[Vorbis] .ogg extension and Theora
Wed Jun 16 08:57:58 PDT 2004
<20040604040812.GD3679 at lips.xiph.org>
Message-ID: <40D06E06.6030200 at ellisfoundation.com>
I don't want to start a flaming thread with this topic (it happened
about a year ago right?), but now that the Theora bitstream has been
frozen I really think something needs to happen. When I read that the
bitstream had been frozen and that there were some sample Theora videos
to download at http://www.polycrystal.org/lego/movies.html I went right
to the sight and downloaded some Ogg Videos. Now to the problem, we all
know it exists but there hasn't been any solid answer to it, all the
files of course end in .ogg just like all of my Vorbis files. Problem,
on my computer Winamp plays Vorbis, but it won't handle any non-audio
stream. I don't like Winamp's video capabilities anyway. So I was
stuck associating .ogg files with VideoLAN Client and Media Player
Classic as alternative players and using "Open with" every time I tried
to open a file. Also, the video downloaded into a folder with 20-30
Vorbis files in there so it was a little bit hard to find the videos
since sorting by type threw them in with the Vorbis files. I could be
impatient, but it drove me crazy. I ended up renaming every video I
downloaded to .ogv and associating that with VLC.
Windows 2000 (although it's the same for all of them) doesn't read in
any mime-type to correctly identify a file, it just uses the extension.
I'm not positive (I didn't check on my Linux box) but I'm pretty sure
that Gnome and KDE also bases what a file is based on it's extension.
*This is going to be a big problem for Theora.* I know the "answers"
before were that you can rename the files to whatever you want (which I
did), and that Xiph only provides the multimedia framework and people
can use it however they want. I think many of us forget that most
Windows users have never changed the "hide file extensions for know
types" setting and thus would not be able to change the extension of a
file they downloaded. I know, damn Windows users right? These are a
lot of the people that will be using this stuff, and there are beginning
to be more newb users on simple Linux distros like Linspire (aka
Lindows) that wouldn't know to change them anyway.
If the goal of Xiph is to have a collection of open multimedia standards
in the public domain that people actually use this will be crucial. It
will only take one stumbling block for many new users to jump ship and
go back to their DRM infested Windows Media. The solution is
potentially a really easy one, just have a different official extension
for Ogg containers with video streams. I know from a technical side,
it's all ogg just with different streams, but that's not how it is to
the end-users. I think for Windows Media or Real Media it is all the
same container just different streams. But they use .wmv .wma .ra
.rmvb. It really is that simple. I'm sorry I'm bringing this up, but I
really wouldn't do it if I didn't strongly believe that it was
important. I don't want to live in a future solely dominated by DRM
Windows Media and DRM Quicktime, and now that the bitstream is frozen
and people will start making Theora videos now is the time..
BTW, I was really impressed with the quality of Theora, I'm really
looking forward to future releases. Thanks goes to all the hackers that
work on the Xiph projects for offering non-hackers like myself the
ability to freely use my media.
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