[theora] ogg, ogm or mkv

Orton AKINCI aka .-_-. ortonak at yahoo.com
Sun May 24 17:42:39 PDT 2009

maybe i can try to write my theora experience as a regular user. it may be helpful to understand what problems regular people are facing when trying to use theora...  i
am advanced in video but not into technical issues and
i am doing art projects with a political approach to free software and
free content. this will be long and possiblly no one will read it. i am not writing these to complain but just to help (discuss) the wide(r) usage of theora....
i am very much interested in your work and been exploring whatever i can find on the internet taking xiph.org's website as a reference... but for example, i heard about .ogv extension for the first time in this mailing list from ivo's mail below... not even when we were discussing about ogm mkv and ogg... the theora videos in archive.org and ffmpeg2theora(last version) converted videos have .ogv extension but i didn't think that it is the choice of xiph... 

even in faq at theora page .ogv is not mentioned... it says "Ogg is the transport layer that both are stored in, 
so a video file will be Theora-encoded data inside an Ogg file, while audio 
is normally Vorbis-encoded data inside an ogg file. 
" http://theora.org/faq/ 

you are doing great work on theora but regular users don't get your recent improvements and they are using the previous releases because most converter developers using theora do not update the software with your latest releases... i know that this cannot be controlled by you but there should be something to be done... 

my theora experience is as follows...

i have been making art projects and wanted to distribute them just with free standarts... 3 years ago i only new about xvid;) but i knew that it wasn't what i was looking for... last years i heard about ogg theora and it was just what i was looking for as means of its "free" approach... but hasn't been esay to convert my videos to theora... unfortunately i am on pc but this is somehow good for this point because most of the people do use pc...

ffmpeg2theora is mentioned everywhere and it is great but a regular person cannot use it! (it says " a user-friendly way" on xiph's website) people even don't know how to run it! i didn't even use dos in my whole life... it may be simple for someone who is familiar with dos but most people are not... i just found how to use it because someone "explained" it on a forum as "run cmd, carry it into it, carry the file you want to convert, hit enter". this may be funny for you to explain this but without this explanation it means nothing as a conversion tool for a person who makes video. because it doesn't "open" when you click on it as we pc users think how it is supposed to work:) i am not an IT idiot, somehow i can use ffmpeg2theora now but it was also great to find a gui for it called gfrontend ffmpeg2theora. it can make batch convertion and settings can be adjusted easily be someone who is familiar with video.... it mustn't be that difficult for a
 developer (who wants theora to be used for regular people) to do a gui for ffmpeg2 theora... but the problem is also that it must be maintained as the new releases of theora come out... gfrontend still uses the old release and a regular person like me will be using it thinking that s/he is making recent ogg theora files... it creates ogg files not ogv... if someone reads the documentation of the program (no! regular people don't) they can make it use the latest release of ffmpeg2theora but still the extension will be ogg not ogv (although there is skeleton)... these are minor things but confusing for regular people... 

i have also written you about the issue with "super", which is in the list of theora encoders at wikipedia article... i have the latest release of vlc (which is also in the list) but it says ogg/ogm in the conversion list... vlc produces a theora video using the latest release but the extension is .ps (have no idea what it is... but this is some kind of an improvement because previous versions of vlc didn't even create a file in pc)... it is ok if you change it to .ogv but this is not the point, people don't know about these issues... i have also used some other programs with gui on windows but none seems to benefit the latest release... also the problem is that, even if they upgrade to the latest release the future releases will not be updated....

i think the solution is that xiph announces an "official" gui converter for all platforms that will be updated as the work on theora develops.... i know it is some kind of a waste of time for you to work on a gui but it is vital for the widespread of theora... it must be usable (not only to watch, also to convert to, because if it is not converted, it cannot be watched, there will be no video to watch!) by regular people to have common usage... for example in my last project i am working with art students and they need to concatenate (not even edit just add the videos end by end) some theora videos to make remixes but i cannot recommend them any software that they can USE... they are insisting on using other codecs that they used to and know how to work with... because there is no software that they can USE for theora on pc...

sorry for this long mail but i just wanted to explain some points that you may not be aware of while working great on this projects... i am trying to do my best to support theora, because it is very important for free culture but theora needs a public face... 


From: Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves <justivo at gmail.com>
To: Orton AKINCI aka .-_-. <ortonak at yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 1:13:07 AM
Subject: Re: [theora] ogg, ogm or mkv

On 5/24/09, Orton AKINCI aka .-_-. <ortonak at yahoo.com> wrote:
> i did so:i  run the "super" converted .ogm file through ogginfo and it gave
> the following...
> so does this mean "super" creates "pure ogg" files but name the extension as
> .ogm... and will it be "pure ogg theora orbis video" if i just rename the
> .ogm extension as .ogg?

.ogv actually.  We use .ogv for Ogg video now.

As you can see by the ogginfo output, it's a legacy Theora/Vorbis file
(newer ones have an extra stream called "Skeleton").  It's pure Ogg.
No OGM hacks.

Hope that helped.

You should contact the makers of that software, though.  First to
update their encoder to a newer one so they get standard files like
ffmpeg2theora does.  Second to use the proper file extension, i.e.

Thanks for your interest in Ogg and underlying technologies!


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