Thursday, March 17, 2005

Audio codecs-the trouble of the ogg

The ogg codec is very popular among opensource lovers and audiophiles with limited VFS storage. Indeed, it offers incredible audio quality at low bit rates. However, no PalmOS licencee currently supports ogg out of the box.
Supporting ogg has a few benefits for licencees though-number one advantage is the capability to use external storage in a more effective way. But third-parties can do that too-so no real market advance here.
But think of the DSP's than are embedded into most processors. Software using these can consume considerably less power than it processor-based peer products. And third parties are unlikely to do this-too big are the differences between the implementations.
But this isn't the only reason-TamsPalm covered the whole DSP thing a few weeks ago.
So-to cut a long story short: DSP-less codec's always have worse cards than ones support by a digital signal processor. But here is the next problem-if a codec isn't supported by players, it has little chance to get used. If users don't demand a codec, licencees are unlikely to support it-a perfect circulum vituosum.
What do you think?


Anonymous Steven Fisher said...

Ah, ogg.

What do I think of Ogg? Well, to be perfectly blunt, I think it is an overdesigned, extremely heavy codec designed simply to be an alternative to other, lighter-weight codecs.

As such, it doesn't really surprise me that it isn't doing much.

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Markus said...

With AeroPlayer we´ve got ogg support for no cost already, so why should a licencee provide support out of the box, when there is already a solution available?

If a licencee has in mind to release a specific codec for audio or video I am sure it would be one, that supports a DRM, because this is really needed on our so loved devices in order to watch and listen without getting into law issues.

Sure DSPs could unload CPU-usage ant power usage.
The problem with DSPs is always, that you need an api to use the features of them. And if available this means another software variant is needed, which has to be maintained.

The effect would be like, what we have experienced before, everytime when a licencee introduced a specific DSP in their product. Think of the DSP in the older OS4-Clie-devices with mp3-support or the DSPs available on your Soundblaster Audigy cards on your PC:
The possibilities the DSPs should have given the costumer or software developer could not have been used because of lack of apis or specific information only a small number of software is able to support them...

DSPs have their advantages in closed HW/SW-environments when realtimeprocessing is needed:
e.g hearing aid systems, synthesizers or other PA equipment, mobile cell phones, etc...

9:46 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi markus,
I just discussed the lack of API's a feqw weeks ago! Great point here!
Something else-a 64k ogg is having much better quality than an MP3 has IMHO..
Best regards and lets keep debating!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Markus said...

We dont have to discuss about the quality/size-ration between mp3 and ogg.

I prefer ogg as well.

But it be usefull, when there would be a support for drm (e.g. aac, wma) to get bought music from online stores to our devices.

But here we have really a lack of supporters: Microsoft to support wma on a Palm-Device? No!
RealMedia for rma? They might, but which online music stores provide rma?
Atrac by Sony? No new palm-devices anymore - no Atrac support in PalmOS!
AAC to use iTunes? Soonest this I could imagine, but why should Apple grow an oponent in their main market?

Noone wants it, but DRM is coming!
What if one day we won´t be able to hear music legally on our Palms, when MS or Apple have made their codecs the standard music types? (Same for video...)

6:01 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

you are indeed right about why most of the global codec players do not want to support the Palm OS. But:
a)Real could and possibly would
b)Why would apple grow a competitor? They have no PDA's, and won't be too interested in having M$ PocketPC's growing!
c)Microsoft has big problems with its Monopol position. I could understand if they would release WMA-they already has a Palm OS game as an ad for Office!
d)Sony-I don't quite understand this company. But-well-it has the PSP and will probably want to promote it!
Sth else abotu DRM-it will not come if we don't buy DRM products!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

12:22 PM  

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