FSF starts new campaign: Play OGG!

In the past, the Free Software Foundation used its funding to fund free software development. More recently, the FSF changed their strategy to fund only critical development, and to use their available funds more for free software campaigns.

FSF has employed another full time project manager, and has launched a new campaign called “Play OGG“. I think it’s great that they explain to Windows and Mac users how to get Ogg Vorbis support using a free player, although I think it would be even better to explain how to get Vorbis support in other Windows based applications as well (Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc). A lot of users are quite set on their preferred media applications, and are unlikely to change just to get support for a better audio codec.

This is just the start of the campaign though, and I’m sure it will expand and have much more information real soon. It would also be nice to be able to buy an audio player with a “Yes, it plays .ogg!” logo, similar to the Microsoft Plays for Sure logo.

Read the full announcement here: http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-fsf/2007-05/msg00001.html


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12 Responses

  1. Maxo says:

    I use OGG all the way and have never looked back. When I want to share my music with someone who does not use OGG I use Goldwave (a Windows app that runs great in Wine) to convert to whatever format is their pleasure.

  2. What about “Watch ogg ? “!

    Technically this just encourages using the ogg *container* format, not the Vorbis or Theora codecs ;) Just teasing…

  3. I think the real challenge for acceptance of a new audio codec is not software on the desktop – it’s MP3 player hardware. I’d say until Apple supports Ogg on the iPods, there’s going to be a big problem.

  4. Fredo says:

    Hm, why don’t they simply join Xiph’s Spread Open Media campaign?


    They are just getting this started, as a way to push forward the use of open media, of course including ogg. I think it would really be nice to join efforts rather than going each on their own…

    Also, I think that the FSF uses only limited arguments. The majority of MP3 users doesn’t care about patents or hypothetical effects these might have on the people that write the software they don’t want to use for playback of their media collection. Tell them of superior sound quality, lower file sizes, maybe even better browser support (upcoming) :-)

  5. jonathan says:

    Fredo, I agree that it is best for FSF to extend and collaborate with existing efforts. Spreadopenmedia also seems very new, and it seems that the entire project currently exists of only one blog entry. Perhaps Spreadopenmedia should contact FSF? Pease don’t kill the bunny!

  6. Unfortunately, the technical aspects of Ogg Vorbis leave much to be desired, especially when it comes to the processing power required for decoding. It would be nice if the FSF were supporting something that wasn’t just about the worst possible audio format around in an arena where the impact on embedded hardware is so important; then again, I suppose the FSF and its glorious leader have a glorious history of similar Quixotic campaigns.

  7. Steve says:

    I try not to buy any devices that will not play Ogg Vorbis. I can listen on the move on:

    Palm Zire 71 with Aeroplayer
    Acer n35 with GSPlayer
    iRiver iFP890 (256MB)
    Sumvision M18 (2GB)

    The last one is as cheap as any of that size, so there is no significant price barrier to having Ogg Vorbis. I’ve not tested the difference in battery life for different formats.

    It would be commercial suicide to release a player without MP3, so the manufacturers cannot save on licencing that, assuming they are all paying.

  8. I personally prefer and use Ogg Vorbis for most of my music collection. But then I have to convert them into MP3s because thats what most players use unfortunately. I wonder why its so hard to find a player that play a common open standard as Ogg Vorbis.

  9. Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves says:

    Yo. Representing SOM here. We already contacted the maintainers of PlayOgg quite a while ago. They never replied.

    We (Xiph) feel that PlayOgg hurts more the reputation of Vorbis than it actually helps. If you guys want to actually promote Vorbis (and other Xiph formats) come helps us with SOM, join the advocacy@xiph.org list or the //wiki.xiph.org. Spread Open Media is a community project. It depends of me and you and everyone else to prove the world that Open Media formats like Vorbis are cool. We will not use the scare tactics of PlayOgg.

  10. Empty.

    This campaign in my opinion is totally empty. Emtty of arguments that justify the switching from MP3 to vorbis. I’ve been on the discussion list some time ago and all I could read about was nothing other than persons trying to destroy Microsoft and Apple’s reputations, instead of discussing some kind of future proposals for the expansion in support and popularity of this format.
    You go to the official codecs sites and you never see a text trying to diminish the major companies. You never see the flac’s official site talk against apple lossless and WMA lossless. When you go to vorbis.com, you have that section called “get setup” that gives instructions on how to use your existing player or a very familiar one, to play ogg vorbis files, instead of suggesting a player that is their personal preference, and not necessarily a recommendation. VLC media player… Here is one that I really do not appreciate!

    Even with all the eforts from Apple to push MP4/LC AAC to its highest limit of knowledge to the people, MP3 is still the format. Needless to say about the LAME’s development that never stops, wich makes mp3, this little old format, stay for long. It talks to each and every existing device in this world even though being of poor quality.

    Really, ogg vorbis is a wonderful format. But I think that people involved on that campaign have to come up with a discussion that really encourages someone to switch from MP3 to ogg rather than stating things against the majors in this business and letting people in the dark. I’m looking forward to see the xiph’s spread the world. I think it’s better.


    Edu Camargo, Singer, composer and keyboardist.

  11. Chris says:

    show http://www.oggconvert.com some love

    file conversion made easy for the ogg haters/lovers out there =)

  1. 6 December 2008

    […] Campaigns such as Defective by Design (which is very important to me personally) and the Play Ogg campaign. […]

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