[vorbis-dev] Re: [vorbis] Request for Standardization: classical music TAGS

volsung at asu.edu volsung at asu.edu
Wed Oct 3 10:10:39 PDT 2001

On Wed, 3 Oct 2001, Jonathan Walther wrote:

> Because its overkill?  Why do you guys like to complicate things?
> If its not cramping everything into the fewest tags possible, you're
> trying to drag bloaty XML into the picture.  There is a happy medium,
> guys.  Why can't anyone of you see it?

This isn't an either/or discussion.  Vorbis comments are perfectly adequate
for storing simple information about a stream.  The only debate is over what
counts as "simple".  For very complex information, it makes sense to store it
in a separate text stream.  XML is one possible solution for complex data
because parsing code is already written to handle it.  However, we should have
both types of metadata available.

> A)  If you overload information into the current, inappropriate tags,
>     it takes more bloat and effort in the player code to unmunge the
>     information.

I don't know which request you referring to here.  The changes that have been
made seem to be quite reasonable, with the only overloading taking in the
ARTIST tag, which mirrors the overloading that takes place in common usage.  
There was some initial confusion about proper Vorbis comment etiquette, but
that seems to have been resolved.

> B)  This is even moreso the case for XML, not to mention XML is bloat.

That is why you put the XML in a separate logical bitstream so players which
don't want to deal with it.

> You guys only seem worried about "How will this look on winamp".  Well,
> hey!  Hardly anyone plays classical oggs on winamp.  Most ogg users are
> Linux/BSD/Unix users.  As long as we make sure our clients support the

This is a silly comment.  I don't recall the appearance of things in WinAMP
ever being a driving motivation for this discussion.  The concern here is that
people want to be able to store more data about their music inside the file
that contains it.

Moreover, I don't think you or anyone else has any clue what the demographics
of Ogg users are.  I see questions on this list and on IRC from both Linux and
Windows users.  I will concede that the majority of Ogg _developers_ are
Linux/BSD/Unix users, however.

> tags, and lots of oggs start being made using them, eventually one of
> the winamp guys will sniff over our standard and implement it, without
> us even asking.  And WHEN THAT HAPPENS, we want that guys job to be as
> easy as possible!  Don't complicate the parsing code!

The Winamp guy who would be responsible for such "sniffing" is on this list.  
:)  But, yes, I agree that parsability should be a concern.  Vorbis comments
should be easy to parse (or in most cases, not parsed, just used as-is) since
they shouldn't be holding tons of junk.  If we deviate from that standard,
people should thwack us in the head.

On the other hand, XML is a good choice for the structured data because THE
PARSING CODE IS ALREADY WRITTEN.  All of the excessive XML hype has ensured
that there are XML tools on every non-dead platform in existence.  I'm quite
in favor of leveraging those libraries to solve the metadata problem rather
than reinventing the wheel.

Stan Seibert

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