[theora-dev] RE: [vorbis-dev] ACM codec

Dan Miller dan at on2.com
Mon Nov 11 07:45:45 PST 2002

hmm -- you make a good point.  However note that Divx is quite popular in spite of having gone with AVI format, so your logic doesn't hold in that case.  Frankly though I sort of agree, in that Divx would have been even more popular and cause less headaches with a .DVX extension rather than AVI.
I 100% agree that the form of the codec that should be distributed for playback is OGG.  The reason to support ACM/DSHOW/VFW interfaces is more about getting inside the popular creation tools -- CD & DVD rippers for the most part, or tools that capture directly like Virtual Dub.  The players (WMP, QT, Real) at this point can all accept file format plug-ins that would directly parse OGG files.
On the creation side, we can provide an end-to-end solution for OGG creation that plugs into popular tools without the support of the toolmakers.  For instance (I'm thinking video here since that's my thing, but it applies to audio too) -- for VDub, you download a Vorbis ACM, a Theora VFW codec, and a simple drag&drop utility that converts the resulting AVI file into OGG format.
The main problem with my suggestion, and the likely reason there is so much resistance against it, is this: lazy people won't read our instructions; instead, they'll just make AVI files, send them around, and tell their friends to download the ACM/VFW components.  That would in fact lead to the problem you pose, which is that the OGG format fails to be marketed as a distinct file type.  Perhaps we can somehow make this scenario unlikely, and encourage people to use the proper tools, I dunno.  Now we're into the psychology of marketing rather than the capabilities of various API's.
- dbm

        -----Original Message----- 
        From: Dambrin Didier [mailto:gol at image-line.com] 
        Sent: Mon 11/11/2002 10:34 AM 
        To: vorbis-dev at xiph.org 
        Subject: Re: [vorbis-dev] ACM codec

        I think it's true for every new audio format. I think it's a little odd to
        come up with a new file extension & format, when it can be defined in one of
        the standards. If the ACM is too old & might not be adequate for everything,
        DirectShow surely is (but is also more complex).
        Months ago I was looking for a lossless ACM codec, & simply couldn't find
        any. I wondered 'that Monkey audio compressor is great, why isn't there a
        standard codec for it?'. In my opinion, an ACM or DirectShow filter is
        better, but doesn't promote the format at all. Give anyone an ogg or mp3
        encoded wav, he won't know/care what codec has been used, thus won't really
        promote the format. I understand it might be frustrating to develop
        something that, by design, is to be invisible.
        So, to me, by ignoring ACM, you ARE promoting the format. If MP3 had came up
        (only) as a wave codec, the term wouldn't be so popular. Creating a new
        format promotes the name, supporting existing standards rather spreads the
	> well I've had this discussion multiple times with Monty and others, and I
        am still of the same opinion:  by ignoring WAV and ACM (and by extension AVI
        format and VFW interface when Theora is done), we are in fact limiting (or
        at least delaying) 4our likely acceptance in the marketplace significantly.
        Even though there may need to be some compromises, I think it would be wise
        to make a WAV/AVI/ACM/VFW set of components for Vorbis and Theora available.
        There are ways to do it that provide at least one-way compatibility -- ie,
        you could take your AVI file and convert it to OGG, but not necessarily the
        other way around.
	> Failing this, we will need to work much harder to evangelize the OGG
        format, and to get the toolmakers to support OGG directly through our
        library interfaces.
        --- >8 ----
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