Linked by Adam S on Tue 4th Nov 2008 19:19 UTC, submitted by Luis
GNU, GPL, Open Source Theora is a video codec with a small CPU footprint that offers easy portability and requires no patent royalties. While the Theora bitstream format was standardized in 2004 and our beta releases have been used by millions, this 1.0 release is an important milestone reflecting the maturity and stability of the Theora codebase. A number of leading multimedia web groups already support Theora. Upcoming releases of Mozilla Firefox, the world's most popular open source browser, will support Theora natively, as will releases of the multi-platform Opera browser. Top-10 website Wikipedia uses Theora for all of its video.
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I've always wondered...
by madcrow on Wed 5th Nov 2008 15:44 UTC
madcrow
Member since:
2006-03-13

...why the MPEG standards comittees have been so gutless vis a vis pushing for the free implementabilty of their standards. Other major standards bodies OASIS, JPEG, W3C, etc have always operated under the principle that they needed to be producing standards that could be implemented (legally) by anybody from a 14 year old hobbyist to a multi-billion dollar international company and that doing so would incur no patent liabilities or liscensing fees. Even greedy, propreitary companies like Microsoft and Adobe allow for free access to and royalty-free implementation of a whole host of their standards and file formats. Nobody seems to have suffered from this, so why have the MPEG comittees continued to operate counter to general industry practice?

Reply Score: 3

RE: I've always wondered...
by mckill on Wed 5th Nov 2008 19:08 in reply to "I've always wondered..."
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

because it costs money to develop good codecs, not just average or mediocre ones, good ones. there's a reason xiph/theora is free, because it lost. they tried very hard to win and get that money.

in the end lost because it was inferior and remains inferior.

to the consumer and myself, nobody cares about patents, every player supports mp4/h264 decoding, is free and also already has hardware h264 decoders.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: I've always wondered...
by madcrow on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:46 in reply to "RE: I've always wondered..."
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

because it costs money to develop good codecs, not just average or mediocre ones, good ones. there's a reason xiph/theora is free, because it lost. they tried very hard to win and get that money.

in the end lost because it was inferior and remains inferior.

to the consumer and myself, nobody cares about patents, every player supports mp4/h264 decoding, is free and also already has hardware h264 decoders.

And you're saying it didn't cost money to develop ODF or JPEG or PDF or any of the many freely-implementable file formats out there? I just don't see the huge difference.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: I've always wondered...
by lemur2 on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:57 in reply to "RE: I've always wondered..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

because it costs money to develop good codecs, not just average or mediocre ones, good ones. there's a reason xiph/theora is free, because it lost. they tried very hard to win and get that money. in the end lost because it was inferior and remains inferior.


That argument doesn't work in the case of FLAC and Vorbis. It doesn't even work for speex. Each of those xiph codecs is superior, but they are not widely used merely because big corporate media interests do not want them to be used, and actively suppress them.

The reason for the supression is pure and simple ... big corporate media interests wish to retain control over what consumers can and cannot do, in order to be able to rip them off.

The "way out" here is to support FLAC & Vorbis (because they are no way inferior) and Dirac. Theora can be kept as well ... why not? It may be able to be improved with development.

Dirac is a different story. It is good enough to be comparable with the likes of H.264.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac_codec
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/login.jsp?url=/iel5/11153/35811/0...

I'm not therefore sure of the Ogg container format ... can it suport Dirac as well or is it limited only to xiph codecs? If the former, then we either need to support Matroska over Ogg, or we need to encourage Xiph to accomodate Dirac in addition to Theora.

PS: Correcting myself ... it would appear as though Xiph has indeed taken on board the task to get Ogg to accomodate the Dirac codec.

http://wiki.xiph.org/index.php/OggDirac

Edited 2008-11-05 23:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

MPEG-1 is close to being royalty free. MPEG-1 audio layer II is close enough to MASCAM which was described in detail in August of 1988. MPEG-1 video is fairly close to H.261 which came out in 1990. It would almost certainly be possible to make a royalty free profile of MPEG-1 that could be played with existing players, yet could also be implemented for free. I have been putting information as I find it up at http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/MPEG_patent_status

Reply Parent Score: 1