[Theora] Theora, great stuff!

Ralph Giles giles at xiph.org
Sun Aug 21 21:23:17 PDT 2005

On Sun, Aug 21, 2005 at 11:02:03PM -0500, J.B. Nicholson-Owens wrote:

> Is there reason to believe that proprietary applications will incorporate a 
> free Theora in their programs?

Absolutely. The vorbis and speex codecs have in fact been very 
successful within proprietary games. Arguably that is their
most successful domain. Primarily because of technical excellence
and of course the zero cost--even Microsoft appears to prefer libvorbis
to their own WMA technology for many titles. And of course if Theora 
becomes a dominant online form demanded by users, many proprietary 
applications will have to support it.

We had a good chance in internet radio (recently reborn as 'podcasts') 
four years ago with Ogg Vorbis, which was in some way designed with
streaming applications in mind, but the combination of the proprietary
OS vendors pushing their in-house standards, and the Recording industry
getting prohibitory content licensing rates passed for internet radio 
killed the opportunity.

Ordinary users don't care about format freedom because the patent 
royalties and restrictions don't affect them, and the major tech
vendors don't care because they're trying to monopolize the space, so 
Game houses ended up the only group who took advantage of Vorbis.

We have a chance to try again now with Theora, online video, and
the new wave of grassroots content production. To do that, Theora
has to have ubiquitous support in the majority of tools, regardless
of their license. We're trying to make it as easy as possible for
that to happen.


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