keep is not going to be any hassle.


Fine, but is there such big demand for an audio cutter? The vast majority of computer users I know wouldn't even know how to hook a tape deck or VCR to a computer, let alone be interested in recording and cutting.

If your target audience is the techies that care about recording tape and VHS: then, you are preaching for the converted, as these people might have at least a small idea about vorbis.

QUOTE
Wait for 1-3 minutes just to open a 3 hour file?


Hrm, mp3directcut isn't ultra-speedy on such a huge file either, you know...

Besides, it's kinda unfair to compare mp3dc to a more general purpose editor such as e.g Audition. Here's a lean WAV splitter:
http://claudiosoft.online.fr/wavsplit.html

QUOTE (jcoalson @ May 8 2007, 18:47) *
a subpoena is no barrier at all to a patent troll. all the evidence they need is in the reverse-engineered ALAC decoder, which demonstrably works at decoding some ALAC files and contains all the methods used in FLAC decoding.


You are taking this from a technical point of view, not a legal one. Sure, the reverse engineered decoder could be enough to make a case, but it would look to be a rather flimsy case to the court. What, they are even basing it on source code some guy wrote without any information from Apple!

If I were a patent troll, I wouldn't base my allegations on something so disconnected from where I plan to get money from, unless I used it as a first step - to leverage a subpoena forcing Apple to show me sources - and then, from there, claim compensations.

<devil's advocate>or I would wait until Apple adopted FLAC, sue them, collect fees and use this result as leverage to sue other people using FLAC</devil's advocate>

I know you like to claim your codec is patent-free, but given the current situation in patent law, I wouldn't trust anything, really.

This post has been edited by rjamorim: May 9 2007, 00:24


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jcoalson
post May 9 2007, 04:43
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but there's no need to wait, the ALAC decoder already proves what methods are being used. all the rest is fud that could be used against any program or algorithm to try and scare someone away from using it. FLAC's been around for 7 years, ALAC 3, and the RE ALAC decoder 2 yrs. I think manufacturers who actually have to evaluate these things for real risk have figured out that the chance of someone submarining is now vanishingly small; there simply is nothing in FLAC to go after.

edit: roberto, I'm not saying you are FUDing, just that the submarining argument against FLAC is FUD at this point in that FLAC is no more risky that any other software.

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sonytp50
post May 9 2007, 08:09
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ May 8 2007, 23:21) *
Fine, but is there such big demand for an audio cutter? The vast majority of computer users I know wouldn't even know how to hook a tape deck or VCR to a computer, let alone be interested in recording and cutting.

Agreed. These people do not care about Ogg. The only thing that could motivate them to care is that if someone gave them Ogg files that they really wanted to listen to. Also people that record usually don't have the idea that you can cut in-Format to save a lot of time until someone shows them how to do it. So you are right, I don't expect to see many people asking for it.
QUOTE
If your target audience is the techies that care about recording tape and VHS: then, you are preaching for the converted, as these people might have at least a small idea about vorbis.

I think I belong to this group, but you couldn't call me converted. I'm more like aware of Ogg, but hesitant. I've been watching the format for years to see if something arrives that convinces me to start direct-to-Ogg recordings. Who else but the "techies" should invest their time into creating Ogg files anyway?
QUOTE
Wait for 1-3 minutes just to open a 3 hour file?

Hrm, mp3directcut isn't ultra-speedy on such a huge file either, you know...

On the contrary: If I open a 3 hour file in mp3dc I can begin playing it and set cutpoints one second after I opened it. Exporting the cuts does take time, but then I'm done with my work so waiting a minute while the software exports 200MB doesn't bother me much. I can just minimize the window and continue working on something else. (Plus cutting a three hour show out of a longer mp3 recording and saving with mp3 directcut takes less time then opening the file in Audacity for me to begin editing alone...)

QUOTE
Besides, it's kinda unfair to compare mp3dc to a more general purpose editor such as e.g Audition.


The reason for this "unfair" comparison is that this is the workflow I have for cutting on Ogg file.
Actually, I open the file in Audacity just to get a visual representation of the file to write down the
cutting points on a piece of paper. I then use mp3splt's command line version to cut the file without
further loss...

BTW, thanks for that WAV splitter link!
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aabxx
post May 16 2007, 01:44
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QUOTE
Besides, it's not that perfect for PC playback. If I take MPC files to a friend's computer, we'll have to start by hunting software that supports it, since chances are nearly 100% that his software won't. If I take MP3s, chances are nearly 100% that we'll start enjoying music right away.


Yes, good point. MPC is not supported by a lot of PC software. Vorbis however, is,

AOL claimed Winamp had over 57 million monthly unique users in 2006... that's A LOT of users, and Winamp has supported vorbis for a long time now.

And then you have VLC, media player classic and ffdshow. They all support vorbis and anyone I meat who's into downloading videos regularly tends to have at least one of these installed... they have tens of millions of users.

And then you have the open source community. There are tens of millions of machines based on Linux and BSDs and you know what, unless they're running server-only stuff the vast majority of them will have support for vorbis.

I'm pulling this out of my arse of course but let's say 100 million users can play vorbis without having to download anything additional... that's a very serious amount of native player support if you ask me! A lot more than you would expect judging by how many actually use vorbis but that's the benefit of having geeks supporting you... vorbis is the "lovechild" of very many geeks (especially in the open source community) and that means it won't be dying anytime soon. Even if something much better comes along/exists, many will keep using it on principle alone. That's some powerful mojo! It even enjoys some support in the video game and portable market.

Contrast that with MPC, which was only ever loved by the audiophile. When it comes to resilience, it is unfair to compare vorbis to MPC IMO. Vorbis is in a different type of boat altogether.

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pepoluan
post May 16 2007, 08:49
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QUOTE (sonytp50 @ May 9 2007, 14:09) *
QUOTE
If your target audience is the techies that care about recording tape and VHS: then, you are preaching for the converted, as these people might have at least a small idea about vorbis.
I think I belong to this group, but you couldn't call me converted. I'm more like aware of Ogg, but hesitant. I've been watching the format for years to see if something arrives that convinces me to start direct-to-Ogg recordings. Who else but the "techies" should invest their time into creating Ogg files anyway?
Well, my PDA-carrying friends -- who are non-techie, just mere users -- are now busy transcoding MP3s into Ogg Vorbises so that they can fit more albums into their PDAs (to be played by the nice GSPlayer).

But this is not the norm, I know, it happened because there's a Vorbis zealot among them (i.e. me) smile.gif


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pepoluan
post May 19 2007, 06:36
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This thread is rapidly converging with another thread, starting this posting.


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aabxx
post Jun 1 2007, 21:53
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QUOTE (Mercurio @ Apr 28 2007, 03:08) *
And since the OSS world is quite healthy these days, Vorbis will not have any problem to survive in the foreseeable future, if it will remain open and if it will remain the (technologically) best open format: it doesn't need to be widely used.
The oss world doesn't follow strictly the rules of the market, it usually chooses simply the best open solution.


Yes.

The thing about many OSS geeks is that they don't mind much the fact that AAC will have vastly superior support or if it is, or turns out to be, better in one area or another compared to vorbis. They won't compain as long as vorbis is very good, free and open.

And as you said they don't strictly follow the rules of the market, many of them couldn't care less if vorbis is widely used by Joe Public or not. Remember, a lot of the stuff they use on their computer is already not widely used...

Hmmm, am I just repeating what you just said? Hehe.

Anyway, I agree that the OSS world alone is more than enough to keep vorbis alive and healthy. Vorbis does not in any way depend on becoming BIG in the "general world".

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hybridfan
post Jul 11 2007, 11:57
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"Ogg is still a long way behind other formats I left out, such as Real Audio and Sony's Atrac."

What a joke laugh.gif


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