I was reading this rather interesting post of Lucas Gonze and was wondering which format he likes best. I love Ogg and Flac the most. Flac should be supported by all audio applications, no doubt. Ableton Live 5 already supports it, which is excellent.
To make a point: wouldn’t it help if I, Lucas and some other people try to make Ogg become more popular? I would love to do that. I want to make Ogg more popular because I simply hate Apple’s and Microsoft’s lame DRM-driven formats. Also the Frauhofer vagueness about MP3 licensing (I bought the Frauhofer codec for use in Steinberg’s Wavelab editor) is not making things easier.
Tips or suggestions? Please leave them in the comments!
I lack a doctrinaire answer to the issues presented. I use mp3s, and am not as disappointed by mp3s as I am by the Apple situation.
My suggestion or comment is that it’s a player issue. When flac or ogg or
whichever format is accepted by all the players, or a player which accepts them all becomes dominant, then people will be happy to switch to ogg or other formats. Until that time, it gets irritating to have to load a plug-in with this player or that for this format or that, and then find that yet another format has come out, requiring yet another change of player or change of format.
Perhaps it is wrong to complain, because (a) there are good omni-format players and (b) mp3 is not going to be the gold standard for all that long in any event, as the technology continues to evolve. Yet even though some of my players are theoretically able to handle a zillion different formats, it often seems when I am at freesound that I find files that my “correct” player will not play. I know that this is a narrow view, as surely the problem is not as difficult as all that.
Yet it gives rise to my suggestion, as a mere user rather than a style-setter on these issues. When a simple-to-use free player plays all the formats which people use to upload to, say, freesound project, and it is easy to download, and cool and really works in all formats (and not in most and “nearly” in some), then people will use the alternate formats. The reason people use mp3s is that if one uploads an mp3, then virtually any player can play them.
Sorry if I go on about something that I am not as knowledgable as the inner clique–and yet if you want to promote the ideal format, then it’s the ideal player that must be popularized–not because it is “politically correct”, but because it is fun to use and plays formats more listenable than mp3.
My favorite player Foobar2000 plays them all. It’s a classy application but very simple and clean. I like that.
The main issue, in my opinion, is caused by Media Player and iTunes not supporting the Ogg and Flac formats. If those 2 big players would support it without the need for adding a special codec, that would be great. Maybe both Apple and Microsoft are simply afraid that these formats are better sounding (they are) and more open too (also true; no-DRM). I mean: if they start support it, most people probably will understand they are getting freedom in return. This is something Apple and Microsoft don’t want but something all users want. Because of this, hopefully things will change in the future. Education is part of it. Telling people DRM is wrong, MP3 is in fact a non-free format and showing people Ogg is rather popular and the best new option.
I have contacted some people who are involved in Ogg in the past but didn’t receive feedback from them. I felt that communication and promotion of Ogg could be done a lot better at the time. And I still do. It’s a nice format which deserves more users. I think that any person on this planet will be better off if he/she would use Ogg instead of MP3. Ogg sounds better and is a free and open format, ready for the future. MP3 is not. MP3 is property of Fraunhofer and needs commercial licensing.
But maybe by offering files in 2 formats, MP3 and Ogg we might change the situation a little bit step by step. Also simple information about which players support Ogg and Flac will help.
I am also interested to find out about Gonze’s ideas because he’s involved in Internet standards, XSPF for example.
I have had slightly spotty results with foobar 2000,which sometimes will skip over songs in a webjay that theoretically it is able to play–I don’t know why. I eventually switched from it, because, for me, it did not do all I hoped.
Okay, I can understand that. I love VLC a lot too but the volume on that player is not correct so for my critical edits/listening it’s not good enough. It is the coolest maybe because it supports so many formats including video.
The interop of Gonze…
I do have pretty good luck with Media Monkey, which is slow as molasses, but seems to support most things.
I did not mean to sound as if I disagree with your point, though–I’d love to see an open source mp3 alternative in wide use, with an open source player in wide popularity playing it!
I understand Bob. Let’s see what the future brings… and maybe we’ll be hearing from Lucas as well…
Reality is, no format will grow into a standerd, as long as there is no loads of money involved. Flac is just another sampling format like rex or acid. ogg is better than mp3 but still worse than aif or wav. 16 bit format is the only way to look forward. Why listen to compressed files while you listen to better quality. in a few years pc and notebooks will harness so many gig’s of space mp3 will be abandoned. Come to think of pc replacing tv’s, why even worry about compressed formats
by the way keep up the goodwork and keep sharing!!!!
I understand, but Flac is a smarter format. If you can save space, why not? And the cool thing is that you can always convert back to straight 16 bit files. I do believe for archives Flac is the best format. I am glad Ableton has added the codec to Ableton Live since version 5. And hopefully others will follow that route too.
Indeed, And don’t forget the samplers with nice tweaking options with flac files. But still, i rather use wav’s in plug-ins like kontakt. Or battery for drums (very natural velocity and expression control in this plug in i might add)
I ;like native instruments aproach to sampling.
“no format will grow into a standerd, as long as there is no loads of money involved”
If you take a look at all those internet formats like, xml, rss, opml, money is not the most important reason. I see a shift into more open formats. Hopefully we will see that change for music applications as well.
But it will only happen when music companies start working together on such standards, like they did more than 20 years ago for the creation of the MIDI standard. In these days of wiki-developments it would be extremely powerful and simple. Open standards created by lots of smart people. The power of the ‘many’. Most software-companies have only a small team of developers; the wiki-approach has proven to be better and faster. The main issue for most: their ideas will be ‘open’ and can be put into production by anyone. But in reality only a few companies will be doing this and they will do this in their own way. Cars are being developed like this as well, better than ever before. The power of the internet.