[theora] Can I recommend theora to my readers yet? Please?

Thomas Boutell boutell at boutell.com
Fri Jun 23 07:49:16 PDT 2006


I'm working on updates to the WWW FAQ (okay, it's a little much
to use the singular in 2006, but it was the first!).

Embedded multimedia has been a sore spot for a while. I've been
recommending that people embed old-school MPEG, because it
works in all players. But it's awful. Terrible bitrates.

I'm on the verge of recommending SWF instead, even though
it's a hideous mishmash of legal issues, because it really
*works*. Flash Player is in more browsers than anything else.

I'd sure like to recommend Ogg instead, though. In practice,
SWF means FLV, and FLV is dependent on MP3... which means
encoder licenses, or stupid games to avoid them (Fraunhofer
doesn't aggressively pursue open source encoders, but they
go after distribution of binaries, blah blah blah). And
Fraunhofer's made noises about charging extra for streaming,
I believe.

But to recommend Ogg, I've got to be able to tell folks:

* How their Windows users can easily get a working Theora/Vorbis player...
* Embedded in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari...
* On Windows, Linux or MacOS X (as appropriate, with both
   IE and Firefox being critical on Windows).

Unfortunately, as near as I can tell, that's not possible yet.
Or am I mistaken?

To be clear, I understand that Theora is the video codec,
Vorbis is the audio codec, and Ogg is the container format.
I need a solution that works for talkies. (: And for
audio-only, of course.

Thanks for your advice!

Thomas Boutell
Boutell.Com, Inc. 

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