AfterDawn: Tech news

Open-source MP3 goes forth

Written by Jari Ketola @ 11 Dec 2000 12:55

Contrary to common belief, the MP3 format is not free. Altough the end-users do not have to pay directly for the use of the format, developers of MP3 software and hardware, as well as MP3 distributors, must pay patent royalties. Even in the case that the MP3 software (or hardware) is developed from scratch the author has to pay the royalties.
Even though MP3 is an established standard, there is an alternative in the works - Ogg Vorbis. The Ogg Vorbis project aims to create a digital audio format that would sound as good, or better, than the MP3 format but without any restricting license fees.

The Ogg Vorbis project suffered a little bump a couple of weeks ago when it's parent, the webcasting company iCast, decided to wind itself down. According to Vorbis developers, however, the death of iCast had little effect on the project.

"The project isn't affected all that much," said Christopher Montgomery, the programmer who leads the Vorbis effort. "We're sort of operating in battery mode right now."

Let's hope they won't run out of batteries before finding new sponsorship for the project.

Read more on the topic at Yahoo! News. Also visit for some Ogg Vorbis audio samples.

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