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Topic: What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall) (Read 100497 times) previous topic - next topic
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What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)

Reply #100
Theora *is* patented. Google or Wikipedia for more if you're interested.

Note that there's no real threat from competitors when it comes to patents. It's really not in their own self-interest  to start something like that. They might make vague threats but nothing more.

Little tiny companies who have nothing but slightly iffy patents. They're a threat. But more to Microsoft than anyone else, cos they've got all the money.

So, as soon as Microsoft or Apple makes a HTML 5 compliant browser they'll be sued. Great. Now that's going to help getting it into the specs.

What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)

Reply #101
It can't get into the spec if the W3C is aware of any patent risk. Anyone who signs up to the W3C has to say if they've got any patents on the stuff.

So if it gets into the standard then any legal action is going to be small irrelevant patent trolls versus everybody who makes money from the web. You know no big company can sue because they'll be also infringing on literally hundreds of patents owned by the various companies implementing the standard.

Sometimes these folk win (see Eolas vs. Microsoft) but then you can work round the patent and life goes on. I'm not saying it's a great system (it's not) but dodgy patents aren't quite as chilling on innovation and adoption of open source and open standards as you'd imagine from reading these forums.

What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)

Reply #102
Theora *is* patented.

Yup. The interesting thing is that all those patents come with a free license for use with Theora. Just wanted to add this for those that don't want to follow the Wikipedia link.

Any IP risks that Ogg Theora/Vorbis may have are just as present for the MPEG formats, of course. See Alcatel claiming patents on MP3. The whole patent system is broken and far outlived it's usability (it was a good idea to make sure fancy new steam engine developments go public - but nowadays most companies just ignore them and hope nobody will notice or that they can license the needed patents if the need arises).

What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)

Reply #104
Dirac is one of the other options being considered for HTML5. This post from the BBC has some updates:

If it does get chosen then it'll almost certainly be Dirac in the Ogg container, with Vorbis for audio, which still means a big win for the Xiph family of codecs.

On the topic of patents though, I'd be very much surprised if the BBC wasn't patenting any innovative parts of Dirac, though obviously they'd need to freely grant those patents in the same way that Theora has in order for it to become a free and open standard.


What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)

Reply #105
I have a Nokia phone (7710, Symbian S90) with Ogg playing software (OggPlay). I initially loved the fact that I could get twice as much music on the memory card by using Ogg @ 64kbps. The experience compared to mp3 however was not good at all, cpu loads are so high that the phone becomes unresponsive and the battery drains really, really quickly. Unless there's an efficient Ogg codec for these mobile platforms (like you can license from the big boys cheaply for WMA/MP3/AAC), phone manufacturers will not push Ogg, because nobody wants to advertise a music phone that lasts less than 4 hours playing the format.
This actually mirrors the situation of Rockbox consuming power far greater than iPod's standard firmware.

Someone said that it's not the codec's fault, it's the player's 'fault', i.e. the player's maker hasn't figured out how to turn of nonessential things in the hardware.

Also, encoding (using standard WinAmp, which uses an up-to-date Lancer build) is painfully slow compared to LAME. That's not meant as a attack on OGG as a format, but more as a reminder that building a great psymodel, defining robust specs and having impeccable "free software" credentials is not enough - for it to be a success as a commercial product, you need to provide OEMs with easy and fast implementations.
For me, I don't find Lancer to be far slower than LAME. aoTuV's standard build *is* a heck slower than LAME, but not Lancer.

Anyways, if the average user is given the option of:
- Fast encoding, but less music
- Slower encoding, but more music

I believe they will opt for the latter.

Microsoft understands this - even when WMA is even less popular than OGG and nobody likes MS to begin with, they provide such easy to implement and efficient decoders and simple, no-hassle licenses for OEMs that even every two-bit Chinese backstreet workshop implements it.
Ogg Vorbis has a simpler no-hassle license: It's public domain.