With my work utilising HTML5, I understand the importance of free access to media, and the huge furor of news that was generated over the iPad’s announcement regarding the lack of Flash, and ergo what that meant for HTML5, and ergo what that meant for H.264 licencing issues.
The case for OGG is not so much about hardware availability, as it is for hackability. Openness means that no one person is dependent on one provider for any solution, and I know—however unlikely it is—that someone in a developing nation (or even in the impoverished parts of developing nations) can take OGG software and our content and put together a solution that works for them, perhaps even invent the Next Big Thing™ in media (even the adoption of podcasting is a new thing). The truth is that you never know where the next innovation is going to spring from when you have an open playing field.
The community at OSnews is skilled enough to not require their media handed to them through layers of DRM and Approved Channels® and can hack together any solution that suits them. Providing OGG audio (and hopefully video in the future too) is just a small step—by the volunteer team—to open OSnews up to more of that creative hacking. We have a number of things in consideration including the moving to CC-BY licenced content, a JSON API and clear and well-documented HTML/JS/CSS that will allow for inventive user-styles and greasemonkey scripts.
The Flash audio player has been replaced by an HTML5 audio element. Please report any problems you experience.
Doing the actual transcoding to OGG and uploading has taken over 20 hours to do, all I can say is that I hope it all goes to good use, I’m knackered.