[matroska-general] Re: OGG Vorbis ( ;-) )

Steve Lhomme steve.lhomme at free.fr
Tue Feb 25 14:43:16 CET 2003

En réponse à Christian HJ Wiesner <chris at matroska.org>:

> I am sorry Steve, but i dont agree here. We should have the highest 
> respect of Monty's work on Vorbis, and if he as the main developer 
> decided to make his own container for Vorbis ( dont forget, matroska was
> not available at that time ) thats ok with me.

I never said I don't respect what they did. And I *do* respect them for their
work and dedication to what they do.
> Now, if we advertised to put Vorbis audio streams in matroska files 
> instead of Ogg's, this would lead to
> - confusion. Normal people dont know what a container is, and they arent
> interested either. As a result they would decide to go on using good old
> MP3, as its compression format and container in one and the same thing,
> as easy as it can get. Nobody will care about a few bytes less
> overhead.

Well, if the tools on Windows are easier when matroska is used, they will prefer
that solution :)

> - lack of interest from the hardware companies to add support for 
> Vorbis. They would think that the opensource community is much to 
> frequently changing, and fear the risk to fail with their development 
> costs, so they prefer to support AAC/MPEG4 instead. This cant be our 
> goal, not at all.

Not only that, but the MPEG patent holder won't be happy if their investment
fail to succeed because of other alternatives. Only outsiders can succeed in
forcing an open standard in the hardware world. The big names will follow not to
lose market shares.

> - anger from the Xiph people against our project. True, Emmett didnt 
> treat us correctly, but he is just one person of a big, successful 
> project, and these people are very dedicated and created an excellent 
> audio codec, at least for lower bitrates. IMHO it would be a complete 
> disrespect of their work if we critized their container publically and
> were trying to convince people to use matroska instead. UCI as an 
> interface in standard vorbis.dll would stay nothing more than a dream
> then.

Uh ? libvorbis is free to use, they can't prevent anyone to use their code and
port it to UCI.
And if users choose to use matroska instead of OGG for their files there's no
reason to forbid that. 

You know my position on this for a long time. I think they should concentrate on
codec and streaming (OGG is good for that). Other applications like editing and
storing can be done in better ways.

> Now, video is a completely different subject of course !! I will fight
> hard to get hardware support for matroska, and i already tried to make
> contact with 2 companies ( KiSS and Neuston ) seeling DivX/MPEG4 capable
> units, but they werent interested in our current state of development at
> that time. Rest assured i will contact them again once we have working
> software to present ;).

As for DivX, MP3 (and Vorbis) we can only succeed if we get large support and
need from the users. That's when the commercial companies will be interrested.
> I can see a few important aspects why hardware vendors could be very 
> much interested to implement matroska in their standalones :
> 3. DivX3 / Mode2 Form2 : All existing hardware players are based on the
> SIGMA EM 8500 decoder chip now, and this is a MPEG4 ISO implementation
> and cant deal with M$ MPEG4 V3, the basis for DivX3, so all DivX 3 
> movies are unplayable.  -h  from the XviD team is already working on a
> converter to transcode MPEG4 V3 into MPEG4 ISO in a LOSSLESS process (
> yes, this is possible, main code taken from ffmpeg.sf.net ), without 
> reencoding, and we know that DivX Networks is doing the very same thing
> right now. Unfortunately, he mentioned that the files may be 5 - 15% 
> bigger in the end, as there are some major differences between M$ MPEG4
> and ISO, and this will lead to bigger file sizes.
> What seems to be a big disadvantage could turn out to be a big win-win
> situation for matroska, as mode 2 form 2 burning can offer 100 MB more
> on a normal CD ;) !!
> In the end, i could see a situation where the hardware manufacturers 
> will provide an DivX3/AVI to MPEG4/matroska converter tool with their 
> players, so people can convert their DivX3 movies into something 
> playable. Note that the service teams of these companies must have a 
> hard time currently, trying to explain people why DivX3 is NOT DivX :-D
> !!

Good idea.
That's also a good oppurtunity to teach people to use open alternatives instead
of closed/restricted/unsupported ones. Matroska being built for the next 10
years, stable and documented is a very good point in our favour.

> 4. Missing Vorbis support : Vorbis in AVI is a no-no, the future of OGM
> is at least questionable ( also there are no docs for it ) and there is
> still no official announcement from Xiph people that Ogg Theora will 
> support MPEG4 video and AC3 audio, being a must for the companies 
> offering standalone units. So matroska is the obvious choice !!

Well, you don't have to think for a long time on this issue. It will never be
endorsed, since they are all for patent-free systems. Which I respect.

> I hope you dont mind me critizing you on a public ML, but as i know you
> are an open person and for sure you would do the same with me also :P

Yes, I hate you now !

More information about the Matroska-general mailing list