Ogg Vorbis goes 1.0 - and it rules out the competition

Ogg Vorbis finally goes 1.0 [July 2002]

The Ogg Vorbis project aims at providing an free software and patent free audio encoding mechanism; it's been usable for a long time (and in Mandrake distro since Sat Aug 26 2000), but it has also much evolved since then, adding features such as low bitrate or streaming capabilities. Finally, in July 2002, the developers released the 1.0 final version of a very features rich and overall very impressive audio compression tool.

Performance is truly amazing

The developers are so proud about the quality of their product, especially in low bitrate, that I wanted to try by myself to encode with different qualities, and then decide which quality I would choose to encode audio.

And the results are truly amazing: I can not hear any difference from the original sound (using my Sony MDR-A34 headphones) even in the lowest quality! - this quality leading to files around 40-50 kbps, the files are then 2 to 3 times smaller than the often used 112 or 128 kbps mp3's!

I tested with a music file from Frozen-Bubble, the high quality version of the intro music. I converted it to .wav with Fast Tracker II for best conversion quality, then kept the first 25 seconds, then encoded it in various qualities. Here is the original wav file, and the encoded/decoded files so you can hear by yourself:

QualityAverage bitrateFile sizeOgg Vorbis file.wav decoded file
045.5 kb/s149,590 bytesintro-0.oggintro-0.wav
155.8 kb/s182,172 bytesintro-1.oggintro-1.wav
264.7 kb/s210,815 bytesintro-2.oggintro-2.wav
379.8 kb/s259,304 bytesintro-3.oggintro-3.wav
5108.0 kb/s349,747 bytesintro-5.oggintro-5.wav
8174.9 kb/s563,546 bytesintro-8.oggintro-8.wav

I also tested with Space Dementia by Muse, but of course I can't publish on the web music from my Muse original CD, sorry - it would be copyright infringement.

I think that everyone should choose his own best encoding quality by listening to a test encoding with the audio environment that will be used - but truly this release will allow most people to put at least twice as much music as before on the same medium, by using quality 0, 1 or 2!

Last update: Mon Jul 22 14:56:30 2002

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