A free audio compression technology and software growing quickly in use. It's open-source audio encoder and audio streaming system is an excellent alternative to MP3 both in terms of better sound quality and its nature as a patent-free software with no license restrictions. MP3 and other systems have a variety of restrictions.
OGG is Best?
According to most tests, Ogg Vorbis is the Best Compressed Audio Format and for most applications/music types. It is under continual development and future versions are expected to continue to improve sound quality to file size ratio. Many other services have been criticized for producing a great format and then sitting on it.
However, OGG may not be the best choice in every circumstance. For instance, it is not very good at encoding low-bitrate audio (something its sister project Speex will address).
Ogg Vorbis can encode files at a wide variety of bitrates from sub-16kbps to 256kbps, and in stereo, mono, or 5.1 surround sound. This includes both Variable and Fixed Bitrate Compression for streaming.
What plays .OGG files?
- iTunes (requires plugin drag-and-droped into the iTunes plugin folder)
- Windows Media Player (requires that a plugin (or alternative plugin) be installed)
- ... and many more
Creating OGG files
Due to its ease, quality, and freedom from license issues, Ogg Vorbis is becoming one of the most common available audio encoding options.
- This list is not exaustive
- The easy-to-use drag-and-drop front-end OggDropXP from developer John Edwards. User note: the Web site has very poor documentation on which file is the latest and greatest. As of this writing, the latest working, iA tested release is 1.7.10.
- CDEX - an excellent, free, open-source CD Ripper for Windows.
- DBpowerAmp - a multi-function music converter
Also see Ripping CDs.
Who distributes OGG files?
There are a few ways to get hold of OGG Vorbis files as well as places dedicated to trade these files.
- Grab a lossless source (e.g. CD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC) and encode this to OGG Vorbis.
- Search the Internet (e.g. the Usenet group alt.binaries.sounds.ogg).
- Visit the 'OGG Vorbis' or 'OGG' chatrooms on P2P networks.
Hardware OGG players?
Some MP3 players are known to play OGG Vorbis by default. Others need a firmware update. The majority just doesn't play OGG Vorbis at this time of writing. Here are a list of players supporting OGG Vorbis files:
This list is not exhaustive.
- COWON IAUDIO -
- FLASH MP3 - U3, F1, G3, G2, 5, CW200, CW100s, CW100
- HDD MP3 - X5, M5, M3
- iRiver - H320, H340, IHP 120, IHP 140. PMP120, IFP 790, IFP 795, IFP 799.
- MPIO - HD200, FG100.
- IOPS - MFP 325, MFP 350.
- JOS - MP130.
- VICTORY - Musicbox.
- SAMSUNG - YP-T5V. YP60V.
Note: do not convert OGG vorbis to MP3, WMA or visa versa. The conversion process is lossy and each conversion degrades quality. Converting an OGG Vorbis file to a MPEG 1 Layer 3 (MP3) file or vice versa always means a loss of quality and is discouraged. You must chose when the file is first taken from its original source and not after.
Vorbis targets general-purpose compression for mid to high quality, (8kHz-48.0kHz, 16+ bit, polyphonic) of audio and music at fixed and variable bitrates from 16 to 128 kbps/channel. Sound quality is considered to be superior to MPEG-1/2 audio layer 3 (MP3) at all bitrates. Vorbis competes with latest WMA, MP3Pro and with MPEG-4 audio (AAC).
- Slashdot: Ogg Vorbis: the alternative to MP3
- Another Ogg Vorbis Compression Intro
- Why artists should be using Ogg Vorbis
- Slashdot: Ogg gets its own RFC
- BladeEnc, one of the most popular MP3 encoders, openly encourages users to switch to Ogg Vorbis on the front page of his site.
- A quicktime decoder that will also make iTunes compatible with Ogg Vorbis.