[vorbis] Ogg Vorbis and Bitrate

Marshall Eubanks tme at 21rst-century.com
Mon Sep 10 12:28:44 PDT 2001

Daniel Richards wrote:

> On 10 Sep 2001, at 8:19, Danie Roux wrote:
> > On Sun, Sep 09, 2001 at 04:56:21PM -0400, Sterling Windmill wrote:
> > > In Ogg Vorbis, does one kilobit equal 1000 bits, or 1024 bits?
> >
> > Kilobit is 1000 bits
> > Kilobyte is 1024 bits
> Errr, isn't a kilobit 1024 bits? Keeping in line with that power of 2
> thing? ;)
> a KiloByte is 1024 _bytes_ not bits, at least in everything else.

This seems to come up about every 6 months or so.
Kilo is a SI prefix meaning 10^3.  Period. No other usage is strictly correct.

However, in memory devices, it is common to (mis)use Kilo to mean 2^10 == 1024. This
is NOT an SI compliant usage, but it almost ubiquitous (for memory) - so that Mega == 2^20, etc.
Memory is also almost always expressed in terms of bytes, so it is reasonable to assume that KiloByte == 1024 bytes = 8192 bits.
I know of no other field where this is done.

In telecommunications, Kilo _always_ means 10^3. In telecommunications, bits are more commonly used than
bytes, so it is a safe bet that a bit rate uses SI prefixes, so that 100 Kilobits / sec == 100,000 bits per second.

Therefore, the vast majority of the time, 8 Kilobits != 1 KiloByte.

                                 Marshall Eubanks

T.M. Eubanks
Multicast Technologies, Inc
10301 Democracy Lane, Suite 410
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone : 703-293-9624       Fax     : 703-293-9609
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