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New Open Video Codec From Xiph/On2 232

xercist writes: "Xiph.org, the bringers of the mighty Vorbis codec, have done it again. The patents on On2's VP3 video codec have been effectively neutered, and it is being released under the BSD license for all to enjoy. The combination of VP3 video and Vorbis audio (in an OGG bitstream, of course) will be called Theora, and will soon take over the world. The ETA to a 1.0 release is approximately one year. You can also read an interview with Emmett Plant (Xiph CEO) here. The official press release will be up tomorrow, so don't complain about lack of mention on xiph.org just yet."
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New Open Video Codec From Xiph/On2

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  • by Savatte ( 111615 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @07:52PM (#3754454) Homepage Journal
    It's an uphill battle, that's for sure, and the DivX team is sure to come up with new features in a year. But does this open codec have a chance to overtake DivX? This could be another mp3/ogg debate, but more choices in video codecs is always better.
    • "But does this open codec have a chance to overtake DivX?"

      That depends on if they can keep the secret sauce away from DivX.

      Is it possible under the BSD license they mentioned that they can keep the algorithms secret? *Interested in learning more about the BSD license.*
      • Is it possible under the BSD license they mentioned that they can keep the algorithms secret?

        In a word, no. The Xfree project's license [xfree86.org] is a good example of a modern "BSD license".

        Note that you can incorporate portions of the code into your proprietary product, which doesn't have to be released under the same license, and that you don't have to provide source. As far as the recipient of the software is concerned (who might go on to use sections of it in their own proprietary products), it is more liberal than the GPL.

        Don't get confused, though, the developers, Xiph, still provide full source and thus the algorithms are completely public.

        The reason the BSD license is chosen for this project is presumably the same reason the Vorbis libraries are BSD-licensed - so that VP3 support can be incorporated into proprietary software, which as I have posted elsewhere in this discussion is IMHO a good thing.

    • by xeromist ( 443780 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:37PM (#3754661)
      I think it is very possible. The reason ogg really hasn't taken a significant portion of the market away from mp3 is that mp3 is so well established. It is so quick and easy to make an mp3. It's very easy to come by software for making mp3s and you can rip and encode an entire album in less time than it takes to play it. Anyone can do it.

      By comparison, DivX is widely used, but _not_ established. Here's why:
      There are far fewer people making DivX movies than mp3s;
      The software is slightly more difficult to come by;
      Ripping takes longer because most DVD drives are slower than CD;
      The raw video takes a lot of disk space;
      Encoding takes a VERY long time compared to mp3.

      Overall this means that those making DivX tend to be a few savvy users and it will be easy for those users to switch to a new standard. So that being the case it will only take a few people changing over to a new standard to affect a change. Of course these people will have to see that Xiph/On2's way of doing things is better, but if Xiph/On2 can prove that, I'd say they have a very good chance.

      • You left out the biggest issue, at least to my mind: Codec Confusion.

        Do you use the old DiVX 3.11 alpha?

        The divx.com releases, some of which you have to pay for?

        Angel Potion codec?

        And, if you read the boards, there is constant argument about which codec is better. "DivX.com is slower than 3.11a." Etc. Who the hell knows the truth?

        In the end, it means you download a DiVX .avi file and half the time it doesn't seem to play, at least until you have done all the web searching to get all the codecs. I barely have time to watch clips much less hunt for codecs.
      • all of blizzards games from war3 on use divx, its not just for dvd ripping...it would be easy to put all your home movies into divx format.
      • close but no cigar...

        Mp3 is the de-facto standard because of one reason... hardware compatability.

        I have 2 portable mp3 players, my daughter has a boom-box that play's mp3's, both car's play mp3's from the deck, and the audiotrons in the house play them.

        This is why mp3's are a standard.. Ripping a good mp3 is damned hard. you have to use really high quality encoders (lame is the ONLY one right now) know how to configure the settings, know how to configure a good normalizer that wont step on the vocalists nuts, and fix and problems in the raw cd audio.. (EAC+Lame= the best windows ripper, Grip+lame is it for linux!) this is why most mp3's on gnutella,imesh,open nap servers suck horribly.

        mp3 wins because there is consumer hardware support, and more coming every day.... hell there is a simple chip that decode's and play's mp3's without effort.. a 1-st year electronics student can wire one up to a parallel port and play mp3's with near zero processor load on a 386...

        if you could get Ogg on all these devices it would have taken off.. but it doesnt, and will not ever exist. so Ogg will stay as a footnote and fringe use only.

        get Kenwood to make a car stereo that play's Ogg's and you have a chance..

        • I don't think I agree.

          For one thing, MP3 hardware came along fairly late in the game. I mean, what company in their right mind is going to develop hardware for a codec that isn't yet a de facto standard. Answer: none. MP3 players like the Rio came along well after everyone was already using MP3. The MP3-playing boomboxes and car stereos have only been around for the past couple of years, while I clearly remember swapping MP3s on FTP sites in '96. (And I am by no means an early adopter.)

          As far as audio quality goes, I am not a fan of MP3 or any other lossless codec for that matter. I've been using an analog sythesizer program called ReBirth [propellerheads.se]. Some of the songs you can download and play on this synth are just awesome. I decided I'd like to save some of the songs to MP3 but on the first run, the file sounded like absolute shit.

          So I thought to myself, okay I'll get LAME. I read some webpages about options to LAME that will supposedly give you a "CD-quality MP3". Tried those options and the MP3 still sounded like shit. Even at the highest frequency and bitrate, MP3 was not up to the challenge of encoding a complex mix of analog waveforms and drum machine samples.

          Next I decided to try Ogg. Slashbots seem to like it, but when I went looking for the actual software all I could find were a binary Win32 encoder and Winamp plugin. So much for being a great open standard. Maybe people aren't using it because there isn't any software available for it...

          My last resort was some kind of lossless audio compression being developed in Linux. Can't remember the name. It took an eon to encode an 11-minute song and only resulted in about 40% compression. That's better than what bzip2 would give, but still too high to keep around on a hard disk.

          I ended up burning the ReBirth songs to CD. They sound great.
    • I'd say it's got at least a fighting chance. I think enough people were annoyed by the DivX 5.x encoding software no longer being freeware in it's full featured version that there's been increased interest in xvid lately. And that might easily move over to interest in Theora as well.

      The name recognition of divX could go for them either way I think. To this day, when talking to non tech people if I mention divX they think I'm talking about the dvd format at first. Heavy computer users might recognize DivX as simply being a video codec usable for anything wmv or real could be used for, but the average user tends to either think of it as Circuit City's failed product, or an evil hacker way to steal money from the movie industry, stolen from Microsoft. Theora will lack the automatic user base a divX release will have, but it might have an easier time gaining a foothold commercially.
  • How exactly... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ... do you "neuter" a patent?
  • Approximately how long until there's a windows version of a player, and some demos to check out? It'll be interesting to see how well the quality turns out once the algorithm is put into action.

    :^)

    Ryan Fenton
  • VP3 and quality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vardamir ( 266484 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @07:57PM (#3754474)
    Does anyone know how vp3 compares to other codecs that are already here or emerging, namely MPEG3 and DivX? Ogg is obviously making headway in the technical area of being the best lossy audio codec, and if vp3 can do the same, then hopefully this will give Free Software an edge in the media areas.

    One problem here though; I suggest someone adapt the VP3 code to a GPL license, ortherwise Microsoft, Apple, or any other company could simply take VP3 and make it Free Software's worst enemy by not releasing specs on the derivative audio codec. Observe: we are just now beginning to see Sorenson codecs that are open source.
    • Re:VP3 and quality (Score:4, Informative)

      by Webmonger ( 24302 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:10PM (#3754531) Homepage
      Usually, I'm a GPL supporter, but I can understand the reasoning behind using BSD here.

      They're trying to establish a new video standard, which isn't easy. So they want to encourage the maximum number of developers to participate. A BSD license will do that.

      It's questionable whether someone would spend the effort to take the codec, improve it significantly, and make it proprietary. In any case, such a proprietary version would probably not catch on.

      Remember, there are no effective patents in this case, so the Sorenson problem would seem not to apply.

      And Xiph now has a track record of actually maintaining their code, making it better, not pulling funny tricks.

      Oh, I (or you) can make this new code GPL today. Just download it, change the license at the top, and post it. But what would be the point of that? There'd still be the BSD version, and it would be better-maintained.
      • when they are trying to establish a new free format in competition with existing formats, they use licenses with fewer restrictions.

        Examples: libz, the compression format use by gzip and png, which were up against compress and gif. Guile, the GNU scripting and extension language, which were up against TCL.
        .
    • It needs work, but I believe with time, Theora will begin to kick mpeg-4's ass all around - in video quality as well as audio quality (with vorbis, it obviously already does win in audio quality).

      As far as licensing - no, it's been BSD'ed and there's no turning back. Vorbis is also BSD'ed and so far there have been no problems with evil companies stealing it and trying to close everything up.


      Ogg is obviously making headway in the technical area of being the best lossy audio codec


      I think you mean vorbis :)
      *sigh* everyone seems to be so easily confused by these.
      • I don't want to be down on Vorbis, it's much better than MP3 and it's patent free, but it certainly doesn't kick AAC's ass; AAC can go around 30% smaller than a Vorbis file with the same quality. (based on qualatitive evaluation of things I've encoded; I can get a 128k Vorbis to sound as good as a 196k MP3, whereas I can get a 96k AAC to sound as good as the 196k MP3, if not better.)
    • Unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Goonie ( 8651 ) <.robert.merkel. .at. .benambra.org.> on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:18PM (#3754582) Homepage
      Microsoft and Apple already have plenty of proprietary video and audio codecs, some of which are de facto standards, so if they incorporate an incompatible hack of "VP3" that's bad luck, but doesn't actually makes things any worse.

      If it's GPL'd, the above isn't possible. However, it's also much more difficult to incorporate unhacked VP3 support into their players and encoders, because they have to write their own code rather than just using the available library. That is bad, because we (the free software using community) *want* them to add VP3 support to their proprietary players. Let me repeat that - VP3 support in proprietary software is a good thing.

      Why, you may ask? Because if it is available in the software that everybody uses (which, sadly, at this point is still proprietary software), it might become a de facto standard, become the standard format web video clips, for instance, are encoded in, and thus free software users are no longer second-class citizens when it comes to video codecs. Additionally, it makes the ultimate migration of Windows users over to free desktops that much easier.

      I believe even RMS has agreed, on occasion, that the BSD license can be appropriate if it helps free file formats become the standard.

      • Re:Unlikely (Score:2, Interesting)

        by alfaiomega ( 585948 )

        If it's GPL'd, the above isn't possible. However, it's also much more difficult to incorporate unhacked VP3 support into their players and encoders, because they have to write their own code rather than just using the available library.

        What about the LGPL [gnu.org], The GNU Lesser General Public License? I'm not trolling, I would really like to know the disadvantages of releasing Ogg libraries under the LGPL. I thought that the LGPL would be ideal for such things like Ogg Vorbis and other Ogg libs (like it is for SDL which is used by lots of proprietary projects, for example) and I'm curious why BSD/X11 type licence was chosen over the LGPL.

        • Embedded devices often use the equivalent of statically-linked binaries, i.e. ROM images. The LGPL requires that you allow the user to swap out the LGPL'ed part [of a larger proprietary solution] as desired. If you distribute software which is inseparable (to the user) from LGPL'ed code, then the entirety of that software must itself be under the (L)GPL---which would allow any user with a binary to ask for source to your stuff.

          The BSD/X11 licenses, since they allow outright proprietarization of their covered code, naturally don't present this difficulty. (FYI, the SDL is well-served by the LGPL as---to my knowledge---the project is not targetting the kind of embedded systems where this would come up.)
    • The GPL would be counterproductive to this new video codec just as it was to the Ogg Vorbis sound codec. They want to make it a standard and do a good job of it, not produce the codec and get only projects producing open source players to use it.
    • Re:VP3 and quality (Score:5, Informative)

      by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @09:05PM (#3754745)
      I've used VP3 quite a bit, since DivX hasn't released a mac encoder yet. In my tests (recording on a Tibook G4 667) it encodes more slowly than Sorenson 3 or Apple's Mpeg4 codec, but the quality is very comparable, even better in high-motion scenes.

      Mpeg4 and Sorenson 3, even at bit rates nearly half those of an Mpeg-2 DVD stream, still produce pixellation artifacts in very high-motion scenes. VP3, at any bitrate over 30Kps, does not. While it is not as sharp as the other codecs at high bit rates, I found it to be very superior at lower ones.

      My only complaint is that, for some reason, any movie encoded at full size (640 by 480) would, not matter what the bitrate, barely play back at all. even though full 30 fps video plays back without difficulty on my G4. It wasn't a case of a few dropped frames, but a total stall down to 4 fps.

      Anyway, for high-quality, low-bitrate video, it's the best codec I've had the opportunity to use personally in terms of quality and playback/ kbps. I'm sure that the newest DivX surpasses it, but I won't be able to play around with that codec until they release a mac encoder. VP3's quality is comparable to the DivX movies I have downloaded, though.

      With some development, it could be a very competitive offering.
    • Re:VP3 and quality (Score:2, Informative)

      by snol ( 175626 )
      As far as video quality, vp3 is a good bit behind the better mpeg4 variants such as divx and xvid according to this codec comparison [doom9.org], and this [doom9.org] one also seems to be saying that vp4 isn't up to their level either. Both articles are focused on dvd-ripping, which involves resolutions typically from 400 to 700 (horizontal) at around 0.15 to 0.4 bits per pixel, so as to fit an hour-plus movie onto a 700mb cdr at a decent resolution. If vp3 and vp4 weren't designed to be optimal in these ranges then the comparison might be fair, but in general it seems like mpeg4 is the better bet if any halfway decent bitrate (500+ kilobits per second) is available. Of course, the patent-free nature of the xiph codec is what'll be attractive about it.
    • by benwaggoner ( 513209 ) <ben.waggoner @ m i c r o s o f t .com> on Sunday June 23, 2002 @11:53PM (#3755321) Homepage
      There was no MPEG-3. That was the working name for the original high definition MPEG format. However, they decided that they could implement HD with extensions to MPEG-2. Thus, MPEG-2 is used in HDTV, and there is no MPEG-3.

      MPEG-4 is the new video/audio/streaming/etcetera standard.

      http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/standards/mpeg- 4/ mpeg-4.htm

      There are no MPEG-5 or MPEG-6

      MPEG-7 is a forthcoming media metadata format. It doesn't include video compression technology. You'd still use MPEG-4 codecs within MPEG-7, or even use non MPEG codecs.

      (The official link is broken right now)

      No MPEG-8 through MPEG-20, at least not yet.

      MPEG-21 is a multimedia authoring and delivery format. It's in very early stages, but think more like a competitor to Flash MX, writ large. We're some years from seeing products based on it.

      http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/standards/mpeg- 21 / peg-21.htm
  • Theora? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpamJunkie ( 557825 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @07:59PM (#3754480)
    Xiph needs to realise they don't know how to name things. A good name is part of marketting. It doesn't matter if you and all your geek buddies can talk about Ogg Vorbis without feeling akward if all the other kids think it sounds like Klingon. Is it any surprise DivX is so widely used when the name was basically stolen off a product that had commercial marketting?

    VP3 is a great name. Most people can even imagine what it stands for - video mp3 - which they would be very comfortable talking about. Why change it?
    • Re:Theora? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xercist ( 161422 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:02PM (#3754491) Homepage
      Like all Xiph projects such as Vorbis or Tarkin, Theora is named after a fictional character. Theora Jones was the name of Edison Carter's 'controller' on the television series Max Headroom. She was played by Amanda Pays.
      • The orignal poster's comment still stands: They do a horrable job naming their products. You have no idea how many of my firends have thought I was joking when I told them I was making Ogg files.

        Remember, most of the world is not made of geeks.
      • I know Tarkin was from Star Wars, but who was Vorbis then ?

      • by akb ( 39826 )
        Tarkin was the name of one of the early kings of Rome, so its not fictional.
    • Oh, come on, Xiph is great at marketing! I mean, how could you forget Moaning Goat Meter [xiph.org]?
    • At least Theora is pronouncable, instead of just a mix of letters and numbers. I don't think there's anything inherently cool sounding to the name MP3. The cool factor got associated with it after people found out about them.
  • will we trade .vp3 instead of .mp3?
    • No. the bistream is OGG. vp3 is just the video codec, and vorbis just the audio. The correct extention for the files will be the same as plain vorbis -- .ogg
  • Porn films (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rodgerd ( 402 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:01PM (#3754489) Homepage
    We all know that porn site's choice of encoders dictates the success of media formats!
    • Bah, shows how much you know. What happened to Vivo? it was the favorite of the porn formats, and is now gone. (Most of slashdot will cheer along with me, that this horible format is gone)
    • Re:Porn films (Score:5, Interesting)

      by brooks_talley ( 86840 ) <brooksNO@SPAMfrnk.com> on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:31PM (#3754635) Journal
      Porn sites' choices of video codecs are based more on installed base and ease of use than technical merit or licensing costs (remember, a decent porn site is profitable and can afford to spend money to make money). Far better to pay for a solution that your clients will be able to use than try to get away with a free solution that will do nothing but cause support headaches and (the bane of adult sites) chargebacks from dissatisfied customers.

      Anything that involves a download and/or installation is bad news. People don't trust downloads from porn sites (though, to the best of my knowledge, there's never been a case where a porn site used a download for nefarious purposes). Beyond that, as we all know, some percentage of installations fail for one reason or another. If you have to supply even a link to a third party download, people will blame you if it doesn't work.

      For these reasons, Windows Media is clearly winning the battle for porn site content, measured by new clips produced.

      Real probably still has an overall lead in clips available for legacy reasons, but nobody is producing new porn in Real format. It comes back to support and chargebacks: Real tries so hard to trick people into the "free 14 day trial, $9.95/month" player that it generates no end of customer support headaches ("You said if I paid $29.95 a month I'd get free video... and now I have to pay another $9.95 a month for the player! You bastard porn sites are all the same! Lying, cheating scum! Why can't you operate like normal, ethical businesses?").

      Not that I'd know anything about that industry.

      Cheers
      -b
      • Re:Porn films (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You mean like that program that people downloaded that dialed a foreign country and ran up huge phones bills for them? All for the sake of "free porn?"
      • remember, a decent porn site is profitable and can afford to spend money to make money) [Emphasis added]

        Now that's an oxymoron if I've ever read one!

        • Oh, come off it. There are plenty of decent porn sites. Like most industries that have bad reputations, it's the small number of sleazy ones that give the industry a bad name.

          A good place to look for respectable porn sites is: www.janesguide.com [janesguide.com]. (I have no affiliation with Jane's Guide)

          Cheers -b
      • People don't trust downloads from porn sites (though, to the best of my knowledge, there's never been a case where a porn site used a download for nefarious purposes).

        I remember reading about the old trick where a porn site would ask you to download a special image viewer (for enhanced 'viewing'), which would then turn off the sound on your modem, disconnect, and then reconnect to the Internet via a premium rate line in Hong Kong. People got scammed significant amounts of money afaicr.

        Phillip.
    • For streaming video, there needs to be a way (either from the server or the client end) to tell the 'puter which is more important to the currently playing file, the audio layer or the video layer.

      For pr0n, I don't care how much the audio flakes out, I want the video as good as possible.

      But if I'm watching a stream of Prez GWBush, the video is basically wasting my bandwidth and CPU cycles. I want the audio, damn it. The vid can take a back seat.

  • With the majority of people still using Windows, the DOJ having sold out to Microsoft, allowing them to continue to bundle Windows Media Player with Windows, and the remaining states' lawsuit still a way off from achieving any real results, so it seems, it seems hard for any other media suite to gain mainstream acceptance as a standard. Even if the states get Media Player out of new WinXP releases, there are still many, many people with Media Player on their computers, many of whom don't care enough to download another program. It looks like it's going to be an uphill battle...
    • If they make a windows codec version available it will run just fine with media player, just like how divx does.
    • Well, the idea is that eventually Media Player will have support for all these great Xiph codecs, just like it now has support for DivX.
    • Well, only if you insist on installing your own alternative player. Why not just a codec plugin for WMP? And one for that RealOne monstrosity? Its pretty simple-ish to do.

      I imagine all compiled up and packaged right the download would be just a few hundred thousands byes, perhaps a minute or two on a typical connection.

      Really not an uphill battle, especially if people start encoding with it (people use whatever is needed to view the content they want).
  • excellent! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bobzibub ( 20561 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:06PM (#3754513)
    What the headline implies is that On2 is not helping out. This is incorrect.

    "On2 will sponsor work done by the Xiph.org Foundation to combine those projects, plus On2's already open-sourced VpVision personal video recorder, into a product they believe will provide serious, free competition to the increasingly expensive MPEG-4 royalty fees." --from NewsForge

    Hats off to On2!
    -b


    PS. Currently listening to Oggs and ripping them too. tres nice.
  • and will soon take over the world.

    I don't mean to be negative but....how many people download oggs? or use oggs in their RIO's?

  • Just a note... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jmd! ( 111669 ) <jmd@po[ ].com ['box' in gap]> on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:12PM (#3754542) Homepage
    Before anyone praises "On2 Technologies" too much, you should be aware of their product line. VP3 is their old leftovers. They've since improved it and release VP4, and recently made more improvments and released the VP5 codec. They've been giving VP3 away for some time, as more of a demo of what their newer technologies can do better.

    While it's better then nothing, (we certainly need an open video codec), but On2 isn't exactly fully on the Open Source wagon.

    Just a few facts for those who didn't and won't bother to read the background and articles.
  • by MisterBlister ( 539957 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @08:12PM (#3754547) Homepage
    This will take over the world?

    Sort of how OGG took over the MP3 world? Not likely. Its nice to have an optional patent-unencumbered method for video & audio sharing, but anyone who thinks this will be anything more than a tiny niche product living in the shadow of MPEG4/WMV really needs to get out of his mom's basement more.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You fool. Mom's basement is where everything important is. Ogg did take over the world; all the music I listen to is decoded from Ogg.

      If you don't think Ogg took over the world, it is probably because you are a follower.

    • Sort of how OGG took over the MP3 world?

      Yeah, all those people blatently breaking copyright laws trading MP3s are really going to be upset about breaking patent laws...
    • OGG has taken over a ton of MP3 markets. The most obvious is music / audio included with a ton of games.
  • from the requirements page:
    Microsoft Windows ® NT, 2000, XP
    Pentium III 800 Mhz recommended
    20 GB system drive
    256 MB RAM
    A/V rated hard disk (able to sustain at least 20 Megabyte data throughput, using a stripe or raid) - disk size depends on how much uncompressed video storage you need. Preferably a separate drive from system drive.
    64 bit PCI slot
    ViewGraphics VideoPump 701 capture card with SDI input
    Graphics card - at least 16-bit
    Sound card with either speakers or headphones
    Serial port for attaching hardware key

    --
    who has a 64 bit pci slot in a home pc, much less a hard drive that's a/v quality
    the quality looks better then divx but if most people cant even use the encoder I do not see it lasting long
    • was looking at the page for VP5
      never mind
      nothing more to see here
    • Heh.

      Those 386s are too expensive. I can only see them being used for servers.

      Doom requires more CPU than anyone has.

      Color video hardware is too expensive. Besides, everyone knows that monochrome monitors are clearer.

      4 gigabyte limit!? Hah! Like anyone will ever buy a hard disk that big!

      The Genesis sequence looks pretty cool, but you can only make stuff like that on multimillion dollar machines.

      Home networking? Get real. These 3Com cards cost $300 apiece, and most home people don't know how to lay out RG58AU cable anyway. You should see how this one numbskull hooked up his terminator. Home networking, no way.

      640k should be enough for anyone.
    • "Serial port for attaching hardware key"!?!?!?

      Images of an open source 'build your own dongle' electronics project.... ;)
  • The ETA to a 1.0 release is approximately one year.

    Unfortunately, I find this a little optimistic. I've been waiting on Icecast 2 with Vorbis streaming for a long time, and I'm still waiting. (Redirect "build from CVS" replies to /dev/null)

    It's my experience that you have to be able to serve/stream this stuff for it to really take off. Sure you can download your pr0n AVIs, MPEGs, ASFs, and WMVs, but where the Ogg and open source movement can make headway is against the streaming servers, namely RealServer.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the end results will be good, but they, like most open source projects, will be slow to develop.

  • I'm still waiting for any audio codec that lets me encode more than 2 channels. I just read the Vorbis FAQ and can see nothing there. This could be one way that they could get an advantage over DIVX or MPEG-4... they could be the only file format to include options for, say, 6.1 discrete channels of downloadable, streamable, audio. More and more computers have surround sounds now. Thoughts?
  • by joe_bruin ( 266648 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @09:08PM (#3754768) Homepage Journal

    they havn't gotten around to polishing vorbis yet, where do they get the time to work on a video codec? will this be the same maneuver as the ogg format?

    "look, it's free and open. well, unless you want the specs, which don't exist, so you have to use our source. want an integerized implementation (for your rio)? well, since you don't have the specs, we'll be glad to sell you one."

    this is why ogg is not in hardware yet. this is why there arn't alternate implementations (LAME ogg, anyone?).

    i'd love to see a free, open video codec. mpeg royalties suck ass. but my patience with xiph is running short.

    eat more chicken!

  • Oh, great. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WasterDave ( 20047 ) <davep@@@zedkep...com> on Sunday June 23, 2002 @09:24PM (#3754835)
    So I take it they gave up on Tarkin then?

    FWIW there's a (getting old) codec comparison on Doom9 (http://www.doom9.org/codecs2.htm#test1). VP3 comes out *really* badly.

    Dave

    • Re:Oh, great. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by uhoreg ( 583723 )
      Nope. Read the interview. Just a bit above the middle of the page.
      • Ah yeah, right you are ... I should learn to read properly.

        But (putting my trolling hat on) doesn't the continued development of a "so bleeding edge it's off the knife" tarkin mean run contrary to Xiph's aim of establishing open source de-facto standards?

        Dave

    • Re:Oh, great. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Forkenhoppen ( 16574 )
      Is that a codec limitation, though, or is it an encoder problem? This, of course, is the big question, because if it's just the encoder, that can always be improved.
  • Wheels (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drdink ( 77 ) <smkelly+slashdot@zombie.org> on Sunday June 23, 2002 @09:37PM (#3754870) Homepage
    I hate to be the skeptic, but I think it is necessary. It seems to me that we have enough vidoe formats. We've got MPEG, AVI, QuickTime, RealVideo, DivX... This is just yet another codec that movie viewers have to implement. Grated, it is open sourced under the BSD license, but that is no excuse to reinvent wheels. The formats we have work great for me, and I dont see why I need yet another fancy video format on my hard disk. The failure of UNIX was the splintering of all the different variants. Now it seems no matter where one looks, one can see the splintering of all technology. Instead of unifying standards, everybody is out to make their own "standard" and push it on the rest of the world. This is something many people attribute to Microsoft, but at the same time there are people in the Open Source sector doing the exact same thing.
    • how short sighted. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 7-Vodka ( 195504 )
      Because there are enough video codecs to please YOU, other people should also be satisfied.
      • It isn't shortsighted. Microsoft's operating systems caught hold because people saw the UNIX world as fragmented. There were so many vendors and flavors, it wasn't clear which way was up and which was down. Microsoft brought a unified *single* solution, and to this day still have a great hold on the computing market. Now I'm starting to see the exact same thing happen with such things as video codecs. If you want to fight Hollywood and the MPAA, you don't do it by throwing lots of small rocks at them. You work together and make a single rock. DivX seemed like it was molding to be that rock, but now this. Are we going to start seeing dozens of formats for video? If so, then the game is up.
    • Re:Wheels (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CoughDropAddict ( 40792 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @10:36PM (#3755085) Homepage
      I hate to be the skeptic, but I think it is necessary. It seems to me that we have enough vidoe formats. We've got MPEG, AVI, QuickTime, RealVideo, DivX... This is just yet another codec that movie viewers have to implement. Grated, it is open sourced under the BSD license, but that is no excuse to reinvent wheels.

      You have no idea how wrong you are. If Microsoft has taught the world anything, it's that file formats are KING. Who controls the file format, controls the direction the technology goes.

      Of the codecs you mentioned, how many let you:
      • create your own movies without paying $BIG_COMPANY for patent and/or copyright licensing?
      • create your own movies on your non-Microsoft OS of choice (legally)
      • implement the codec without getting sued for patent infringement


      The companies who own these technologies are not only gatekeepers that require a toll to board the train, but their control of the technology (with the help of the DMCA and patent law) gives them the power to regulate how the technology is used. If they decide, say, to introduce REGION CODING into the format (not that any company would ever do something like that), the users have no recourse to work around it because it's illegal to decode the format without either using an approved player that enforces the rules or paying patent licensing fees (in which case it is probably against the terms of the license to circumvent the rules).

      It is immensely important to have open formats and codecs for media. Do you really trust your data to companies who have no regard for you? Every time you encode using a company's format, you are entrusting your data to them, that they will port their decoder to any future OS you decide to use (and that they will even EXIST that far into the future), and that they will be reasonable with the policy they build into the format. I don't know about you, but I have no intention of becoming Apple's hostage every time I dump the contents of a camcorder to disk.
  • Uh oh... (Score:2, Funny)

    by tangent3 ( 449222 )
    If anyone has any questions, give me a ring at 215-820-9583, or E-mail me at emmett@xiph.org.

    I hope this number has been ROT5ed or this is going to be the first case of phone-slashdotting we've seen.
    • Re:Uh oh... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by truefluke ( 91957 )
      IIRC, the first 'phone-slashdotting' issue (thanks to this site) we had happened a little over a year ago. It was National Discount Broker's phone number, and it involved a menu selection voice-mail like thingie.

      What was interesting about it, was option number '7' or '9' or something like that that let you hear a duck quack (it was really just someone blowing into a duck call into the phone).

  • by tangent3 ( 449222 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @10:10PM (#3754985)
    doom9 ran a comprehensive test [doom9.org] and VP3 didn't perform too well with it. A similar test with VP4 [doom9.org] didn't go well for On2 either. I think the main problem with the the On2 codec is the lack of good 2-pass VBR option. Perhaps now that VP3 has been opensourced we can see people working on that.

    Meanwhile, XviD [xvid.org] remains a good open-sourced video codec project to look at but much of the stuff is covered under MPEG4 patents so this project is pretty much like the LAME mp3 encoder. But at least currently I'm getting better quality encodes with XviD, while encoding the audio with Vorbis and mux [everwicked.com] ing [doom9.org] both streams into an Ogg container.
    • XviD not Open Source (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AirLace ( 86148 )
      I'd stay as far away from XviD from possible. It's not "open source," containing non-free proprietary code from the DivX project in addition to a few GPL'd snippets. AFAICT there are no XviD users in the real world but I've seen a few unsuspecting people fall for their "open source" trap on Slashdot so _make sure you read the license_.

      The really worrying thing is not so much that it's proprietary (there are many proprietary codecs out there), but that they incorrectly claim to be "open source", which is IMO disgusting.
    • I'm not big on Xvid myself.

      I'm a MS Winders guy and when I program it mostly in VB. [Please don't flame me for using MS products, it what works well in my niche.] I really don't like to have to go through and compile a bunch of C/C++ source code which is all that Xvid site gives you.

      Anyone providing Xvid binaries ussually uses a very propertary implimentation of the codec which ussually messes up all other MPEG-4/MPEG-4 like encoders.

      The encoding is perty fast but the frames are really soft. The loss of detail is very noticable. For now I'll have to stick with DIVX 4 or 5.
  • by obi ( 118631 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @10:31PM (#3755068)
    Alot of people have been saying there's already plenty of good usable video codecs out there...

    Too bad they don't seem to realize that the licenses for the patents involved are pretty stiff. (mpeg4's "pay as you stream", etc)

    We need something we can use freely - or only (employees of) big corporations will be able to create and publish video's. I don't want to be in a situation where individuals can't really afford to create content and publish it.

    That's why they felt the need to create ogg vorbis even though there were mp3's already. That's why we need Theora and Tarkin even though there's mpeg2/4, sorensen, MS corona etc.

    So, definately a good thing.

    As for VP3 being a "leftover" - well, that's being a bit ungrateful.

    - Opening the source, and neutering the patents allows people to learn from it, which is quite important since very few people have the expertise to contribute to a project like ogg vorbis or tarkin.
    - Why do you expect a company like on2 to give away their latest and greatest for free?
    - On top of it all, they doing more than just dumping their code. Their writing a spec (a hard job), funding a developer, and continuing to work on it from their side. Well, if that's not being opensource-friendly, then what is?

    Yes, opening up vp3 is a way of getting interest in their more advanced products. But what is wrong with that?

  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @11:05PM (#3755179) Homepage

    Finally! A formal statement that specs will finally be written for video+vorbis in .ogg

    From what little I've seen, VP3 is, overall, not as "good" as the various MPEG4 variants out now, but is a little better (in terms of quality and lack of "artifacts") than the "windows media" implementation [at least, from the one review I looked through].

    The important thing from my perspective is that VP3/Vorbis in Ogg will give us a completely "free" way to offer videos...which brings me to my point.

    There ARE some "public domain" videos out there. Not just obscure "indy" things but actual commercial movies, cartoons, shows, and so on that matured into the public domain when their owner didn't renew them (back when that was required).

    There's a whole mess of them available on LSVideo [lsvideo.com] (which appears to be undergoing a redesign, but offered and will apparently continue to offer a wide variety of public-domain [i.e. you can legally make copies for all of your friends if you want] videos) and RetroFilms [retrofilms.com]. Retrofilms even offers a number of Disney [retrofilm.com] (!) cartoons that slipped through their iron grasp into mature public-domain works. MOST of them are rather old, but many are well known (Metropolis [not the new Anime', the classic silent film], for example, and the classic "Nosferatu"...and, I believe, the insipid [in my opinion] but well known "It's a Wonderful Life".)And, of course, there's a whole mess of interesting and/or bizarre and/or educational things in the Prelinger Archives Movies Online [archive.org].

    So....as soon as encoding software becomes available [I suspect ffmpeg and/or MPlayer will be set up to handle it pretty quickly after the initial source code and specs become available, if their recent development speed is any indication] I plan to go through the surprising number of videos that I own that turn out to be Public Domain, encode them into "Theora"-type files, and try making them available peer-to-peer.

    At the very least, there are bound to be enough "oddball" videos available in the public domain that making them available in this format, combined with the fact that neither the "content" nor the file format, nor the video codec, nor the audio codec will be legally prohibited from distribution, they could easily become encountered often enough to promote the format to the point that, though it may never actually overtake proprietary formats, it'll pretty much "need" to be supported by any piece of multimedia software and playback unit that intends to bill itself as handling a lot of different formats...

    I yearn for the day when my DVD playback unit can handle "Theora" videos and "Ogg/Vorbis" sound in addition to the .mp3's it already does...

    Get cracking on that spec, Xiph!!!!!

    (P.S. - Are there already IRC channels devoted to serving legal, public-domain videos?...)

  • 10 Years After (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KillerKane ( 260666 )
    Isn't just Alvin Lee anymore. So we may finally have an OSS version of something that's been around for over a decade. Quicktime, I mean. Good, great. But in the real world, nobody cares. In the real world, first counts. First by ten years counts a lot. We'd all like to see OSS be a real contender, if for no other reason than to keep the big boys on their toes, but c'mon. If you think this means anything to anyone outside of a small circle of ubergeeks, you're kidding yourselves.

    Maybe it's just me, but I think OSS is never really going to matter until they do it first, not second, and certainly not 10 years after. Real innovation, not catch-up. There are a lot of bright people in OSS, why are they always following, never leading? Seriously.

    • Most people don't care who was first. They care about whats going on now. They don't care if open source was first, second or hundreth with a good codec. They care whether there are good codecs available for their OS, whether open source or not.

      They care whether they can play that new cool video clip that all their friends are talking about.

      After all, how many people give a damn that Walkman is a Sony trademark, and stick to Sony because they were first?

      • Exactly. Most people don't care about much other than ability to play stuff. (The Walkman example doesn't fit, because all walkman-equivalents play the same format.)

        The codec that gets there first will be able to play more stuff. It be able to play the stuff that was produced at the time when there was no codec available, and it will be better established and more likely to be selected by content producers.

        Consumers only care about whether or not a technology is new. When they first hear that they can watch a video over the web, they'll go "Wow!" and happily download their QT player. But once they've had that for a while, they won't any more. And when they see content coded in Theora, they'll say "what a pain in the ass to have to get yet another player". Content producers know this and don't use new players.

        Why isn't Open Source software ever the one that breaks the mold? Because the main motivation for working on Open Source software tends to be "to drag down the big boys". If there's no big boys there, there's no real interest in working on a project that may not (probably won't) take off. And if it did, OSS would still be screwed, because the GPL covers only code, not ideas; any truly new idea in OSS could be copied by a commercial firm (provided they didn't reuse any source), who could inevitably develop it faster as they can reward their programmers. I don't know if anyone has attempted to put a GNU-style "viral OSS" license on a *patent* yet...

        Also the viral license hurts OSS in media players; they are seen as having no effective copy protection, and a little spin by lawyers can make it look like the license virus will force the encoded media into open source.
        • You miss the point. This wasn't about which codec wins, but about whether or not it's a problem for open source whether or not open source OS's provide something first. Of course having something everyone else doesn't have is an advantage. But is it still an advantage after the difference is erased?

          I claim that it usually isn't, since the typical consumer couldn't care less, and usually won't even know or remmber, who were first.

          My example of the Sony Walkman is a valid one: How many consumers buy Sony Walkmans because they were first? Most consumers won't even know they were first, nor know that Walkman refers to a trademarked Sony product, not to the type of product itself. Same for Roller bladers vs. inline skates, and a number of other products.

          The thing is, except for geeks, nobody cares whether or not open source OS's or Windows or MacOS or whatever had a codec first.

          What matters to ordinary consumers is what is available now, today, when someone sends them a video clip and they want to watch it.

          Yes, it would be beneficial for open source to lead the way in many ways. But is it critical? I'd say no. What is important is to support something as soon as it gains widespread usage, not as soon as it is available.

          To comment on your claim that open source software isn't ever the one that breaks the mold, I'd say you are doubly wrong. First and foremost, open source software has broken the mold time and time again. If it hadn't been for most of the internet protocols implemented as open source, for instance, the evolution of the internet would have had to wait much longer to achieve a size large enough for commercial vendors to be interested.

          That's your first error. The second is related: OSS can easily be first, because many OSS programmers are motivated by whats cool and interesting to work on, not what can or will pay of economically. So while a company needs to justify it's development expenses to its board and shareholders, OSS developers can get straight to work and develop a solution.

          Yes, in the long run somebody could reimplement the ideas as proprietary software. But who cares? As much as I despise Microsoft, I'd think it was great if they supported Ogg in their products, for instance, as that would make it much more likely that Ogg would gain widespread use.

          • >You miss the point. This wasn't about which
            > codec wins, but about whether or not it's a
            > problem for open source whether or not open
            > source OS's provide something first. Of course
            > having something everyone else doesn't have is
            > an advantage. But is it still an advantage
            > after the difference is erased? I claim that
            > it usually isn't, since the typical consumer
            > couldn't care less, and usually won't even know
            > or remmber, who were first.

            No. The typical consumer, however, probably BOUGHT the product that was first with the new features - because those features were a selling point at the time. If another product catches up with the features, that still gives the consumer no reason to buy it. It has to catch up and add new features to be interesting - and it has to catch up and add new features in the same timescale in which the leaders will just be adding new features.

            > My example of the Sony Walkman is a valid one:
            > How many consumers buy Sony Walkmans because
            > they were first? Most consumers won't even know
            > they were first, nor know that Walkman refers
            > to a trademarked Sony product, not to the type
            > of product itself.

            When the Panasonic Walkmans came out, the consumers who'd already bought their Sony ones didn't rush out and buy the Panasonic ones too.
            Yes, alright, *nowadays* it doesn't matter, but that's because Walkmans are old tech.

            >The thing is, except for geeks, nobody cares
            > whether or not open source OS's or Windows or
            > MacOS or whatever had a codec first.

            THAT's true, but only because except for geeks nobody uses open source OS's.

            >What matters to ordinary consumers is what is
            > available now, today, when someone sends them a
            > video clip and they want to watch it.

            Right. And now, today, they already have their QuickTime, Real, and WMV players installed. They don't have their Theora players installed. Why? Because QuickTime, Real, and WMV got there earlier. This isn't difficult.

            >Yes, it would be beneficial for open source to
            > lead the way in many ways. But is it critical?
            > I'd say no. What is important is to support
            > something as soon as it gains widespread usage,
            > not as soon as it is available.

            No! When it gains widespread usage, everyone already HAS it. You've then got to persuade people to switch. That's going to be pretty tough when you're competing against a company with a product already in widespread usage.

            >To comment on your claim that open source
            > software isn't ever the one that breaks the
            > mold, I'd say you are doubly wrong. First and
            > foremost, open source software has broken the
            > mold time and time again. If it hadn't been for
            > most of the internet protocols implemented as
            > open source, for instance, the evolution of the
            > internet would have had to wait much longer to
            > achieve a size large enough for commercial
            > vendors to be interested.

            Ummm... I don't think TCP/IP was open source *when it was INVENTED*, was it?

            > That's your first error. The second is related:
            > OSS can easily be first, because many OSS
            > programmers are motivated by whats cool and
            > interesting to work on,

            "What's cool." Exactly. If you want to be first, you can't wait for things to already be cool. Once it's cool, it's known, and you're too late. You have to find it yourself and make it cool.

            >Yes, in the long run somebody could reimplement
            > the ideas as proprietary software. But who
            > cares? As much as I despise Microsoft, I'd
            > think it was great if they supported Ogg in
            > their products, for instance, as that would
            > make it much more likely that Ogg would gain
            > widespread use.

            Yes. Until MS threw a rights management system into Vorbis, to make it incompatable with the open source players. You couldn't use their code because it's proprietary, and you couldn't even make the open source version compatible because doing so would violate the DMCA.
    • Open Source's strength is in making commodity software, the software people actually *need* and *care about*, free and open... part of the infrastructure of democracy if you will. There was no truly free audio before Vorbis, because only about six users in the world had computers that could play decent audio in 1993 (when the work on Ogg began). And by decent, I don't mean FM synth or mono 22kHz.

      Similarly, there was no need for Open Source video until now because... no one used computer video in any great numbers until now. Yes, yes, Quicktime has been around for a while. I'm personally not excited about the 80x60 black and white 4 frames per second stuff from 1990, and neither is anyone else.

      Real and Apple pushed proprietary standards at a time when it was not at all clear that many people cared about 'multimedia', and those that did could afford to shell out big money, or buy into a single vendor. That time is quickly passing. I use both audio and video on my own boxen every day, and Mom in Ohio is likely only a few years behind me on that front, so it's time to get ready.

      (Nor was Quicktime 'first', you've simply forgotten its predecessors. That has nothing to do with my point above.)

      Monty
      xiph.org

  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Sunday June 23, 2002 @11:25PM (#3755229) Homepage Journal
    I read the discussions here, the interresting subject is the licensing, the FUD subject is how it will take over and so on.

    First, before even talking about taking over Divx, please point me to a site that has a codec study, not on the theorical, not on lame useless "tom's hardware" numbers, but on a scientific or scientific-like approach with proper setup and testing.

    Nothing like an example to clear things up:

    Codec usage, yes it can crunch more than divx for "similar" quality that is "similar" to DVD, which is "similar" to uncompressed video... heh. no, this is totally wrong, what I want to see is uncompressed video, original sequence, then compress Divx with best quality at X bitrate, do the same with that new codec, try at least 3 different kind of video that are abusing codecs differently: High contrast (black and white with sharp edges being the most evil), smooth colors (4:1:1 DV videos can show some serious color bending when you look at it closely, for example) so how is the color bending affecting each codecs?, and finally, motion, low speed, high speed, repeat with the last two example and make all the different mix, and then try different bitrates, then check the results, if they are similar, zoom in, check the pixelization, I don't want just words or lame tests with no numbers, I want a half-decent scientific approach, I wish I had time to make such a thing like I did before with mpeg/mjpg/mpeg4 V1.

    Of course we all know that you don't have to be the best to win, there are other factors to consider as well, but in my case, QUALITY will make me switch from a codec to another for my video presentation, so far, I still use DIVX for video-only movies, a good optimized MJPEG codec for software playback of home-made multimedia cd-roms on PC only (divx needs too much cpu juice that I require for other realtime tasks on my video display software for slower machines), and I just wish I would find that perfect codec that wouldn't look like thrash when I display the colors and motion on a plasma screen.

    I will jump on anything new if it does the job better than what I have right now, but please, don't just say it's so much better because of [blabla], say actual facts and numbers, it will be very interresting to read.

    • I agree with this. Who cares if you can send it by pigeon and get full frame rate, or if it is free or not (free for me is that I personally don't have to pay, I care little for the source). What matters is quality.

      I am looking forward to Tarkin, but this VP3 business is just one more damn format that I have to somehow get support for on my computer. I wasn't to happy when DivX 5.0 came, and this is much the same (without the price tag of the pro version, at least not yet).

      If there comes along something with higer quality that I can use, I will choose that. If there are two that are equal, I will choose the free one. If there is an SVCD version and an DivX version, I go for SVCD every day.

      I agree with the above and think that there need to be published a few serious comparisons before we can agree on if this is a good or a bad thing (looks like a bad thing right now).
  • From reading the announcement, I don't have much idea what file format this is going to use. .ogg as I understand it is really designed as an audio codec/format; I'm not sure how easy it would be to add video samples to it, usefully.

    If they're looking to still pick a format, I hope they do QuickTime. QuickTime's file format itself is open and documented, and there are a number of open source projects to implement it. As of QT6, QuickTime itself now has native support for VBR audio encoding, which makes it easier to do an Ogg encoder inside QT (VBR decode has been in there since 4.1).

    http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/quicktime/qt de vdocs/PDF/QTFileFormat.pdf

    With QuickTime support, one immediately inherits a wide installed base of players, and lots of functionality. For example, real time streaming support is availble via the open source Darwin Streaming Server. The codecs just need to have a native packetizer added.

    The nice thing about implementing Theora as a QuickTime file would mean folks would have the option of using high-end QuickTime encoding apps like Cleaner for encoding, and generally letting the files work well in both the closed and open source universes.

    VP3 is of course already implemented in QuickTime so doing this would mainly be a matter of finishing the Ogg port as a QuickTime codec:

    http://qtcomponents.sourceforge.net/
    • .ogg as I understand it is really designed as an audio codec/format

      Read better: Ogg is designed to be a generic container for audio/video streams, exactly as Quicktime. The audio codec part is Vorbis, which is shipped inside an Ogg file, hence the full names "Ogg Vorbis".

      I don't know why they choose to implement a new container instead of using Quicktime, but probably they have their reasons.

      • I don't know why they choose to implement a new container instead of using Quicktime, but probably they have their reasons.

        Hmm. I wondered about this, and found this [xiph.org] on the dev list.

        From what I read the substanitve reason seems to be potential IPR problems (Apple's clause [xiph.org] is vague, but worrying), rather than technical issues.

        hth

        • Interesting link. However, he says that he hasn't looked at the file format since 1996! Lots of useful additions since then. Perhaps the most relevant to this discussion was the addition of the hint track, which provides a way to turn existing files into real-time streamable files via RTP/RTSP. Ideally, you'll have a native packetizer for loss recovery, but it'll even work on older files.

          Since we already have the open-source Darwin Streaming Server that can use hint tracks, this could make real time streaming an almost free win for this format.

          And, of course, full VBR support for both audio and video are included in the current version.
    • You seem to be confused as to what ogg really is. Blame part of this confusion on Microsoft, who would lead you to believe that because a file has the extention .ogg and plays audio when you run it that it's an audio file.

      The ogg format is a stream format, much like the avi format (published by Microsoft) is. Ogg's primary advantage is flexibility: you can embed practically anything into an ogg stream (video, audio, subtitle streams, whatever) that your player can interpret at the other end. Furthermore, the stream is fault-tolerant and should play even if damaged or incomplete.

      (The ogg audio file you're thinking of is actually a vorbis audio stream multiplexed into an ogg.)

      Probably the best place on the web right now to learn about video codecs and stream formats is doom9 [doom9.org]. You will also find that in the forums they are doing active research concerning a new stream format called mcf (well, actually an old stream format, I think it was specified before ogg) and a way to burn raw mcf streams to a CD a la VCD.

      Doom9 also performs codec comparisons every time a company / individual / group thinks that they've produced the Latest and Greatest video codec. VP3 was obselete many months ago when it was being compared to div3 and even wmv8, both of which are suboptimal when compared head-to-head these days with div5 and xvid.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that VP3's patent-unencombered state is a two-edged sword: while you don't have to worry about maybe having to pay MPEG4 license fees, you also don't have a chance in hell of being playable on any next-generation DVD player. Sure, if you're a game manufacturer and you're looking for a video and audio codec to use in in-game movies, you'll probably use an ogg file with a VP3 video stream and a vorbis audio stream; however, if you're producing video of your son's first steps that you want to throw into your grandfather's new DVD player, you'll be doing it in some variety of MPEG4.

      -inq

  • C'mon are they serious, I'm glad xiph.org has gotten their hands on this codec, but writing a competitive video codec is much harder than writing a competitive audio codec. Video compression research is moving very quickly and I really don't think xiph.org is equipped to compete in this market, how many people do they have working for them, five? With Monty being the only one working on the core of vorbis. Sure On2 says they will help out, but as some posters have said earlier, it seems like On2 is just passing out the left-overs.

    I think before they even compress on frame of video, vorbis 1.0 with spec. should be out the door. That's just my opinion, and as the replies will say, it's open source don't complain help out!

  • What happened to Tarkin? Time to go visit the ol' Xiph site... I must have missed something...

"I say we take off; nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." - Corporal Hicks, in "Aliens"

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