[vorbis] Launching OGG streams

Geoff Shang gshang at uq.net.au
Wed Oct 3 21:13:08 PDT 2001

Hi all:

;I wish to raise something that has, in my opinion, not been properly dealt
with.  With the iminent release of icecast2 and vorbis 1.0, I feel that it
needs to be sorted out.

The problem is that of how to launch an ogg stream from a web browser.  In
short, what metafile should be used, or do we need to invent our own?  Let
me illustrate the problem.  Using MP3 streaming as an example, we have 2
options, PLS or M3U.  On the face of it, PLS would seem to be the better
choice, since it's not MP3 specific.  However, a number of players do not
respect/understand PLS files.  It also means that whatever player you
choose to play shoutcast-style MP3 streams launched with PLS files will
have to be used to play OGG streams.  Example: Say you run linux and have
both ogg123 and freeamp.  Now, you might prefer to play vorbis streams with
ogg123, but if you want to be able to play MP3 streams with freeamp, then
you'll have to associate PLS with freeamp and launch freeamp for both OGGs
and MP3s.

M3U has the kind of player support we would like - pretty much any MP3
player understands it.  but therein lies the problem - M3U is MP3 specific
(audio/MPEGURL).  And again, apart from it being improper to use an MP3
construct for Vorbis, you hit the same problem as above - that being the
need to use the same player for both.

Given the above, I think we need an OGG specific meta file.  OK, so it's
yet another damned file type, but I don't really see that we have much
choice if we want to retain flexibility.  The only way around this would be
to make an OGG bitstream format which acted just like a meta file (i.e.
contained enough data to be a valid OGG stream plus the URL of the actual
OGG stream).  This would have the advantage of being able to be an .OGG
file, but it would still have to be easily created and editable for
webmasters to bother with it.

Personally, I'm quite happy to type in a URL for ogg123, but people will
want to be able to place links on webpages and many users will require this
of a stream provider.  So this issue needs to be sorted out and implemented


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