[vorbis] Is this just anti-Ogg FUD?

Jem lists03 at pc9.org
Thu Dec 26 10:51:32 PST 2002

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who produces what's widely 
referred to as "techno", music that's heavy on electronically generated 
loops and effects, samples, and has plenty of bass.

He doesn't like ogg for a few reasons - he sent me a rather long email, and 
I've stripped out the nonsense from it (he has some technically irrelevant 
reasons for not liking ogg) but he also made some claims that I wanted to 
follow-up on.

I've modified his email and included the points below. Each paragraph is a 
claim. I would very much appreciate some public discussion. Is there truth 
to his claims? Thoughts?

-- start of email --

Ogg has to this day, fundemental problems with low frequency encoding. 
Sometimes refered to as "pre-echo aliasing" ... it is something that is a 
problem for music (primarly electronic which is why I don't use it) with 
low end bass and subsonics. If you have the ability to test this on a 
proper sound system, you will hear it dead out. Most people don't realise 
that you need a certain amount of distance from the generation source to 
your ear for the bass wave to resonate correctly. This is why sometimes 
when you are at a rave and you could be 10 feet from the bass bins and 
there is very little bass, but you step back 20 feet and its knocking you 
on your ass. This same principle holds with headphones. You are not 
typically going to get the "subsonics" out of it listening to the files on 
headphones. It may sound slightly out of tune, or out of phase. Good head 
phone definitely help, but even high end sony's like the MDR-7506's and the 
MDJ-700s are only just able to produce the subsonics effectively to hear 

[Ogg is not free from patents.] The entire concept of a phsychoacustical 
model or a perceptual model for endcoding the material (not just the 
encoding step itself) is covered under at least 50 different patents by 
companies world wide, and rightfully so ... Not only can you patent the 
process of encoding the file, but the principles of how you get there. Why? 
Because they are novel ideas, and obvious which is what patents are for. 
They are just "creative enough" to warrant protection by government, and 
frankly I have no problems with it having patents myself relating to next 
generation video streaming technology and systems which relate to digital 

However, the second that someone starts making "serious" amounts of money 
off of Ogg, you can bet the patent lawyers will be on Xiph faster then a 
fat kid on a smartie. 

[Ogg is too little, too late.] There are audio and video encoding systems 
coming out in the next year that will futher push the envelope without 
comprimise and many of those are based completely on wavelets which is 
really where Ogg should have gone in the first place ...

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