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Mozilla Donates $100K To the Ogg Project

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the big-eyed-fox dept.

Software 334

LWATCDR writes "Mozilla has given the Wikimedia foundation $100,000 to fund Ogg development. The reason is simple: 'Open standards for audio and video are important because they can be used by anyone for any purpose without royalties, and can be inspected and improved by an open community. Today, video and audio on the web are dominated by proprietary technologies, most frequently patent-encumbered codecs wrapped into closed-source player widgets.' While Vorbis is a better standard than MP3, everything I have heard about Theora is that it is technically inferior to many other video codecs. I wonder if wouldn't be better to direct effort to Dirac, perhaps putting Dirac into an Ogg container. No mention was made of FLAC or Speex funding. If more media players supported Speex it would be an ideal codec for many podcasts and audio books. It really is too bad that these codecs so often get overlooked."

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More details on grants (4, Interesting)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626597)

I don't know if I should laugh or cry. On the one hand, $100,000 is serious money. On the other hand, it barely pays for a good developer for one year.

If that's all the resources that one of the most prominent open source foundations has to fight proprietary software, we're in trouble.

Anyway, where does one apply for more grants from the Mozilla foundation? Here are the grant amounts for 2007, see if you can read a subliminal message:

- mozdev.org: $10,000
- Parrot: $10,000
- Dojo Ajax toolkit: $70,000
- Jambu: $10,000
- NVDA: $90,000
- creatives commons: $100,000
- seneca college: $100,000
- Gnome: $10,000
- coreboot: $10,000

--
The 5 Steps to a Great Startup Idea [fairsoftware.net]

Re:More details on grants (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626799)

it barely pays for a good developer for one year.

Well, that depends on the developer and location, I suppose. But anyways, a full time developer on one project? Seems like, presuming the project isn't absolutely huge, that "good developer" should be able to get quite a bit done.

Re:More details on grants (1)

textstring (924171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627031)

Basically, this dude [wikipedia.org] just got $100k from Moz. Or more likely, it went to xiph.org.

Re:More details on grants (3, Insightful)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627527)

For something arcane like Vorbis (or the video codecs they'd like pursued) you can spend money on hundreds or thousands of programmer man-years and not get anything better. Not that many people on the planet really have their head wrapped around the problem (both the math and the psychoacoustic/psychovisual). You're looking for the right person at the right place at the right time, and you won't know whether you actually had any of the above until you've spent your money.

Re:More details on grants (2, Insightful)

Skuto (171945) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627963)

That community is also small enough that you'll usually know whom you'd want.

Re:More details on grants (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626829)

I doubt it's all the resources they have to fight it, but if I were Mozilla, I'd want to see what my $100,000 got me before throwing good money after bad.

Re:More details on grants (1)

camcorder (759720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627043)

Mozilla also sponsored GNOME Flagship conference GUADEC first time this year, and hopefully will keep its contribution for Desktop Summit. That's also very nice of them.

Re:More details on grants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627109)

$100,000 USED to be serious money.. Now it's chump change.

It CAN buy the OGG guys some nice hardware for testing and hosting. but it wont pay for any useful development. A paid programmer for 1 year wont do any more than the dedicated guys they already have working on it.

Re:More details on grants (4, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627409)

$100,000 USED to be serious money.

I stared and stared at this trying to figure out what the 'E' in USD stood for - US [Emergency] Dollars? US [Enron] Dollars?

Re:More details on grants (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627143)

Anyway, where does one apply for more grants from the Mozilla foundation? Here are the grant amounts for 2007, see if you can read a subliminal message:

- mozdev.org: $10,000
- Parrot: $10,000
- Dojo Ajax toolkit: $70,000
- Jambu: $10,000
- NVDA: $90,000
- creatives commons: $100,000
- seneca college: $100,000
- Gnome: $10,000
- coreboot: $10,000

This subliminal message?

Mode vorpar doom dares, no reboot

I don't get it. Please explain.

Re:More details on grants (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627411)

Uhm, what am I supposed to see in this subliminal message? Is there some conspiracy in Mozilla that I'm unaware of, or is this just the typical response you get from someone when they don't consider the project to be 'grassroots' enough anymore since it became successful.

The Mozilla foundations job is to support the web and standards relating to it, I don't really see them preferring any one organization, mentality or political opinion. They make are given X amount of money per year, they use Y amount, and X-Y = Z. Some portion of Z is given out to other projects that are of the same basic alignment as the Mozilla Foundation or are directly beneficial to the Mozilla Foundation. Are you just pissed off that your fanboy project isn't in the list or do you actually have something to show us?

I see: Mozilla giving money to projects that are likely to benefit them in some way, you see ?

Re:More details on grants (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627573)

Well, I guess the real lesson here is that no matter how much you choose to give away, and to whom, there will always be some smelly fucking hippy whining that you are evil cretins because you didn't give more to them.

Re:More details on grants (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26628113)

Paradoxically, I think that a good and dedicated developer working one year on the project would be more useful than a team of 10 average programmers.

I thought Ogg was dead (2, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626747)

I really thought Ogg went the way of the dinosaur. Let's hope Mozilla can help it to succeed in the real world. It will be hard to beat mp3.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626921)

Ogg will live as long as the MPEG patents live. If Ogg can succeed before the MPEG patents are done, then it will be in the same position PNG is in now: just another format people can choose, with some minor technical advantages.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (2, Informative)

yog (19073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626967)

Ogg as an audio format is pretty good. I investigated it a few years back for a voicemail application I was working on. It worked pretty well and obviously comes unencumbered by patents or copyrights, unlike MP3.

I think the main problem is the public's conception of MP3 as the gold standard for music formats. MP3 players have pretty well saturated the standalone market, though flash multimedia and other kinds of streaming formats have made inroads in connected media.

At this point, for ogg to achieve some kind of inroads in the mass audio market, the MP3 owners would need to really jack up their rates, because presently it's priced into every product already. If you save $1 by leaving MP3 out of your player, is it worth it?

But, I am glad to see Mozilla at least making a symbolic effort to keep Ogg (and Theora) alive. As a poster above points out, $100K is not much money in the grand scheme of things, but it is a lot better than nothing and it might keep Ogg on life support a while longer until that killer application comes along (e.g., support for Ogg on iPod and similar players (probably would never happen on Zune, but that particular player looks like it's circling the drain anyway....).

Network effects keep Ogg out (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627151)

All music players have to support MP3 in any case, without this the public won't buy. .mp3 files are what people swap, rip, and play. It's been almost 15 years.

So every normal manufacturer will pay the MP3 licensing fees (which are really a software patent tax, but let's not go there), and optimise their hardware for MP3 playback.

So Ogg is free. Even if the manufacturers got $5 for each machine they shipped Ogg on, most would not do it because it would not increase sales by any measurable amount, and it would force them to pay more for hardware. MP3 decoders are mass produced and very very cheap.

Is Ogg therefore dead? Yes, along with all other "funny" formats, on the general-purpose music player.

Where Ogg should excel is in pure software applications, especially in heavily patented areas like VoIP where there is no hardware cost, where it's trivial to add codecs, and where the current state of play penalizes cheaper solutions.

IOW it'll only work in end-to-end solutions where it can be both encoder and decoder, and resolve the issue of patent costs on the whole system.

Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627365)

"Where Ogg should excel is in pure software applications, especially in heavily patented areas like VoIP where there is no hardware cost, where it's trivial to add codecs, and where the current state of play penalizes cheaper solutions."

That is where SPeex really does shine. Heck Microsoft uses Speex for XBox Live. Too bad they don't support it on the Zune.

Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (3, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627499)

Don't forget games, iff you can ship the decoder with your software, you might aswell go ogg because vorbis has a slightly better file size at reasonable encoding and there are no downsides.

Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (2, Informative)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627669)

I think you'er wrong in thinking that ogg requires special decoder hardware. Implementing it is trivial, as proven by the rockbox team (open source firmware for mp3 players). They've reversed engineered multiple players (ipod family, archos family, etc) to add, among many other things, ogg support.

Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627771)

Efficiency or something like that. Playing mp3s in rock box I get about 7 hours on my player. Playing back the same as ogg and I get less than 4 hours. Now the firmware that comes with the player will let me play those mp3s for close to 10 hours.

Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627809)

Yes but IIRC using ogg almost always reduces battery life since the hardware isn't optimized for it.

Re:Network effects keep Ogg out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26628053)

That is not the point for Mozilla. They are interested in video and audio on the web not on ipods.

Even the summary includes this: "Today, video and audio on the web are dominated by proprietary technologies, most frequently patent-encumbered codecs wrapped into closed-source player widgets."

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (5, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627067)

I really thought Ogg went the way of the dinosaur. Let's hope Mozilla can help it to succeed in the real world. It will be hard to beat mp3.

You thought wrong. [xiph.org]

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627337)

Nice list, but it's definitely not complete. I only play adventure games and there are quite a few beside the Myst series that use Ogg. And the use of Ogg in games is not the same as its use on portable music players, of course.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (3, Informative)

entrigant (233266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627453)

The hardware support is impressive too. Everything from Sansa and Neuros to iRiver and Cowon support both the vorbis and flac codecs. The only major missing player is Apple. Considering over half of my collection is ripped or downloaded in these formats, that is why Apple is not received a dime from me.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627345)

Android also uses it.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627395)

While I support the idea behind Vorbis, it's pretty much dead as far as I'm concerned. MP3 is transparent for most people at higher bitrates. Back when we used to measure flash device storage in megabytes and most people were on dialup, saving a few hundred kilobytes per file by using Vorbis at a lower bitrate was important. Now that flash storage is measured in gigabytes and broadband is widely available, most people just don't care about saving that now relatively minuscule amount of disk space. IMO, the window of opportunity for Vorbis to become a "mainstream" codec has come and gone, at least as long as CD audio is the "standard" audio format.

The fact that Vorbis is Free and MP3 is patent-encumbered is a non-issue for most people. They download an MP3, double click on it, and it plays, that's all they care about.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627491)

While I support the idea behind local restaurants, it's pretty much dead as far as I'm concerned. McDonalds is good enough for most people who are hungry. Back when we used to measure quality by taste, having good taste at a low price was important. Now that taste is irrelevant, most people just don't care it. IMO, the window of opportunity for local restaurants to become "mainstream" has come and gone, at least as long as McDonalds is the standard restaurant.

The fact that local restaurants have better quality food is a non-issue for most people. They just want to eat, that's all they care about.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627715)

In Spain, the burgers taste like Whitecastle's but they at least have decent salads and gazpacho in the summer (and the McRib which should never have died in the US). Many in the US would probably also enjoy McD's drink options in Spain as well.

Re:I thought Ogg was dead (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627757)

MP3 is transparent for most people at higher bitrates

The funny thing is that at higher bitrates, MP2 is generally considered higher quality than MP3. And MP2 is backward/forward compatible with MP3 - that is, an MP2 will play on all MP3 players (MP3 ("MPEG Audio Layer 3") is, as the name implies, MP2 with an extra layer grafted on so that lower bitrate audio will sound decent), and oddly enough an MP2 player will play an MP3 but it'll sound like crap.

Why is this funny?

Well, MP2 is essentially patent free. Fraunhoffer has indicated they have no desire to enforce any patents they own against MP2 implementations.

Couple that with the enormous capacity increases you're seeing in regular MP3 players, and there's not much reason to go for Ogg anymore. Encode your stuff as 192kbps MP2, and it's future proof, playable on free players, playable on virtually every portable player, and higher quality than MP3 at the same bitrate. Go figure.

"Better" is relative... (3, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626807)

Ogg might be "better" than MP3 in terms of sound quality but ultimately it consumes significantly more CPU time.

Now when listening to music on a PC those additional cycles might be a drop in the ocean but what we've seen is a lot of MP3 players skipping the codec because their cheap devices couldn't handle the playback load.

Re:"Better" is relative... (4, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626939)

MP3 players now mostly use hardware decoders, because they are much cheaper and energy-efficient than CPU decoding.

Re:"Better" is relative... (5, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626965)

I agree with you. But AAC support is going up. It should be becoming less of an issue and when popular formats start changing hands, it's the perfect time for a new disruptive format to come in.

Ogg's biggest problems is that people don't know it exists. Not that it is a bad or good format/container.

Re:"Better" is relative... (4, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627447)

I've been introducing my friends to Oggs whenever possible.

My biggest thing about them is that historically MP3s have had terrible support for seamless transitions between tracks ("gapless playback"), and I listen to tons of music that relies on not being able to hear those transitions: Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, movie soundtracks, classical music...

In order to have gapless support with MP3s, you need to use LAME to encode them, then use a LAME-aware decoder that supports LAME's gapless playback headers, like foobar2000 or Rockbox. But then if you play those in a non-LAME-aware decoder, like most non-Rockbox portable players, then you get a gap. The only way around this is LAME's (rather fragile) gapless switch, which extends the packets to end the song on a packet boundary.

Meanwhile, Oggs have no packet restrictions, so they inherently support gapless playback with no extra tricks.

Shameless plug (since not everyone has sigs enabled): I wrote FlacSquisher [sourceforge.net] , a program to convert FLACs to Ogg Vorbis or MP3 format. Then I can rip my CDs to FLAC for home-listening use, then encode them en masse to Oggs for portable use. Try it out! :)

Re:"Better" is relative... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627525)

We know ogg exists because we have to demux the file, re-encode the audio with a "normal" codec and then remux it.

I wish I didn't know that ogg existed since it would either effectively not exist or work seamlessly and invisibly with non-obscure hardware so I didn't have to care about it.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1, Funny)

ichthus (72442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627659)

Also, the name sucks. Who wants to buy an "Ogg player"?

Or, "Hey, can you share your oggs on the network?"

How about, "Sting just released a new ogg album."

Stupid. Ogg.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26626979)

CPU time? Nah.

Many of the players that don't support Ogg/Vorbis support it just file with the rockbox firmware on them. It's not a hardware issue. Vorbis has similar CPU demands to AAC.

ASIC (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627173)

It's not a hardware issue. Vorbis has similar CPU demands to AAC.

Unless the player has an ASIC that can decode MP3 and AAC but not Vorbis.

Re:"Better" is relative... (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626981)

Better is also subjective. It depends on the criteria you choose. The only thing MP3 has going for it is deployment. MP4 is pretty well supported (all desktops, any Nokia phone, and a lot of other portable devices) and generally beats or equals Vorbis on listening tests. Vorbis is... free. You can play it back on any desktop and a few portables, but the sound quality isn't better than MP4 and the installed base isn't bigger than MP3.

Re:"Better" is relative... (3, Informative)

arugulatarsus (1167251) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626995)

I-river was great in that it supported ogg/vorbis encoded music. Mine also works with AA batteries for 30 hours of non-stop music. A pity it's not called the iIriver, then it would have been more successful. Here's a list of ogg capable mp3 players. http://wiki.xiph.org/index.php/PortablePlayers [xiph.org]

Vorbis is attractive (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627019)

Vorbis lose out in power consumption if your base of comparison is player with a dedicated mp3 silicon vs running a software implementation of vorbis on a generic CPU, which was a realistic scenario a couple of years ago, I agree. Because it's a more advanced and better sounding codec, vorbis requires a bit more memory (or to be more precise, the bounds are looser). There's been talk about a 'mobile profile' but I don't think anything came of it. I think it's a bit late anyhow, if we'd had one from the beginning things might have turned out different.

None the less, I have several gigabytes if vorbis on my iAudio D2, a two hour commute per day, and I recharge it on the weekends. Vorbis wins every day in my life.

Re:"Better" is relative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627049)

I'd say my Sansa Clip is a cheap "mp3-player".
It has no problems with .ogg files encoded at highest quality.

So i dont think the decompression work is that much of an issue.
The issue is having .ogg support on the player in the first place.

How the battery-drain compares between .mp3 and .ogg might be a different thing,
but i can't remember when it last ran out and i only use .ogg on it.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1)

Iron E (948355) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627073)

That may have been valid in 2002 when Vorbis 1.0 was released, but by now its not much of an excuse. I have a Cowon G3 (released 2004) with official Vorbis support and it plays them without problems.

There's also the patent problem with MP3, although that should expire in the next couple of years.

Re:"Better" is relative... (2, Informative)

karmatic (776420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627137)

The overhead is not so bad if the decoders are done in an efficient manner.

I used to run around with a IPAQ 1910 (46mb available ram total, 300 MHz. It could do full screen, full motion decoding w/ OGG (128-192kbps) and MPEG-4 at the same time.

There are very few modern MP3 devices which _don't_ have sufficient horsepower to decode ogg, yet can handle MP3s.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26628021)

For what it's worth, for properly-optimized decoders on ARM, there isn't really a CPU penalty for Ogg Vorbis, if anything there's a CPU penalty for MP3.
Unless you have multiple CPU cores and optimize the MP3 decoder to use both cores but only use 1 core for Vorbis.

Re:"Better" is relative... (5, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627227)

Ogg might be "better" than MP3 in terms of sound quality

First: <pedantic>Ogg is the container format, like QuickTime or AVI. Vorbis is the audio codec being compared to MP3. You could, if you wanted to, put MP3 bits into an Ogg container; I guess this would be "Ogg MP3". </pedantic>.

Vorbis gives you better quality per bit than MP3. That means you can have higher quality in the same number of bits, or similar quality in fewer bits. Given that most of us aren't using modems anymore, perhaps this is only a weak selling point for Vorbis. It's still nice for small portable music players, though.

but ultimately it consumes significantly more CPU time.

As I understand it, the overhead for Vorbis isn't really that bad. The chief sticking point is that the little portable players use DSP chips, and the DSP chip vendors have excellent support for MP3 and no support for Vorbis. This means that when a project like Rockbox [rockbox.org] adds Vorbis support to a portable player, often they use the main CPU instead of the DSP chip, and that means a drastically worse power drain.

A sticking point from the past was that Vorbis was written to use floating-point math in the decoder. The Vorbis folks made an integer-math-only decoder called Tremor [wikipedia.org] , which answers that point.

For a desktop computer, you would never notice the difference between a good Vorbis decoder and a good MP3 decoder.

I think the main reason for the lack of Vorbis takeup is inertia. Everyone has MP3s, so the players all support MP3s. Since the players support MP3s, only geeks like me bother with Vorbis, so the player companies don't feel motivated to support anything but MP3. I used to hope for Vorbis support everywhere, but now MP3 is just a few years away from its patents expiring, so it's going to be MP3 for the near to middle term.

I own a couple of Sansa players that can play Ogg Vorbis. They have excellent battery life, despite being tiny little things. They stand as examples that there is no inherent technical reason why Vorbis cannot work on small portable players. By the way, if you are a geek, you should consider one of these before you buy an iPod Shuffle; more features for less money, and it works as a USB storage device so it works perfectly well on Linux.

http://www.sansa.com/players/sansa_clip/tech [sansa.com]

steveha

Re:"Better" is relative... (2, Informative)

entrigant (233266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627503)

The newest firmware even plays FLAC :) I have a 4GB clip and I love it. OLED screen, mp3/wma/vorbis/flac support, usb mass storage, usb charging, fm tuner, fantastic battery life, AND it's tiny. Great stuff.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627299)

Actually there is a lot of players that support Vorbis Ogg out of the box. What they don't support is Speex Ogg.
What would it take to get Ogg to be popular. That is very simple. Get Apple to support Vorbis on the iPod. I would love for Speex to be supported as well.

iOgg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627617)

Absolutely correct. There are over 100,000,000 iPods out there, and none of them support .ogg

Consumers are apathetic and ignorant of music standards, what they know is "What's the easiest way to get this CD on my iPod"

Even Microsoft loses the WMA battle, because people have to make their music files MP3 to get transferred to their iPod.

Re:iOgg (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627787)

Even Microsoft loses the WMA battle, because people have to make their music files MP3 to get transferred to their iPod.

Wrong. iTunes will convert WMA to AAC to copy to the iPod.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627697)

Speex's main purpose is to deal with voice streams first and foremost. I can certainly understand that vorbis in ogg will be much more pervasive in general, because speex will be good for audio books but not a lot more when it comes to audio players.

Re:"Better" is relative... (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627309)

I don't know, my old Samsung YP-T9 always played FLAC & Vorbis files just fine. And, seriously, the cost of having to support those "additional cycles" in hardware is probably less than the licensing costs for MP3.

They said that about H.264, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627355)

The same thing was said about MPEG-4 AVC a.k.a. H.264. Hasn't slowed down Apple from making a bundle.

Does Dirac need the money? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26626843)

Dirac is developed by the BBC. I don't think $100,000 is really going to make a bit of difference to them. And if the money has gone to the Ogg project who says that part of it won't go to making Ogg support Dirac from their end?

As far as Theora performance, Wikipedia has this to say:

Sources close to Xiph.org have stated that the performance characteristics of the current Theora reference implementation are mostly dominated by implementation issues inherited from the original VP3 code base

I have no idea if that's accurate or not, but assuming it is it sounds like Theora's performance problems could largely be solved given enough resources to rewrite code. $100,000 isn't a bad place to start.

Re:Does Dirac need the money? (1)

DMalic (1118167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627799)

You know the abysmal codec youtube uses? The horrible, unbelievably bad abomination that could use megabits of bandwidth and still be unwatchable? That's ON Software's VP6 or VP7.. forgot which, *newer* than the VP3 codec Theora is based off.

Dear Slashdot contributor: chicken and the egg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26626857)

See, it's a Catch-22, Heller-esque thing.

Well Well. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26626881)

What? So Jimmy and his high-level cult toadies can eat sushi for lunch while wearing silk kimonos?

Brace for the flood... (2, Interesting)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626883)

...of "There Can Be Only One, and it's Adobe® Flash®!"/"'Ogg' sounds stupid!" posts...

I can't say I necessarily care for their implementation of the <audio> and <video> tags in the HTML 5 proposals, but at least this'll give a plugin-free and license-fee-free way of doing audio and video in Firefox and Opera...and supposedly Safari.

Of course, Safari only supports "Apple Quicktime" as usual, but I'm guessing that installing XiphQT would let it work with the same media as Firefox and Opera...

I imagine the DirectShow plugins for Ogg Vorbis/Theora might eventually solve the problem for those who insist on using IE, too, if Microsoft ever catches up to HTML5.

Mozilla and Open Standards (5, Insightful)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626887)

While it's not a lot of money, I think the more important detail is that Mozilla is backing OGG. When Mozilla backed PNG, many websites started replacing their old patent-encumbered GIFs with PNGs, and even IE started to support PNG format.

While I agree that Theora is far from complete, OGG does not imply Theora. Theora is simply a free codec that can be stuffed in an OGG container. Once again, Mozilla opens the door to web developers who believe in open standards, and certainly there are development teams who will loathe their MP3s and replace them with unecumbered OGG/Vorbis. Microsoft will refuse to support it, at first, but Firefox has sufficient market share that there will be enough websites that use OGG to force Microsoft to add the support.

This can only be a Good Thing. Small shops that don't want to mess around with licensing fees will have a good alternative to use for streaming audio (and later video). More importantly, those streams can be saved by customers for later use. Proprietary solutions to streaming audio/video usually cripple the player in such a way that the end user can't save the file (Flash for instance).

Mozilla is one of the heavy hitters, IMO. Their financial support and commitment to Open Standards have been a thorn in Microsoft's side since Netscape was released. Way to go Mozilla!

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627011)

"OGG does not imply Theora. Theora is simply a free codec that can be stuffed in an OGG container."

Actually also a good point - Theora is intended to be a sort of "lowest common denominator" format as far as I can tell. There's nothing stopping them from using it as a stepping-stone to get support for the <audio> and <video> tags and the Ogg container format, and then adding Ogg/Dirac, Ogg/Speex, etc. support in later revisions.

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627023)

The funding seems to be for Vorbis and Theora. Notice that I did mention that Ogg could drop Theora and put Dirac in the Ogg contatiner.
 

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627035)

"Mozilla is one of the heavy hitters"

If so, why are they throwing lunch money at one of the most significant problems in modern popular computing?

I simply find this frustrating:

'Open standards for audio and video are important because they can be used by anyone for any purpose without royalties, and can be inspected and improved by an open community. Today, video and audio on the web are dominated by proprietary technologies"

Talk about stating the fucking obvious. We knew that in the 1990s

Why did it take us till 2009 to get to this?

Why is it always too little too late with open source?

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627221)

I love Mozilla!

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (3, Insightful)

jimand (517224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627225)

I agree, sort of. Mozilla support of ogg may encourage it on websites but as long as there is a shortage of devices that play ogg (particularly ipods) it will never become as popular as .png for example.

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (2, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627237)

...there will be enough websites that use OGG to force Microsoft to add the support.

...there is one, very popular, site [wikipedia.org] that uses OGG, which will force Microsoft to add the support.

fixed it for ya!

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627865)

Umm, no.

I believe they wrote a Java player as the fallback option. Besides, Wikipedia has been around for a long time, and Microsoft hasn't added support yet.

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (3, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627283)

When Mozilla backed PNG, many websites started replacing their old patent-encumbered GIFs with PNGs, and even IE started to support PNG format.

I think it was a good, positive thing that an alternative to GIF was created and widely implemented. However, let's be realistic about what it accomplished. As a user, there was never a viable option to run a browser without GIF support; if even one site you visit still uses GIFs, then you need a browser with a GIF decoder built in. As a web developer, the situation wasn't all that different. Say you're a professional web developer, and you're hired to do a site that has to work in IE x.y+ and Firefox z.w+. Well, you look at whether the browsers you're required to support will support PNG at all, and you also look at whether they support all PNG features properly, and whether you need the features that aren't supported properly in IE. Yes, you might be able to do the job without having a patent-encumbered LZW encoder. So there was a time when PNG was completely nonviable because of complete lack of browser support, possibly followed by a certain time when you might be able to get away with not having a patent-encumbered algorithm on your web development machine, and now the present period when the LZW patents have expired. That middle period was probably not just short for most professional web developers, it was probably nonexistent.

The basic problem was that there only had to some tiny number of cases where PNG wouldn't work, and that was enough to make anyone running a commercial web site demand that the site be designed so that it would work in a browser that supported GIF.

Similar issue with audio codecs. I recently digitized my LP collection, and also transferred my CDs to my computer so I could stop having piles of CDs around my living room. I decided to encode everything in a lossy format, because I wanted my backups to be a reasonable size, and I personally can't hear the difference between mp3/ogg levels of lossiness and CD quality. I was all fired up to use ogg, until I started confronting the realities. I have a portable mp3 player that works with mp3 but not with ogg. That simple fact was enough to make me decide on using mp3. It doesn't matter that my linux box supports ogg, and my network appliance I use as a music server also supports ogg. All it takes is one place where support is lacking, and I bite the bullet and go with the non-free format. And just as the LZW patent has already expired, the patents relating to mp3 are also starting to expire.

I'm glad that both png and ogg were created, but I don't think we should overestimate what they accomplished during the limited time when they were alternatives to patent-encumbered formats.

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627997)

I was all fired up to use ogg, until I started confronting the realities. I have a portable mp3 player that works with mp3 but not with ogg. That simple fact was enough to make me decide on using mp3. It doesn't matter that my linux box supports ogg, and my network appliance I use as a music server also supports ogg. All it takes is one place where support is lacking, and I bite the bullet and go with the non-free format.

Drifting somewhat off topic, perhaps, but I think that is a significant reason for the slow uptake of Blu-Ray. Until I have a Blu-Ray player for every TV/PC in the house, I'm sticking with DVD...

Re:Mozilla and Open Standards (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26628001)

Not to burst your bubble, but those sites that use crippled players aren't going to change any time soon. Being free and allowing users the freedom to do what they want with data you feed them is a great ideal to hold yourself too.

But ... at this point in time, your an idiot if you think companies are going to be in a massive hurry to give up things that help them ensure the general public keeps paying for their services rather than just downloading it once and viewing it multiple times (or listen, or read, or whatever).

Push OGG all you want, it won't be accepted by the people who use media to make money. Paying for a server (hardware and software) to run a flash video service and making sure that the general public keeps paying for the service or at least keeps coming back to your ad riddled website is FAR more profitable than having something the user can download, save, and continue to watch later, possibly never visiting your crappy little site again.

Sites who expect revenue have to have a reason for people to come back. Proprietary/DRMish software is far cheaper to buy than the cost of having a website that has enough new content over a period of time to keep people coming back. And whats worse, the general public has no problem with this concept so theres no push for them to change.

You can't compare this to GIF. Fraunhofer hasn't started suing people just yet, not on the scale associated with the GIF license threats. To top it off, these websites don't license technology for these formats directly anyway, they buy a server software packages and design tools that already have been licensed to use mp3s or whatever format they want, the licensing issue will matter to someone like Adobe who includes it in their products but they don't want to piss off their customers by making it easy for people to save the data either. No company worth its salt is inventing its own in house software for the servers with the exception of the massive heavyweights like YouTube, its a waste of money to write all that software versus just buying something. Companies don't make their own cars, they buy them from someone whos in that business and knows how to make them. If you figure out some out standing reason that all of the content producing software on the market wants to use OGG then something may happen, but there is no reason big enough to get this to happen. The common formats are licensed cheap enough that its not worth starting from scratch.

Finally, just because someone thinks OGG (Theora or Vorbis, or any other format for that matter) is a technically superior format, doesn't mean it actually is for every situation. As has been stated by others, there is plenty of cheap hardware that is either capable of decoding an mp3 or has specific hardware to it on the die. Don't expect to see Apple supporting OGG any time soon since the hardware doesn't support it already, and that alone is enough to make it largely unimportant outside of the OSS community.

Do I want OGG to become the format to use? No, not really, I don't want all my existing devices to not work and have to convert back to a different codec anyway. That would go away in time of course, but even as a consumer where this could make it easier for me to save things, I simply don't care, and neither do the other 90% or so of the population.

But lets assume it becomes the normal. Guess what, the sites that use it are going to just wrap it in something else that puts us back where we are now. Its far cheaper to give people a crappy product and force them to come back than it is to give them a good product and make them want to come back, so OGG just isn't going to be the first on anyone that matters list.

Mozilla is certainly one of the biggest players in the web browser and OSS arenas, but even with all their strides, they are still competing with far more, far larger, and far greedier organizations that will do what they need to do to keep their revenue streams flowing, they would be stupid not to.

Macromedia used the Gecko engine in one of its products, not to screw microsoft, but because it benefited them due to its cross platform nature. One rendering engine on both OSX and Windows, and (relative) standards compliance at that. But if doing so meant that it was going to possibly hurt its customers enough that they wouldn't use their products it would have never happened.

So to end it all. Yea! Mozilla is being a good little non-profit organization. But really, no one cares outside of this community, sorry.

Go ahead - throw your money away (-1, Troll)

schmidtjas (992363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626893)

Who even uses OGG. Who has even heard of it?

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (1)

Anonymous Cowbell (1456535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26626929)

I am more familiar with OPP, which I am down with BTW

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (2, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627121)

"Who even uses OGG. Who has even heard of it?"

Exactly.

While a handful of programming geeks are fiddling with OGG because it's open source and not "patent-encumbered" the rest of the world couldn't care less. I can download a copy of WinAmp for free and it plays my nasty evil patent-encumbered MP3s just fine. Same with my inexpensive MP3 player.

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627349)

Have you heard of Wikipedia? It's quite popular, apparently one of the largest websites in the world. They use Ogg exclusively.

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (4, Interesting)

horza (87255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627549)

I encode my stuff in Ogg as only I am going to listen to it. If I want to play it on an MP3 player I'll just buy a Samsung which are well priced and specced and play Ogg. I don't know of any popular Linux music player that doesn't play both MP3 (sometimes with extra download) and Ogg transparently. A "programming geek" doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks. This is why he is superior to you.

Phillip.

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (4, Informative)

Enleth (947766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627811)

Uninformed troll you are, sir.

Had you checked any source - even Wikipedia - you would know that Ogg Vorbis is being used extensively in game industry, both for technical superiority (not only that of the codec itself, which could be disputed, but of the library, which is very easy to integrate and fully supported by the Miles Sound System) and legal status. There are no patents on this, so the lawyers (and, consequently, the execs) in the game development studios are happy because they don't have to worry about some random company telling them to pay up a week before release and yet, it costs nothing.

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627839)

Hundreds of games use audio in the ogg format.

No license fees to be paid. More money for drm.

Re:Go ahead - throw your money away (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627215)

So - you'd prefer them to donate money to a project that's already established? In other words, a project that doesn't need money?

It's the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26626983)

Changing the name to something less silly sounding than "Ogg" would have more effect than any amount of money.

Re:It's the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627285)

You assholes always bring up the name but fail to see the silliness in many of the other names out there because they have been with us for a long time. A technology company named Apple sounds pretty stupid if it was started today. What about Micro-soft or a company naming themselves Sun. Google sounded pretty silly outside of the circle of mathematicians and don't get me started on Yahoo!. Let's look at funny sounding programs. A operating system named Windows, an IM program named AIM? iTunes? The practice of putting i in front of a product? You guys just want something to nitpick about with Open Source. I agree a lot of OSS software have silly names but that's not the reason you're picking on it.

I'll never understand why people are so bothered with others who decide to write software and provide the source code. What is the problem? Why does it affect you so much? Proprietary software bothers some people so they go and use/create alternatives. One thing that most all open source projects don't do is force themselves on you, and you can't say the same for vendor backed closed offerings. Don't like Ogg, Linux, Firefox, Open Office? Don't use it.

Re:It's the name (1)

artg (24127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627323)

I get really bored with this argument.
How is Ogg more silly-sounding than emmpeethree or dubbleyewemmaye ?
It's just a sound. It doesn't have to have an etymology, and if it did I don't suppose for a moment it would help the marketing. The important thing is to attach that word to a concept that people grok, and a word that's unusual will do that more easily than something unpronounceable and tongue-tangling like peecee-emmcee-iyeaye.

Re:It's the name (1)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627661)

Ogg just sounds stupid. If you don't think so, then I guess you are one of the few people who just don't get it. It sounds like something a retarded caveman would say.

Names matter. It's why significant amounts of marketing money are spent coming up with names for products. If Ford named a car the "Ogg" do you really think that having such a dumb name wouldn't prevent people from buying it?

I have heard alot of dumb technology names in my time, but Ogg is *far and away* the worst. I used to think Athlon sounded dumb, and it did, but after a while it stopped sounding that way. However, Ogg sounded terrible the first time I heard it 10 years ago or so, and it STILL sounds stupid. It is just a terrible name, plain and simple, and trust me, it's hurt the adoption of that standard, and will continue to do so.

I agrew with the O.P. Changing the name of the standard will do more good than that $100K and won't cost anything.

Re:It's the name (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627957)

I have heard alot of dumb technology names in my time, but Ogg is *far and away* the worst. I used to think Athlon sounded dumb, and it did, but after a while it stopped sounding that way.

It stopped sounding dumb because lots of people used the name "Athlon" on a regular basis. If lots of people used the name "Ogg" on a regular basis, it would no longer sound dumb. But its lack of market penetration is preventing name recognition - rather than the other way around.

Re:It's the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627913)

Changing the name to something less silly sounding than "Ogg" would have more effect than any amount of money.

You know, in the past I've thought that the Ogg name is rather dumb sounding as well.

If Ogg is simply another container format, like MOV/AVI/TIFF, why not call it ENV for envelope, but pronounce it "Envy"?

I want your ENV files because I am envious of your music/video collection.

It's simple, pronounceable, and doesn't immediately sound worse than MP3.

ogg! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627021)

Anyone remember when every Slashdot article had comments asking "but does it play Ogg?"

Not to be confused with Oog the Open Source Caveman.

Anyway, I haven't heard or thought about Ogg files in a couple years now. Good luck with that, I guess.

Matroska? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26627139)

Anyone know why OGG seems to get more support than Matroska? Matroska seems like the more flexible and better container format.

Misread the title (1)

arugulatarsus (1167251) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627191)

I nearly spat all over my monitor/kb when I misread : "Microsoft donates 100k to ogg."

Wiggy.

Don't think MP3 players are the end of the market (2, Insightful)

artg (24127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627195)

Media players don't start and stop with handheld music. Just as Linux made huge inroads into the embedded market before becoming credible as a desktop system, Ogg may well have applications where the customer only cares about the end result, not the method.

An example is the popular Tomtom satnav, which uses Ogg for (presumably) prerecorded speech (and also runs linux).

Although such hidden applications might sound unimportant, they create familiarity for developers and PHBs. So as Linux has crept from turnkey systems - like Tomtom - to phones and netbooks, Ogg may do the same. It's perfectly reasonable to use Ogg as an in-system codec as Apple do with their encoder : it doesn't matter that the end user provides the music in another format. And ultimately, it's all over the place : cheap, license-free and open.

lossy is outdated (0, Troll)

noldrin (635339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627271)

Lossy is outdated, lossless is the future, free software should be focusing on it's lossless formats like FLAC.

Hey, Speex is part of the Xiph foundation (1, Informative)

Benanov (583592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627287)

I do adore how the money is apparently only for "Ogg" (and the OP means Ogg Vorbis) when Ogg is the *container format*.

Speex is just as supported by the Xiph foundation as Vorbis is.

Re:Hey, Speex is part of the Xiph foundation (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627693)

Actually, if you read the article:

"Mozilla has given the Wikimedia Foundation a $100,000 grant intended to fund development of the Ogg container format and the Theora and Vorbis media codecs."

The summary on /. just lazily copied the headline on the article.

Lost Cause (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627293)

MP3 has clearly won this battle and if it weren't for a few enthusiasts struggling to keep Ogg alive we would all have forgotten about it by now. If Mozilla wants to throw money at something they'd do better investing in FLAC. At least audiophiles are all over that format and if it could be brought down to a more manageable size portable players might pick it up too.

Re:Lost Cause (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26628057)

I suspect that if (impossibly) FLAC was brought down in size to be competitive with MP3, audiophiles would abandon it and find some other format that was large, unwieldy, and expensive to store all their music.

Eh, big deal (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627325)

It seems to me that if Sony, Phillips, and all the other big audio/video vendors aren't funding an open source effort then they simply could care less about the licensing costs. If they don't care, why should I care? Afterall, they are the ones who have to pay for usage. Ask 99% of the people out there about audio/video/image licenses and they wouldn't know or even care about them. Completely transparent to the end user.

None of the products that you buy are priced directly by BOM costs. If Sony can save $1 in licensing costs if won't translate to you saving $1 on the price. Although I must admit Im a bit curious what they do pay. It probably comes out out pennies a unit, but that's just a guess.

some source links and information (4, Informative)

bigmammoth (526309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627579)

hmm not the post I would have chosen for this news... Could have pointed out some of the source [wikimedia.org] post [0xdeadbeef.com] announcements [metavid.org] and avoid perpetuating a few misconceptions.

I have heard about Theora is that it is technically inferior to many other video codecs

Hence the need for funding the Thusnelda [mit.edu] enhancements. Theora is a pretty solid codec and can be greatly improved with a few enhancements on the encoder side.

I wonder if wouldn't be better to direct effort to Dirac, perhaps putting Dirac into an Ogg container

Dirac is best at high resolution high bitrate video and not so good for standard definition low bitrate video, hence an enhanced theora is the optimal way to hit the low bandwidth target. Enabling theora to be competitive or better than others codecs in the low bitrate range in the intimidate future with relatively small investment.

Furthermore dirac is planed for inclusion and will be explored in the tail end of this grant. (once liboggplay is more solid). Making liboggplay playback library solid will enable Dirac support to be solid as well. Since Dirac already has a maturing decoder/encoder library (Schrodinger) and already been mapped to an ogg container (what liboggplay plays).
It's relatively easy to add in additional free codecs with ogg mappings. if( FLAC, Speex or Dirac) and will not be the primary use of the funding so its not focused in on the announcement or secondary coverage of the announcement.
More info on the announcement here [metavid.org] and the above mentioned links.

Theora's place among video codecs (2, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627613)

From the summary:
everything I have heard about Theora is that it is technically inferior to many other video codecs.

I am not an expert on video codecs, but here is my understanding of the situation.

Theora is a relatively undeveloped technology in comparison with the industry standards of MPEG2 or MPEG4. There are relatively few developers working on it. Overall they have done a pretty good job of defining a standard, but they are still working on improving the encoder. The encoding format is now frozen, which means you can write a decoder and expect it to be able to decode any future Theora bitstream; but the encoders are still being improved. The earliest Theora encoders were pretty terrible, but newer ones have gotten better, to the point where Theora is now more efficient than MPEG2. ("More efficient" meaning encoding the same video at the same quality in fewer bits, or encoding better quality in the same number of bits.) MPEG4 is currently more efficient than Theora, but not free.

There is plenty of room for a clever encoder to reduce the bitstream with video. As a trivial example, suppose we are encoding a scene where a car is driving from left to right. A brain-dead encoder could simply notice that the car pixels have changed, and encode them all over again; a smarter encoder could detect that the next frame looks very much like the previous frame, except that certain pixels have slid over a bit, and instead of re-encoding every changed pixel, the clever encoder can encode "these pixels are like those older pixels, except slid to the right by X amount". It's not easy to write an encoder that can do an optimal job of figuring out the most efficient way to represent the changes between several frames of video. Many more man-years have been spent on proprietary MPEG encoders compared to the time spent on Theora so far.

It is not clear to me how much room for further improvement there might be. Can Theora ever approach MPEG4 for efficiency? My guess is that there are patented technologies in MPEG4 which allow for more efficiency than is possible with Theora, but I don't know to what degree. Note that the Theora guys are saying [theora.org] that Theora is in the same class with MPEG4.

Given that MPEG2 is considered adequate for many purposes, it seems to me that Theora should be adequate for many purposes, and it's free. I have high-speed Internet and I would love it if Youtube and such sites offered Theora video in addition to Flash; the Flash player seems to leak memory a lot and I wish I didn't need it.

I wonder if we will start to see Theora-encoded video cutscenes in video games, just as we have seen Vorbis-encoded audio in video games?

If I got anything wrong in the above, please correct me.

steveha

MP3 is irrelevant in this (3, Insightful)

GerardM (535367) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627743)

The Wikimedia Foundation does not allow MP3. When one of the biggest websites does not use MP3 but ogg, it makes a serious difference.
Thanks,
        GerardM

Nedd an IE plugin (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627817)

If they want OGG to be as successful as PNG has been, they're going to need to build an IE plugin (perhaps an ActiveX object). Web site operators need to be able to embed OGG video and audio clips, knowing that it will "just work" on Mozilla, and that IE it's only a couple of clicks away. If it's successful enough, then Microsoft might replace the plugin with built-in functionality. But don't count on it. They really want Silverlight to take over.

In One hand... (1)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627825)

@LWATCDR First you write of great news to open source, Mozilla donates $100k to help development progress to Ogg which has Vorbis and Theora, but then basically say the donation was a waste because it wasn't a different codec. Can't we be grateful that a donation was made in the first place? And a hefty donation at that.

Cheers Mozilla!

Overlooked? Hardly. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26627859)

"...It really is too bad that these codecs so often get overlooked."

Codecs, even superior ones, often do not get "overlooked", for one simple answer.

You know how corporations spell the word "proprietary"?

P-R-O-F-I-T.

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