[theora-dev] File extension...

illiminable ogg at illiminable.com
Fri May 14 01:16:06 PDT 2004

I'm also curious as to the decision to try to make all files have the .ogg
extension regardless of content.

There are already windows applications that deem .ogg to be an audio type
(ie vorbis)... there are also applications that offer file extension filters
that distinguish between audio and video files... this is not possible with
a single extension. The other problem is application that only play audio
(iTunes comes to mind), they will have to allow the user to select .ogg
files in order to accept vorbis, but then when it comes time to play them it
will realise they also contain video and reject them. What happens when
itunes and ipods can handle vorbis/speex, what will happen when itunes lets
the user load a theora .ogg file onto their ipod ?

This is not good for user experience... the user will be led to beleive the
application can handle .ogg files and then be bewildered when it can't. The
average user doesn't want to understand the difference between encapsulation
formats and logical streams and codecs... they just want it to work the way
they expect.

There are also applications that can only play vorbis, but not speex, flac
or theora... the same issue applies.

And just from a user perspective, generally a file type can be determined by
looking at it's extension... i know it already annoys me that i have to open
the file in a hex editor and look at the headers to determine what sort of
file it is. Sure you can write a little program that can identify the
contained stream types (ie OOOggStat which is in my project), but most
windows users don't have a shell open on their desktop all the time, most
don't even use it, smoe don't even know how to open it. And either way that
is not a practical solution for most windows users, they just want to look
at it and know what it is not run some program to do it.

A simple solution would be to have an extension that denotes the file only
contains audio, one that denotes it contains audio/video and one for
everything else. Just like you can tell an audio only mpeg (mp3) from a
video mpeg(mpg) for example. Though i understand there is some resistance to
such an approach.

What does having a single extension offer besides 'branding' that having a
few that better describe the content doesn't.


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