Why Ogg Vorbis?

About once a week I get a request for IT Conversations audio encoded using Ogg Vorbis. These requests come in via the anonymous survey mechanism, so I don’t get a chance to ask…Why? What is it about Ogg Vorbis that people want?

  • Compatibility? Don’t MP3s play just about everywhere?
  • Quality? At the same bit rate, I don’t think Ogg encoding of IT Conversations sound any better than MP3.
  • Legality? My MP3 encoder is fully licensed and paid for, and there’s no restriction on the rights to play encoded IT Conversations shows.

Something else? What’s the allure of Ogg Vorbis?

10 thoughts on “Why Ogg Vorbis?

  1. At the same rate, Ogg vorbis-encoded files have a much better quality (equivalent to mp3-pro). For you site, it means that you would get the same quality with smaller files. In terms of bandwith, it’s good for you.

    Plus the Ogg Vorbis format is a totally free (speech) encoding format. No patents, no fees required to implement it within a player.

    Two good reasons to support Ogg Vorbis.


  2. >> Why? What is it about Ogg Vorbis that people want? <<
    It's "geeky". It's linux. It's open source. Trouble is, only "geeks" can play the format.
    Stick with MP3 🙂


  3. Ooops…only part posted…the rest…
    It’s “geeky”. The trouble, only geeks use it, know about it, or care. Stick with MP3, it’s universal. 🙂


  4. My $0.02: Some folks want a system that’s open and free (beer *and* speech) from start to finish. They don’t like that your “MP3 encoder is fully licensed and paid for”, or rather that you had to pay for it, and would rather you use a system that requires no payment. IMO, it’s a bit of a religious thing, and probably will stay in the background until/unless the MP3 owners make invididual users pay for using it (i.e. and force open source coders to take it out).


  5. I use Ogg Vorbis to rip my CDs for storage on my personal server, but I don’t care if programs I download, especially low-bitrate voice programs, are in Ogg Vorbis format. MP3 makes a lot more sense to me for distribution, since it’s universally understood. I do like Vorbis’s properties — patent-free, royalty-free, nice meta-data — but while I try to buy gear that handles it, I don’t see it taking over the world when MP3 is “good enough”.


  6. When more players, or at least my player (iPod), support Ogg, I think it will make sense until then stick with mp3 everything plays mp3.

    Perhaps an additional Ogg format would help gage interest in Ogg


  7. While Ogg is great in principle, I imagine most of us (especially those like me who use an iPod) can easily play MP3 but not Ogg.

    So for the time being MP3 is better – when the majority of players support Ogg then switch…


  8. For those who do like Ogg Vorbis, it’s mostly because it’s free and open source, quality wise, it is considerably better than MP3 at the same bit rates. I’ve offered Ogg Vorbis on my weekly best of show, and believe it or not, it gets downloaded.


  9. Ogg vorbis definitely sounds better at the ~64kbps that most podcasts are at, and my player (a Rio Karma, which i think gives the iPod a run for its money) plays oggs just fine!


  10. I had that feeling that Ogg vorbis was better and free as in freedom as a whole so I finally I googled “why ogg” after all these years of ignorance…

    I think that now being a Linux user I care much more about software freedom although I always fought for freedom in general, it’s important to resist against money’s slavery and software and internet are huge battlefields at the moment…

    Thanks for the answers, I’ll encode in Vorbis now.


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