Linked by David Adams on Tue 27th Jul 2010 07:35 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Linux Some people hate the idea of adding proprietary software to their desktop Linux. For these people, there are Linux distributions such as gNewSense that use only free software. For the rest of us, who use distributions such as Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu, there are times we either want to, or feel forced to, add proprietary programs such as Adobe Flash or Skype or the ability to play proprietary audio and video formats such as MP3 or commercial DVDs to your Linux desktop. Here's how to do it.
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RE[2]: D'oh!
by Rahul on Tue 27th Jul 2010 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE: D'oh!"
Rahul
Member since:
2005-07-06

That frames the debate as purely technical but it is not. Vorbis is undeniably superior to MP3 but MP3 is still very popular. Open formats were not always late to the party either. If a so called superior format is patent encumbered, it presents more than just a technical challenge. It is also a debate about who has control and the political implications of that. Google doesn't want MPEGLA in charge and has spend millions now buying up VP8 and opening it up as WebM.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: D'oh!
by tony on Tue 27th Jul 2010 15:20 in reply to "RE[2]: D'oh!"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

That frames the debate as purely technical but it is not. Vorbis is undeniably superior to MP3 but MP3 is still very popular. Open formats were not always late to the party either. If a so called superior format is patent encumbered, it presents more than just a technical challenge. It is also a debate about who has control and the political implications of that. Google doesn't want MPEGLA in charge and has spend millions now buying up VP8 and opening it up as WebM.


MP3 is popular because it was widely implemented first, and it thus became entrenched. It's now ubiquitous, and there's not enough wrong with MP3 on a technical/implementation level to go through the trouble of shifting entire ecosystems from one format to another. Consumers for the most part just don't care.

The only two companies I can think of that would have the clout to cause a shift to Vorbis are Apple and Amazon, and I don't think either of them care enough. Apple has their own codec, but Amazon probably doesn't want the user headache when users accidentally download the a codec that isn't supported on their player.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: D'oh!
by Kivada on Wed 28th Jul 2010 07:38 in reply to "RE[2]: D'oh!"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Where did I say it was purely technical? Vorbis may be better, but that doesn't matter, you just can't ovetake the momentum of MP3, it's a "good enough" format for the masses using a sub $20 set of headphones since if they are going to spend money on a sound system it's all going to be poured into making their car BOOM louder, thus further lowering the sound quality of the drivel they listen to.

If you want to overtake MP3 you've gotta come up with a format that ends up on the next big device that sells like shrooms at a Greatful Dead concert that can easily and at least decently transcode from MP3.

Just look at M4A/AAC and WMA, Apple and MS both tried to take out MP3 and both failed miserably.

Is there a phone on the market that has storage that can't play MP3? How about car CD player? Is there any music player for a non OSS system released in the last 10 years that didn't have playback support?

So again, it's not about being better, its about being first and getting on to consumer devices first, being better is actually an afterthought for 99% of people unfortunately.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: D'oh!
by Rahul on Wed 28th Jul 2010 07:49 in reply to "RE[3]: D'oh!"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Your requirements are not feasible. MP3 is a lossy format. Conversion from one lossy format to another is just going to result in bad quality. This cannot be fixed. Vorbis is open and patent unencumbered and superior audio format and part of WebM.

Adoption is lead by popular usage. Youtube's usage of WebM guarantees that it can succeed in the market.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: D'oh!
by sPAZbEAT on Fri 30th Jul 2010 11:47 in reply to "RE[3]: D'oh!"
sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

from consumers perspective, the biggest trouble with media formats is the insanely multifarious codecs. "codecs" may be the foulest of curse words in modern western culture. any day now I expect to hear a top40 humor song named, "a boy named codec".

slight digression: one problem apple has in introducing/leading anything cross platform is that their updater pops up often with half a cd's megabytage of download.

Reply Parent Score: 1