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lightkuragari

What about other audio formats? (FLAC/OGG/M4A/etc)

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Hi, my name is Marco Pérez, and though i've been an ocremix fan for a long time now, i had never registered into this forum until now.

And this is because i wanted to make the suggestion of using a free audio format like ogg as the default format for the great OC Remixes housed here. This, in order to support the campaign and to have a free and high quality audio format in which we can rely on, with no patent issues or particular owners.

For more info on this and a detailed explanation, read here.

I really believe making the effort of switching to a free open format, will make the OC Remix community a bit more independent. It would be great. Thanks for reading!

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The main reason ocr doesn't use ogg is that most users don't have media players that support ogg, or don't find them convenient. It gets worse when you get to portable music players, because the average listener isn't gonna install rockbox just to get oggs to work, they'd rather just convert the files to mp3.

The ocr album Relics of the Chozo was released in ogg tho.

Dunno why the fsf campaign suggest ppl use VLC for music playback when Songbird is a more music-oriented alternative.

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It's been brought up 6 or 7 years ago, and the case for it is less compelling now than it was back then. OGG doesn't have widespread support & acceptance as the de facto listening format. And no matter what the legalese says, MP3 is de facto free. Changing past files to OGG would require backups of lossless originals, which we definitely don't have and couldn't obtain.

Until any of that changes, which it likely won't, there's no reason to consider OGG. Hate to slap it down, as it's not an inherently terrible idea, but there's just no compelling reason to switch to it.

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Well, you're right about portable music players, it's a shame they not always support open formats. Regarding to songbird, it seems they're stopping it's linux version development. However you're right... VLC is a strange choice for a recommended music player.

I remember, i got Relics of the Chozo (great album) and there were ogg files in the package, i didn't remember that.

Well, it seems it is not such a good idea to change the file format, but i still feel like there should be a way. Well, we'll have to keep thinking.

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Some projects have wav/flac releases that you can convert to ogg. That's the closest you'll ever get to official OCR oggs.

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Hmmm, where to begin.

Let me just make an ideological point that bears making: open formats, and open technology, are both "good things". However, they are not the ONLY things, nor do they outweigh real-world considerations and practicality. Open format zealots usually have good intentions, but I hate to break it to you: the world is full of patents. Not all of them are bad, not all of them are evil, and some of them actually protect & inspire innovation, as opposed to curtailing it.

But let me take another step back, re: MP3 specifically: the cat's out of the bag, the ship has sailed, and the fat lady has pretty much sung. Not in terms of MP3 being superior from a technical perspective - that's a whole different can of worms - but in terms of it being a format so widely-employed and easily accessible that it is, for all intents and purpose, "open". Maybe not on paper - although it's my understanding that it IS essentially open in terms of playing/decoding, just not encoding - but in practice. Practice makes all the difference in the world, as any site that focuses on fan arrangements of commercial game soundtracks can tell you...

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That's right, practical solutions are always the best suited alternative. The thought of being entirely independent is a tempting one, it's definitely a very cool idea, however it's not always the best thing to target.

OCRemix is very successful as it is now, and for what i can see there is no problem in using mp3 format... i think. Or... have you ever had some kind of limitation?

Anyway, i thought maybe ogg would be a solution to overcome any possible limitation with mp3, but it seems there's no such a barrier and moreover, the change would perhaps be a practically bad move.

Besides, i guess if at some point the limit existed, you guys would already had evaluated the possibility to change.

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Switching from free phpbb to for-profit vBulletin for the sake of awesomeness, and then from for-free mp3 to really-free ogg for the sake of principle? ;-) When exactly does mp3 cost money? Does anyone know? If you create an application that encodes mp3 and charge people for using it? If you sell mp3 files? If you make a portable media player that plaus mp3s and charge people for it? Does it ever cost money if you doesn't make you any? I'm just curious. I figured I might as well ask before this thread falls off the edge to the next page...

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Well, MP3's been working pretty well for us for the last 10 years or so...

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Well encoded high bit-rate mp3 sounds fine to most people on their average listening equipment for the majority of music. As a classical recording engineer I grant you that it can impact the subtleties of music once you know what to listen for but... well too bad. We just changed the max bit-rate on OCR into the minimum one so progress is being made. I'm sure OCR will periodically review when it is financially trivial to start hosting higher quality.

We do release lossless versions for the album releases because they are distributed by torrent and therefore the increased file size isn't a burden on the website's hosting cost and allows OCR to remain free :3.

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MP3 is the de facto standard for audio files and is supported by every major player and app.

So any writeup about why OGG/AAC/M4A/etc is irrelevant to the average user who doesn't think twice about what format they're listening to and doesn't have ears of gold. People just wanna get the files quick and not think about the format.

Unless the de facto standard was in a clear shift towards something other than MP3 as THE most widely accepted format, our standards there wouldn't change.

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I grant you that it can impact the subtleties of music once you know what to listen for

Yes, as the link I put up shows it's not a hard thing to learn what to listen to. I can't go back to mp3 after that.

but... well too bad.

I guess.

Hmmm, where to begin.

Let me just make an ideological point that bears making: open formats, and open technology, are both "good things". However, they are not the ONLY things, nor do they outweigh real-world considerations and practicality. Open format zealots usually have good intentions, but I hate to break it to you: the world is full of patents. Not all of them are bad, not all of them are evil, and some of them actually protect & inspire innovation, as opposed to curtailing it.

But let me take another step back, re: MP3 specifically: the cat's out of the bag, the ship has sailed, and the fat lady has pretty much sung. Not in terms of MP3 being superior from a technical perspective - that's a whole different can of worms - but in terms of it being a format so widely-employed and easily accessible that it is, for all intents and purpose, "open". Maybe not on paper - although it's my understanding that it IS essentially open in terms of playing/decoding, just not encoding - but in practice. Practice makes all the difference in the world, as any site that focuses on fan arrangements of commercial game soundtracks can tell you...

I know my post was moved here but I was never really advocating open source. My argument against mp3 is purely technical quality. AAC is in a similar boat as MP3 as far as patents, but still technically better than mp3. And any current portable that supports mp3 also supports aac. I don't think I ever held an mp3-only portable in my hands, although I'm sure they exist, just not so much anymore. Software players certainly support aac/m4a as commonly as mp3.

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The adoption of AAC/M4A is definitely not nearly as widespread when you look at the full spectrum of players, plugins and hardware devices.

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isn't the patent for mp3 expiring in 5 years :o

I would love multi format releasing like for lossy and lossless formating, but in popularity and common ritural, thats not going to happen for a long time.

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FLAC is a free format :-P

But too bad it's so huge

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The adoption of AAC/M4A is definitely not nearly as widespread when you look at the full spectrum of players, plugins and hardware devices.

But I'd be willing to bet that the amount of people relying on these mp3-only environments are even less than those using vorbis. If that is true it's an obscure environment to cater to, and things can be transcoded into mp3 as easily as to vorbis. I can't think of any examples first hand where aac audio support was absent.

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Wouldn't it be better to make the files available as a better lossy files, such as vorbis or at least aac/m4a? There is a lot of consensus that mp3 causes sound quality to suffer and should be retired. http://productionadvice.co.uk/why-mp3-sounds-bad/

I wouldn't take such a flawed article as consensus.

mp3 is a temporary phenomenon, just like AM radio, cassettes and CDs.

I think this line gives a pretty good indication how stupid the article is, not to mention the flawed conclusion drawn from the argument, which can be paraphrased like this: "A 128 kbps mp3 of a live show sounds bad compared to the lossless version, so that makes mp3s of all compressions sound bad and that we shouldn't be listening to music in the mp3 format!"

Sorry, but that's a bad article, especially in light of all of the studies out there that shows that most people cannot distinguish between a 192 kbps mp3 and lossless, and it's dubious whether any human is capable of making that distinction.

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But I'd be willing to bet that the amount of people relying on these mp3-only environments are even less than those using vorbis. If that is true it's an obscure environment to cater to, and things can be transcoded into mp3 as easily as to vorbis. I can't think of any examples first hand where aac audio support was absent.

For example, your average CD player or car system will typically support MP3 CDs, not AAC or M4A CDs.

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If you can hear the difference between 320kbps mp3 and lossless

YOU'VE GOT SOME SERIOUS KILLER STUDIO CHOPS.

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I wouldn't take such a flawed article as consensus.

It's a consensus, not the consensus. There will always be people that disagree with something. But from my view it's a matter of empirical evidence. I can hear the flaws in mp3 just like the guy in the article.

"A 128 kbps mp3 of a live show sounds bad compared to the lossless version, so that makes mp3s of all compressions sound bad and that we shouldn't be listening to music in the mp3 format!"

The article said no such things. It was very specific about its claims.

Sorry, but that's a bad article, especially in light of all of the studies out there that shows that most people cannot distinguish between a 192 kbps mp3 and lossless, and it's dubious whether any human is capable of making that distinction.

Again, that wasn't the point of it. For one, some people can hear the flaws at that bitrate (you just have to know where to look). Second, there's the low bitrate problem of going too low (128), then there's the general inefficiency of needing to go to 320 when other codecs achieve quality at smaller sizes and are better at mitigating artifacts. The article mentions this. In either case, ocr doesn't seem to release 320 kbps mp3s.

For example, your average CD player or car system will typically support MP3 CDs, not AAC or M4A CDs.

Isn't this an obscure target if this is all there is? The only other one I can think of are some die hard club djs using mp3s, but that's still just a few individuals.

If you can hear the difference between 320kbps mp3 and lossless

YOU'VE GOT SOME SERIOUS KILLER STUDIO CHOPS.

The question is why bother with such inefficient compression if you're trying to retain quality? If size is no object might as well release everything in flac.

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Dude, it's just the way it is, ok? MP3 is fine. Thats why we use it.

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If you can hear the difference between 320kbps mp3 and lossless

YOU'VE GOT SOME SERIOUS KILLER STUDIO CHOPS.

The question is why bother with such inefficient compression if you're trying to retain quality? If size is no object might as well release everything in flac.

preeety sure that was a joke

Ok, in all actuality, I can't hear the difference between mp3 and flac or whatever lossless codec you wanna use.

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The question is why bother with such inefficient compression if you're trying to retain quality? If size is no object might as well release everything in flac.

Because you get file sizes that are substantially smaller for almost no tradeoff in quality (only audiophiles can hear the difference).

Also, lol at counting opinionated article written by one guy riddled with contradictions as consensus.

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Because you get file sizes that are substantially smaller for almost no tradeoff in quality (only audiophiles can hear the difference).

If I'm not mistaken, mp3 uses a compression that filters out frequencies that are near-impossible to hear if you are listening casually. On top of this, some listening systems take advantage of this average frequency drop and might not supply speakers tailored for the frequency range that mp3 drops, if you will.

so, what's the point of lossless codecs if your audio playback equipment might not even support the benefits of lossless?

Why bother? Lossless is really only good for original sound sharing, recording live audio, and for sharing a file suitable for multiple codec conversions.

Feel free to correct me if I made an incorrect statement anywhere

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