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What is your stance on Replaygain support in Vorbis?
post May 15 2002, 21:30
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Do you believe it's better to store the data in the actual Vorbis tags, where it's more practical, easier to implement, and more likely to gain widespread support?

Or do you believe that it's better to have each individual player handle replaygain itself because it's "The Right Thing", because having the data in the vorbis tags is too much of a kludge, and because it's not the responsibility or goal of Vorbis to deal with this?
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post May 16 2002, 00:59
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Let me make a few things clear.

First off, I've read the replaygain spec, and I think it's a fantastically good idea. As someone who uses Ogg playback for some DJ work, I think that gain issues are an important obstacle to overcome. The kind of stuff I do makes it a royal pain to not be able to work in some semblance of a static, equalized environment. I can beatmatch as well as the next guy, but if I have to beatmatch and adjust volume at the same time, well, I only have so many hands.

I would gain an immediate benefit if the current push to embed replaygain data in Ogg tags were to succeed. I wouldn't have to monkey so hard to do volume equalization, as a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't even have to worry about it. It would be great.

On the other hand, Vorbis is strictly against using playback data in tags. After all, tags are for identification of a particular track, not a true metadata format in which to relay playback data to the player du jour.

When you order a pizza, you expect the delivery guy to bring you a pizza. While the delivery guy may have the strength and ability to bring you 30 orders of prime rib, that's not what the delivery boy is expected to do. He's expected to bring you pizza, and that's the entire idea. After all, you ordered pizza.

The problem with the current push for replaygain is that it is asking Vorbis to make a major fundamental change in how tags are to be used. Is this an incredibly difficult demand? No, of course not. Adding new tags to use replaygain is probably one of the easiest things to implement. It wouldn't be rocket science.

Here are my main problems with adopting replaygain tags in Vorbis.

There's no question that putting the tags in would be a quick-and-dirty solution. It's undoubtably a kludge, it's not exactly an elegant solution. I would prefer a solution that doesn't require a change in the way that Vorbis handles tags. Open Source alternatives are well-known for backwards, inelegant solutions that Work Really Well, but just because something is easy and has an immediate benefit doesn't mean it's the best solution.

There's also a massive barrier to entry in that players would need to understand the tags are there, what they're used for, and how to interpret them. This is a major issue, and people that make players are notorious for dragging their feet on adding even simple functionality. If there's going to be a lot of work done on getting the solution adopted by players, I want to make sure that the solution we offer them isn't a quick-and-dirty implementation, I want to make it something that kicks ass.

I also have a couple issues with not adopting the replaygain tags in Vorbis.

The people that are screaming for these tags are not uneducated monkeys who are merely interested in bitching. They are people who are unsatisfied with the current status quo, and they want a change that will help them. These people are Vorbis fans, they want what's best for Vorbis, and they view this as a great way to make Vorbis better than it already is. Where would Vorbis be if it weren't for the angry mob against patents?

I run a very real risk of alienating hardcore Vorbis fans if I don't make an educated decision. Hell, I'm one of them. I need replaygain for the limited DJ stuff I do.

So, that's where I am. I would like to say that there's an easy solution, but I don't think there is. I am extremely interested in hearing what people have to say as far as an alternative is concerned. There is a lot of room for compromise, and I'm primarily concerned with doing what's best for Vorbis in general. Maybe that means giving up the idea that tags aren't for playback data. Maybe that means compromise so that replaygain doesn't need four tags, but makes do with just one. No tags are better than one, but one tag may be better than four.

I could be wrong, I could be right. I look to the knowledge and experience of other Vorbis users and replaygain fans to help me understand the path to the best solution. I'll be following this thread, and I can be reached at should anyone want to drop an E-mail.

Thanks for your time!

Emmett Plant
CEO, Xiph.org Foundation
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Posts in this topic
- Dibrom   What is your stance on Replaygain support in Vorbis?   May 15 2002, 21:30
- - rc55   I'd say vote for the Vorbis tag solution. If anyth...   May 15 2002, 22:05
- - JohnV   [01:36] <Paradox> There is a fundamental dif...   May 15 2002, 23:45
- - rjamorim   QUOTE Originally posted by JohnV Paradox is the C...   May 15 2002, 23:51
- - john33   Seems to me that this guy is a true 'anal retentiv...   May 16 2002, 00:50
- - Emmett_v2   Let me make a few things clear. First off, I've r...   May 16 2002, 00:59
- - MaTTeR   Well considering he is backing up the opinion of h...   May 16 2002, 01:07
- - Case   The values could be stored in header in similar wa...   May 16 2002, 01:14
- - JohnV   Ok people, please give proper reasons why rg shoul...   May 16 2002, 01:19
- - Dibrom   The biggest problem I see here with this situation...   May 16 2002, 02:06
- - rjamorim   QUOTE Originally posted by Dibrom some core peopl...   May 16 2002, 02:16
- - Dibrom   Btw, to everyone in this thread, lets try to keep ...   May 16 2002, 02:18
- - Dibrom   QUOTE Originally posted by rjamorim Hummm... like...   May 16 2002, 02:48
- - rjamorim   Just to clarify (Sorry for keeping OT) I had offe...   May 16 2002, 02:53
- - Emmett_v2   Quoth Dibrom: "The biggest problem I see here wit...   May 16 2002, 02:56
- - Dibrom   QUOTE Originally posted by Emmettfish Well, remem...   May 16 2002, 03:29
- - krsna77   Ok, before I start in, please understand that I am...   May 16 2002, 06:56
- - Dibrom   Actually, this metadata type stuff was discussed v...   May 16 2002, 07:47
- - Lear   QUOTE Originally posted by Emmettfish Many moons...   May 16 2002, 08:03
- - damjang   I think that ReplayGain data should be implemented...   May 16 2002, 08:19
- - YinYang   QUOTE Originally posted by Dibrom Actually, this ...   May 16 2002, 09:24
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by Emmettfish On the oth...   May 16 2002, 19:00
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by Case The values could ...   May 16 2002, 19:01
- - Emanuel   Just an idea, wich I realize might take some time ...   May 16 2002, 19:04
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by Dibrom Actually, this ...   May 16 2002, 19:05
- - Garf   I see three problem areas right now: a) Store dat...   May 16 2002, 19:34
- - Randum   Really I'm not clear on what Emmett's definition o...   May 16 2002, 21:44
- - Emmett_v2   Quoth Randum: "Really I'm not clear on what Emmet...   May 17 2002, 02:40
- - Randum   QUOTE Originally posted by Emmettfish Quoth Randu...   May 17 2002, 03:13
- - 2Bdecided   I'm glad Radium picked up on this fine point! The...   May 17 2002, 10:59
- - 2Bdecided   I know it's been kindly said several times in the ...   May 17 2002, 14:13
- - tw101   I'm late to this discussion, for I need to study f...   May 18 2002, 14:37
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by tw101 Question 1: If...   May 18 2002, 16:49
- - Lear   QUOTE Originally posted by tw101 I don't think I ...   May 18 2002, 18:29
- - tw101   QUOTE Originally posted by Lear That's what we'...   May 19 2002, 15:11
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by tw101 What puzzled me...   May 19 2002, 15:33
- - tw101   QUOTE Originally posted by Garf There is no need ...   May 19 2002, 15:44
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by tw101 Ok, but how muc...   May 19 2002, 16:12
- - tw101   QUOTE Originally posted by Garf [b]This is the on...   May 20 2002, 09:27
- - 2Bdecided   I didn't think my opinion would interest anyone......   May 20 2002, 11:29
- - tw101   QUOTE Originally posted by 2Bdecided I didn't thi...   May 20 2002, 12:32
- - 2Bdecided   tw101, Don't worry - my sarcastic comment wasn't ...   May 20 2002, 13:18
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by tw101 <backing awa...   May 20 2002, 18:23
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by 2Bdecided But no one ...   May 20 2002, 18:24
- - Dibrom   QUOTE Originally posted by Garf You are right - ...   May 20 2002, 21:39
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by Dibrom To clarify, of...   May 21 2002, 19:13
- - JohnV   Well Garf, to tell you the truth I'd be very surpr...   May 21 2002, 21:42
- - Garf   QUOTE Originally posted by JohnV All in all, the...   May 22 2002, 19:33

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