AfterDawn: Tech news

Bye Bye MP3?

Written by Jari Ketola @ 08 Jul 2000 15:19

We all know that there are several problems with the MP3 format not the smallest of which is the patent rights enforced by Fraunhofer. Basically, if you want to handle MP3s in any way, you have to pay license fees to Fraunhofer. Also the sound quality is far from perfect with all the phasing problems etc.
But are we stuck with MP3 then? Probably yeah, but that shouldn't keep the curious mind from exploring alternatives to the format. Luckily there's a very promising audio encoding and streaming technology out called Ogg Vorbis. Quote from the Vorbis site: The Ogg Vorbis format is intended for unrestricted private and public, non-profit and commercial use. There are no bitstream royalties and the reference software, including full source, is free--- forever. The encoders, decoders, plugins, and tools at vorbis.com are under the GPL (GNU Public License) and the libraries are under the business-friendly LGPL (Lesser/Library GNU Public License).
Sounds good so far? Well it just keeps getting better! Even though smaller in size than regular MP3s, the Ogg files actually sound a bit better than MP3s! Check them out yourself!
To get started you'll probably need OGG plug-ins for Sonique, WinAmp, XMMS (Linux) and BeOS. When you'll eventually want to encode OGGs yourself the Windows, Linux, and BeOS encoders will come in handy. For extended ease-of-use, you'll probably want to get the CD-DA X-Tractor with built-in support for Ogg Vorbis!

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