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What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)
rjamorim
post Mar 3 2007, 16:03
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Today I was checking RareWares' links page to find broken links, and happened upon Xiph's page. I noticed the "news" there were 3-4 years old.

So I was wondering, does anyone, by any chance, know what is going on there? Are they working on Vorbis2, or Tarkin, or Theora? Have they disbanded and only the web pages remain? I remember that in Emmett's time, he would feed us news non-stop, mostly from #vorbis (he was a little too loud, matter of factly :B). Now, we listen nothing but crickets.

Do we have some insider here that knows if something is going on there, at all? Maybe Coalson or Valin?

And what the hell is Emmett up to anyway?

Thanks for any info.

R.


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Get up-to-date binaries of Lame, AAC, Vorbis and much more at RareWares:
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Spikey
post May 26 2007, 04:29
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Well, for my money, I find the 'ease of encoding' argument an interesting one.

I'm no expert in these matters, I'm a member of HA to learn more and understand more, not dole out advice.

But- in my experiences, I find popular MP3 encoding programs such as 'LAME' to be convoluted and confusing- whereas using the OggDropXPd Lancer build is damned easy- set to whatever quality you want and drag and drop! (And set tags and whatever else you want of course.)

Obviously, as was said in this thread or another (which linked to this thread) most people simply hit 'rip' in their ripper or player (which does rips) of choice. But as has been covered in this thread, Vorbis isn't currently used amongst such 'average' users, but rather more sophisticated ones.

So I think saying to such users, use Lancer build, and use WinAmp with a codec you may/may not need to download, isn't asking much of such users, if Vorbis use/ease of use (or at least, understanding) is our desire here.


Incidentally, hasn't some HA users recently expressed a lack of ability to distinguish between Vorbis and MP3 (and probably other codecs like AAC) at bitrates of around 128 kbps? I would have thought that was a barrier to taking up Vorbis, if most 'audiophiles' or audio enthusiasts can't even ABX the difference at such common (dare I say, low) bitrates.
If average users who probably use 128 or better kbps MP3 files, you get my point- saying "Vorbis doesn't really sound different, but you should use it", plus asking to use different software, isn't a very enticing argument.

Note that that's not my opinion, I use Vorbis for several reasons (quality, filesize, open source/free, easier than LAME, and so on). But I run a music website, and if a forum member puts that to me (the question that doesn't MP3 and Ogg sound about the same as most commonly used bitrates)- I can really only say "Yeah, if that works for you, that's great", or "Yeah, there really isn't much difference". Not really satisfactory answers, but I'm not sure what else to say without getting into codec wars.

- Spike
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Junon
post May 26 2007, 15:07
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QUOTE (Spikey @ May 26 2007, 05:29) *
Incidentally, hasn't some HA users recently expressed a lack of ability to distinguish between Vorbis and MP3 (and probably other codecs like AAC) at bitrates of around 128 kbps? I would have thought that was a barrier to taking up Vorbis, if most 'audiophiles' or audio enthusiasts can't even ABX the difference at such common (dare I say, low) bitrates.
If average users who probably use 128 or better kbps MP3 files, you get my point- saying "Vorbis doesn't really sound different, but you should use it", plus asking to use different software, isn't a very enticing argument.

Well, the 2005 multiformat test concluded that users actually weren't able to distinguish between Vorbis and MP3 at a VBR average of around 128 kbit/s. Since the test was carried out in this community it's safe to say that even a lot of audiophiles actually fail at ABXing the differences.

And that leads to the "barrier" you described: There does seem to exist a psychological barrier that prevents people from testing bitrates below the 128 kbit/s threshold, simply because they're aware of the often poorly encoded 128 kbit/s MP3 material found in the internet. A good example for this claim is this quote:
QUOTE (Be Positive)
But I cant believe that 128kbit files are absolutely transparent?

Be Positive obviously often had the pleasure of listening to non-transparent 128 kbit/s MP3s, which has resulted in the conclusion that this bitrate isn't adequate for transparent listening experiences. From a technical point of view this argument doesn't make any sense for different encoders, since all of them make use of their own algorithms to create the audio data. This is especially valid for entirely different formats, like MP3 vs. Vorbis in this case, but how should you explain that to the technically uninterested, average user? She/He will keep encoding to what she/he already knows about, and this will most likely lead to 128-192 kbit/s files. At these bitrates Vorbis doesn't provide any serious benefits compared to MP3 for the majority of listeners, rather disadvantages due to less compatibility, therefore the format remains uninteresting for them.

I even doubt Joe Public would actually want to seriously test ~96 kbit/s AAC/Vorbis vs. 128 kbit/s MP3 due to this psychological reason. He'd most likely become victim of a placebo effect when listening to the AAC/Vorbis encoding, simply because he knows that the bitrate is lower. And from my own past experiences (prior to regularly reading these forums) I can tell that the necessary blind listening tests aren't carried out by the average user. She/He most likely just adds both test files to the audio player's playlist and listens a bit to them, being full aware of which file represents which codec. And this, of course, can't lead to an objective result.
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MedO
post May 27 2007, 15:33
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QUOTE (Junon @ May 26 2007, 16:07) *
He'd most likely become victim of a placebo effect when listening to the AAC/Vorbis encoding, simply because he knows that the bitrate is lower.


This goes so far that many people seem to think that bitrate is actually the same as sound quality. A friend once told me that he had found a new format (don't remember which one it was) that produced "smaller files than mp3 at the same bitrate" (not an exact quote), and I think someone posted in this forum, who was concerned because his losslessly compressed files had a lower bitrate than the original wav.

So maybe it would actually be better not to talk about bitrate at all when telling uninformed people about codecs different from mp3, but instead about file size, which is something people might understand better.
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Posts in this topic
- rjamorim   What is going on with Vorbis? (or Xiph overall)   Mar 3 2007, 16:03
- - HotshotGG   QUOTE And what the hell is Emmett up to anyway? ...   Mar 3 2007, 20:12
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (HotshotGG @ Mar 3 2007, 16:12) He ...   Mar 3 2007, 20:22
- - jorsol   Well I try to follow the progress in Xiph by the s...   Mar 3 2007, 20:47
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (jorsol @ Mar 3 2007, 16:47) and be...   Mar 3 2007, 21:11
||- - jaybeee   QUOTE (rjamorim @ Mar 3 2007, 20:11) Shit...   Mar 3 2007, 21:19
||- - Lyx   QUOTE (jaybeee @ Mar 3 2007, 21:19) QUOTE...   Mar 3 2007, 21:22
|- - kjoonlee   QUOTE (jorsol @ Mar 3 2007, 20:47) Vorbis...   Mar 4 2007, 11:51
|- - xiphmont   QUOTE (kjoonlee @ Mar 4 2007, 06:51) QUOT...   May 11 2007, 23:43
|- - Fandango   QUOTE (xiphmont @ May 12 2007, 00:43) The...   May 13 2007, 17:48
- - Emmett   QUOTE (rjamorim @ Mar 3 2007, 07:03) And ...   Mar 3 2007, 23:59
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (Emmett @ Mar 3 2007, 19:59) Maybe ...   Mar 4 2007, 00:17
|- - Emmett   QUOTE (rjamorim @ Mar 3 2007, 15:17) Plan...   Mar 4 2007, 01:22
- - vlada   Do you remember this thread?   Mar 4 2007, 04:29
|- - Emmett   QUOTE (vlada @ Mar 3 2007, 19:29) Do you ...   Mar 4 2007, 06:02
||- - clb3092   You know, even if Xiph has slipped into coma OGG o...   Mar 4 2007, 09:04
||- - eofor   QUOTE (clb3092 @ Mar 4 2007, 09:04) I jus...   Mar 4 2007, 13:07
||- - clb3092   QUOTE (eofor @ Mar 4 2007, 04:07) QUOTE (...   Mar 5 2007, 20:27
||- - Lyx   QUOTE (clb3092 @ Mar 5 2007, 20:27) I did...   Mar 5 2007, 21:37
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (vlada @ Mar 4 2007, 00:29) Do you ...   Mar 4 2007, 13:24
- - Firon   The problem with having aoTuV is that it's not...   Mar 4 2007, 09:12
- - vlada   Well it was me, ho stated that the projects are de...   Mar 4 2007, 14:11
- - Lyx   I made experience with that last-mile thing issue ...   Mar 4 2007, 14:17
- - jorsol   QUOTE (kjoonlee @ Mar 4 2007, 04:51) QUOT...   Mar 4 2007, 18:24
|- - jmvalin   QUOTE (jorsol @ Mar 5 2007, 02:24) Ghost ...   Mar 16 2007, 00:26
- - PatchWorKs   The most active Xiph project nowdays seems to be T...   Mar 4 2007, 18:35
|- - Kim_C   QUOTE (PatchWorKs @ Mar 4 2007, 19:35) Th...   Mar 4 2007, 20:08
|- - Emmett   QUOTE (PatchWorKs @ Mar 4 2007, 09:35) BT...   Mar 4 2007, 20:16
- - Lych   With all due respect to Vorbis, Theora, etc. Xiph ...   Mar 5 2007, 01:26
- - Firon   QUOTE (Lyx @ Mar 4 2007, 09:17) I doubt t...   Mar 5 2007, 05:52
- - spoon   The last thing Ogg Vorbis needs now is Ogg Vorbis ...   Mar 5 2007, 10:21
|- - Kef   QUOTE (spoon @ Mar 5 2007, 11:21) The las...   Mar 5 2007, 11:45
|- - eofor   As a successor/alternative to mp3, Vorbis has been...   Mar 5 2007, 14:07
- - vinnie97   Yea, all this doom and gloom about Vorbis is disco...   Mar 5 2007, 14:29
- - HotshotGG   QUOTE Since Vorbis is an open format, 3rd party su...   Mar 5 2007, 21:21
- - SebastianG   Hi! I just wanted to say there's currently...   Mar 5 2007, 22:37
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (SebastianG @ Mar 5 2007, 18:37) Hi...   Mar 12 2007, 23:17
- - Firon   Get someone besides Monty to merge aoyumi's wo...   Mar 6 2007, 07:30
- - gameplaya15143   QUOTE (SebastianG @ Mar 5 2007, 16:37) mu...   Mar 8 2007, 19:59
- - fpi   QUOTE (rjamorim @ Mar 3 2007, 09:03) Toda...   Mar 15 2007, 12:08
- - Justin Ruggles   I see that Xiph is mentoring projects for this yea...   Mar 17 2007, 23:39
- - 3ngel   Hi to all, i was just searching for information ab...   Mar 21 2007, 11:58
- - Triza   I wish Monty would be like Josh for FLAC. The latt...   Mar 22 2007, 22:41
|- - dyneq   QUOTE (Triza @ Mar 22 2007, 17:41) I wish...   Mar 23 2007, 00:08
|- - MedO   QUOTE (Triza @ Mar 22 2007, 22:41) ...Mon...   Mar 23 2007, 11:46
|- - aabxx   Why the heck is anyone complaining? Trust me when...   Apr 6 2007, 16:22
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (aabxx @ Apr 6 2007, 12:22) you mig...   Apr 6 2007, 17:18
|- - Nick E   QUOTE (aabxx @ Apr 6 2007, 09:22) And the...   Apr 7 2007, 16:02
- - vlada   I think this is one of the major problems. There a...   Apr 7 2007, 16:39
- - gameplaya15143   QUOTE (aabxx @ Apr 6 2007, 11:22) it will...   Apr 12 2007, 23:04
- - Synthetic Soul   Discussion about the Rarewares redesign moved to t...   Apr 14 2007, 06:54
- - maikmerten   As already said xiph.org is understaffed - and tho...   Apr 23 2007, 15:57
- - spoon   >This sadly means that there's apparently l...   Apr 23 2007, 19:48
- - vlada   maikmerten I absolutely agree with everything you ...   Apr 24 2007, 18:11
- - spoon   >AoTuV an official Xiph...balked at that You j...   May 13 2007, 17:04
- - vlada   An interesting new initiative: Play Ogg.   May 18 2007, 15:41
- - pepoluan   That's good news! Thanks for the link. I...   May 18 2007, 16:21
|- - SwiftBiscuit   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 18 2007, 11:21) I...   May 18 2007, 20:09
|- - Nick E   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 18 2007, 09:21) Tha...   May 20 2007, 17:43
|- - pepoluan   QUOTE (Nick E @ May 20 2007, 23:43) What ...   May 21 2007, 07:23
- - Fandango   On the http://playogg.org/ page I see no links to ...   May 18 2007, 20:25
|- - Demetris   QUOTE (Fandango @ May 18 2007, 22:25) [.....   May 18 2007, 22:32
|- - Fandango   QUOTE (Demetris @ May 18 2007, 23:32) So,...   May 19 2007, 00:30
- - vlada   Demetris> IMO both sentences are correct. It de...   May 19 2007, 04:22
- - pepoluan   But leaving out Winamp, which is the de facto most...   May 19 2007, 06:18
|- - sonytp50   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 19 2007, 05:18) But...   May 22 2007, 10:44
|- - vlada   QUOTE (sonytp50 @ May 22 2007, 11:44) Als...   May 24 2007, 10:59
- - jorsol   I think that they choose VLC for various reasons.....   May 19 2007, 06:59
|- - vlada   QUOTE (jorsol @ May 19 2007, 07:59) QUOTE...   May 19 2007, 18:15
- - pepoluan   Okay, you have a point there, jorsol.   May 19 2007, 07:44
|- - Fandango   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 19 2007, 08:44) Oka...   May 19 2007, 17:10
- - PatchWorKs   I still remember this one too... In my opinion vo...   May 19 2007, 08:50
- - Demetris   http://oggvorbis.fc2web.com/link.html It has two ...   May 19 2007, 21:52
|- - haregoo   QUOTE (Demetris @ May 20 2007, 05:52) Wha...   May 20 2007, 03:08
- - Enig123   Ogg community it says. Although I know little Japa...   May 20 2007, 01:13
- - Demetris   Enig123 and haregoo, thanks for the answers! :...   May 20 2007, 13:07
- - vlada   Nick E There are some IE compatibility hacks in th...   May 21 2007, 18:58
- - pepoluan   ... and the "Play Ogg" campaign is now m...   May 22 2007, 07:23
- - tempnegro   could of swore I had a post in here   May 23 2007, 02:03
- - pepoluan   See this: Wired has picked up on the Play Ogg ini...   May 23 2007, 19:32
|- - Fandango   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 23 2007, 20:32) Wir...   May 23 2007, 23:12
- - gameplaya15143   QUOTE (jorsol @ May 19 2007, 01:59) ...Wi...   May 23 2007, 20:18
- - ckjnigel   Well, most people don't know about VBR and why...   May 24 2007, 16:26
|- - pepoluan   QUOTE (ckjnigel @ May 24 2007, 22:26) Wel...   May 25 2007, 09:23
- - askoff   I think that Vorbis has quite good support already...   May 25 2007, 11:19
- - Spikey   Well, for my money, I find the 'ease of encodi...   May 26 2007, 04:29
|- - vinnie97   QUOTE (Spikey @ May 25 2007, 19:29) If av...   May 26 2007, 11:21
|- - Junon   QUOTE (Spikey @ May 26 2007, 05:29) Incid...   May 26 2007, 15:07
|- - MedO   QUOTE (Junon @ May 26 2007, 16:07) He...   May 27 2007, 15:33
- - pepoluan   Just an anecdote from me: People keep asking me t...   May 27 2007, 17:06
- - Mercurio   QUOTE I think my greatest disappointment is that N...   May 28 2007, 11:22
|- - pepoluan   QUOTE (Mercurio @ May 28 2007, 17:22) QUO...   May 28 2007, 12:34
|- - gottkaiser   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 28 2007, 13:34) Is ...   May 28 2007, 12:45
|- - pepoluan   QUOTE (gottkaiser @ May 28 2007, 18:45) Q...   May 28 2007, 13:02
|- - eofor   QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 28 2007, 13:02) QUO...   May 29 2007, 10:50
- - pepoluan   Why Audio Format Matters   May 29 2007, 10:18
- - bawjaws   I don't know if this has been mentioned alread...   May 29 2007, 12:00
|- - eofor   If Ogg Vorbis/Theora goes into HTML 5, that means ...   May 29 2007, 12:45
- - TREX6662k6   lol, no patents? I find that hard to imagine espec...   May 29 2007, 12:59
- - bawjaws   Theora *is* patented. Google or Wikipedia for more...   May 29 2007, 13:18
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