Gimme my Ogg!

A friend and I were talking, when I brought up the topic of using Ogg files instead of MP3‘s. As his iRiver supports Ogg, I chided him on his use of MP3‘s.

He asked what was wrong with MP3‘s. I explained that the format was encumbered by patents and costs. He responded ‘So?’

So? I was at a loss for words.

So, I decided to find out why.

I will start with the social issues, and then wander towards the technical issues.

Digital technology and network distribution has removed the middleman between the artist and the music listener, but the content industry wants to put the middleman back in place. They can do this with the help of a proprietary music format and software that they can control, with artificial restrictions to limit its potential.

(From Daniel James)

It’s all about the bucks. The content providers make a ton of money right now off of audio CD sales. They are not going to if the artists can interact directly with the consumers.

All of the money advanced by the record company to the act has to be paid back by the act from it’s small percentage of the CD returns. This percentage can be as low as 5%. Consequently, record companies are always in profit a long time before acts are, if they ever are.

(From ABC Australia)

With the advent of digital music, the content industry thinks that it can massively increase profits by eliminating the costs associated with conventional music distribution on physical media.

(From Daniel James)

Another advantage over MP3 is that Vorbis sounds better, and its smaller. There’s two sides of that scale – either it’s smaller or it sounds better. Vorbis can get a little smaller and still sound better than MP3, or it can get a lot smaller and still sound pretty good.

(From Jack Moffitt)

I’m a music fan. Why should I be interested?

Because Vorbis provides a high-quality format for you to listen to your music.
For a given file size, Vorbis sounds better than MP3. This means: You can keep your music collection at about the same quality level, but it’ll take up less space or you can have your music collection take up about the same amount of space, but have it sound better. Vorbis already enjoys widespread player support and work is underway to play Vorbis files on portable hardware.

(From Vorbis)

I am ripping at an Ogg quality of 8, and I am getting about 6 megs per song. Sammy Hagar’s Heavy Metal is 6.07 megs in size. I am going to set it back down to 6. I ripped that song at 8 and at 6, and I could not hear a difference.

Dare to compare the difference between the formats.