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Real Will Include Ogg Vorbis Support 328

Posted by michael
from the sounds-good-to-me dept.
Skuto writes "Following the example of AOL with Winamp, RealNetworks has decided to give Ogg Vorbis their sign of approval and will be including support into their player software. The press release has more information. Meanwhile, independent listening tests are being set up to determine how well Vorbis fares against its competitors WMA, AAC and MP3Pro. You can help by signing up for the tests here." A couple of comments (1, 2) in our previous story provide the best description of what Real is doing, if you missed them.
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Real Will Include Ogg Vorbis Support

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  • by mmurphy_helix (594992) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @04:35PM (#3947485) Homepage
    RealNetworks will be releasing the Helix DNA client software as open source in 88 days. This represents a media engine that can be used to build streaming media players. Today's announcement means that Ogg Vorbis support should be ready in time for RealNetworks' own open source release. For more details, visit the Helix Web site [helixcommunity.org]! We're interested in collecting input on Helix and what we can do to work better with the open source community.
  • by FatRatBastard (7583) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @04:35PM (#3947491) Homepage
    mp3 is alredy the defacto standard for cd-ripping. Support for Ogg is just too late to matter to anyone except for geeks on this site.

    Nope, software developers as well, esp. game developers. You have to pay scratch if your compressed audio is MP3 (good old Thompson Multimedia want their cut), so OGG actually does pretty well in that niche.
  • by paul248 (536459) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @04:38PM (#3947518) Homepage
    I sent an email to SonicBlue asking if they were planning on adding support for ogg vorbis on the RioVolt SP250 via a firmware update. I received the following response:

    Dear Valued Customer,
    Nothing in the works yet. Maybe in the future.

    Looks like I won't have portable oggs for a while.
  • by philkerr (180450) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @04:42PM (#3947535) Homepage
    Ok, blatant karma whoring but it was on the to-do list :)

    I'm in the process of updating the MP3 and OGG HOWTO as it's been a year since it was last updated (just read the threat link, I left in Feb.).

    http://www.mp3-howto.com [mp3-howto.com]

    Drop me a line with suggestions and comments.

    Cheers

    Phil

  • While Ogg Vorbis has a few technical advantages (better tagging, more advanced streaming) over mp3, there isn't a compelling reason for the end-user to switch, as many posters have already noted.

    Why should users switch when mp3 technology is practically free and ubiquitous? MP3 software is cheap/free, and MP3 hardware's pretty affordable.

    Still, if you want to release an mp3 playback/encoding device, you've got to pay Fraunhofer a licensing fee. Currently this doesn't cost a lot.

    But what if Fraunhofer is keeping the licensing fee low for now, in order to stimulate demand and ubiquity of the format, and decides to jack up the prices later once the market is (relatively) dependant on mp3's?

    You know this could happen... we've seen similar examples in the JPG and GIF cases. (slightly different strategy, but same aim... let people become dependant for free/cheap, then jack up the cost once they have no alternative)

    In the end, the main benefit of OGg Vorbis might be keeping mp3's cheap. If device/software manufacturers hedge their bets now and include Ogg Vorbis support in everything, Fraunhofer will be much less likely to try and exert a stranglehold on the market later... since they'll know there's already a free and slightly superior alternative to mp3's waiting in the wings.
  • by Matty_ (74368) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:11PM (#3947698)

    Don't use that link, please. Here is one that is specific to iTunes.

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunes.html [apple.com]

  • by GarfBond (565331) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:13PM (#3947711)
    Sonicblue licensed the RioVolt design from iRiver [iriver.com] for models SP-90, 100, and 250 (Don't believe me? Go to the link and look for the iMP-100 and 250 and look at the pictures. SP-90 is just a stripped down 100)

    In theory, all the iRiver and Riovolt players can be upgraded for Ogg support because of the flash firmware available on the players. One thing to note is that iRiver usually releases firmware much more frequently and much earlier than Rio does, so official Rio fw updates containing ogg might take even longer to release. However, rumor has it that iRiver is having trouble implementing Ogg support. Two reasons I've heard on the mp3.com message boards [mp3.com] is that there's some floating point calculations involved or that they've run into legal troubles releasing the firmware [mp3.com] (look for the reply by CrashWire). The first reason is plausible, although I don't know if that's the real reason. Can someone tell me if Ogg actually does go through some floating point calcs? The second reason sounds really really really doubtful since legal troubles is precisely what Ogg is trying to avoid.

  • by rgmoore (133276) <glandauer@charter.net> on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:13PM (#3947712) Homepage
    mp3 is alredy the defacto standard for cd-ripping. Support for Ogg is just too late to matter to anyone except for geeks on this site.

    And if CD ripping were the only function of compressed audio, you might have a point. But Vorbis has some genuine, big advantages for streaming audio. A single file, for instance, can be streamed at different bitrates without modification, so you can easily adjust the rate to each user according to his connection speed. There's also no licensing fee, which might be enough to make the difference between being profitable or not to the streaming company. And, of course, Vorbis is supposed to give better sound quality at a given bitrate, so more connections can be supported for a given bandwidth.

    As long as a format gives advantages for the producer or distributor of files, there will be a reason for files to be generated in that format. Now that the biggest obstacle to using Vorbis- the lack of ubiquitous players- has been eliminated, those producers and distributors can start taking advantage. It doesn't matter whether Joe User understands why he should want to switch to Vorbis if the people who are generating the files he listens to have already made the decision for him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:14PM (#3947720)
    ogg vorbis is, for me, doing extremely well. I would put it as the overall winner at 64kbps no doubt. Number two would be mp3 pro, number 4 aac and wma. The aac-implementation (quicktime) is suboptimal though, so I won't be too hard on it, because per now it sucks. WMA does good on some clips, but on others it COMPLETELY fucks up. Vorbis is stable at 64kbps, and topped my results several times.

    I have also tried lame mp3 at 64 kbps versus vorbis at same bitrate.. to say it simple.. regular mp3 at 64 kbs sucks VERY much.. and mp3 pro doesn't really have much support..

    so very good quality at low bitrates and no patents and stuff makes it IDEAL for broadcasting internet radio..

    otherwise, I would say a 96 kbps ogg vorbis (quality-mode) is just as at least as good as a 112 cbr lame mp3.

    Ogg vorbis also has one kickass feature verY useful for portable use: bitrate peeling. Create a 192 kickass ogg.. later, when you want to use a portable, peel the bitrate down to say 64kbps, without having to transcode! This means, you will get the same quality as you had gotten from converting the uncompressed wav directly to 64 kbps..

    patentfree, open source, support for many sample rates and channels.. modern and flexible.. great quality.. bitrate peeling..
    flexible tagging.. I mean, you can't really expect anything more from it, and in an ideal world it WOULD become the standard for audio compression.
  • by pmcneill (146350) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:25PM (#3947777)
    Actually, this is not the case. DVD players decode MPEG2. MP3 is part of MPEG1 (MPEG1 Audio Layer 3), and thus not needed by a DVD player. The only reason it's being added so cheaply is there are cheap complete solutions to add MP3 cd playback.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:33PM (#3947826)
    What are you talking about? GIFs are not lossy, and JPG files are always much smaller than PNGs for photographic-type stuff. Get your facts straight.
  • by ironhide (803) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:33PM (#3947827) Journal
    I play oggs on my jornada with the latest pocketdivx. You should try the movie clips at pocketmatrix also, ofcourse you can also capture your own tv-programs to watch them on the road.
  • by RadioheadKid (461411) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @05:43PM (#3947878)
    Get your windows media support right here [everwicked.com].

  • by pricedl (47059) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @06:24PM (#3948056)
    Actually, this is not the case. DVD players decode MPEG2. MP3 is part of MPEG1 (MPEG1 Audio Layer 3), and thus not needed by a DVD player.
    Most DVD players, including my cheap-o one, also decode MPEG1. Ever heard of VCD?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @06:51PM (#3948214)
    bitrate peeling is not a current feature

    but I hope they git going on it after a much needed break
  • Real spyware (Score:4, Informative)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Wednesday July 24, 2002 @10:21PM (#3949193) Homepage Journal
    If your using windows, and you want to disable real spyware, this is how you do it. Ever wonder why real player gives you updates when you tell it not to run on startup?

    Registry Key Location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\W indows\Curr entVersion\Run
    Key Name: TkBellExe
    Value: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update_OB\evntsvc.exe -osboot

    delete evntsvc.exe, everything will still function fine.
  • by jonathan_ingram (30440) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @12:36AM (#3949590) Homepage
    There is already some maintainance work going on with the VP3 code, but you are right - converting the code over to use the Ogg framework will take a little time.

    The projected timeframe at the moment is to have everything ready by next summer.

    Writing a Vorbis plugin for Real will not serious impact this work ... it's not particularly hard to write a plugin :)
  • by jonathan_ingram (30440) on Thursday July 25, 2002 @12:38AM (#3949604) Homepage
    What makes you REALLY think ogg is patent-free?

    Two seperate patent searches: one paid for by Xiph itself, and another paid for by AOL which had to pass before they would allow the Vorbis encoder/decoder into Winamp.

"Out of register space (ugh)" -- vi

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