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    The future’s bright, the future’s ogg
    Submitted by zx64 on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 – 01:35
    MultimediaRedHat has removed all software that contains an MP3 decoder from their pre-release distributions in response to a report in their Bugzilla that the MP3 decoder is also patented and usable only on a for-fee basis. Thompson Multimedia‘s licensing for MP3 states that royalties of at least $0.75 per unit must be paid, although this seems to have been the situation since May 2001. Encoders have even steeper rates: $5 per unit (or $2.50 for just a license to use the patent).

    Xiph.org’s founder Emmett Plant has written an open letter thanking them for highlighting the proprietary nature of MP3, and encouraging people to look at free alternatives such as Ogg Vorbis. Discussion is commencing on debian-legal as to how and if Debian should respond to the situation.

    Category: News

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    Subject: Well?
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Friday, 2002/09/06 – 01:14
    Has this all just been a bad dream? Or has it just blown over?
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    Subject: Doesn’t apply to “free” software?
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Thursday, 2002/09/05 – 00:55
    I am told by someone who is in the know at Debian, that these fees do not apply to “free” MP3 software decoders.

    However, many Linux distributions (including Debian) are SOLD for a FEE/profit. Just check out the prices of some Debian vendors. Not just bandwidth, cd media and labor costs.

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    Subject: treating it like .gif patent?
    Author: juraj
    Date: Sunday, 2002/09/01 – 16:26
    What about doing it like compuserve? They created .gif format, which used patented algorithm. But they said, that every software, that creates gifs should pay the patent-holders money. Couldn’t we just include software like xmms-mp3, etc. in non-free section. It can write a warning while installing, that the holder is liable of paying patent-fees, if it’s applicable in their country. Would this work?
    I would love to transfer all my music to oggs (I have done so, because it’s easy and default in debian), but I’m still deciding, if I want to buy some MP3 player. I haven’t found one, that plays ogg format. Is there some? (if yes, you can mail me privately, since it’s not very on topic;).
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    Subject: free mp3 is not dead!
    Author: philikon
    Date: Sunday, 2002/09/01 – 12:17
    See http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/vza-29.08.02-000/
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    Subject: Interesting statement!
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Monday, 2002/09/02 – 22:12
    So it’s hardware mp3 decoders, not software mp3 decoders that are liable for fee payment? Doubt it. This seems to contradict what their software licensing page says……

    Are there any OGG portable players yet?

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    Subject: hardware ogg vorbis players
    Author: brainsik
    Date: Sunday, 2002/09/08 – 05:27
    On 2nd Sept, Xiph.org released their vorbis fixed-point decoder under a BSD license. This means there exists an Ogg Vorbis codec that can be used by hardware manufacturers.

    Also, yesterday I received an email from FrontierLabs stating they were in negotiations with the Xiph Foundation regarding supporting Ogg Vorbis in their Nex II and Nex IIe players.

    I think it’s inevitable that Ogg Vorbis support will be showing up in hardware players very soon. Now if someone can convice Apple

    — jeremy avnet / brainsik .:.

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    Subject: Ha ha ha! I’ve been ripping ogg’s for a year now!
    Author: The_Dougster
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/31 – 04:51
    Didn’t take me long to figure out that oggs and mp3s were both good enough for my little computer speakers. Plus I like the fish thingy and the picture of Thor hitting the snake with a hammer 🙂

    Debian GNU/Hurd …and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues… [Re7:9]

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    Subject:
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 23:18
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    Subject: We don’t have to remove XMMS
    Author: prygme
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 08:34
    XMMS should remain part of Debian in future. The mp3 encoders have been patented for serveral years. Despite that fee, there is lame, and it’s part of Debian distribution. (and lame is the only alternative mp3 encoder; all shareware encoders -eg. bladenc- disappeared when Fraunhofer claimed money )
    Maybe Redhat have had to remove mp3 players, because they sell boxed software. The non-profit Debian don’t have to do that.
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    Subject: Say what?
    Author: Integral
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 13:34
    Despite that fee, there is lame, and it’s part of Debian distribution.

    Er, no. It isn’t. In fact, lame and the other mp3 encoders are on the list of software we can’t package.

    all shareware encoders -eg. bladenc-

    bladeenc is free software.

    Daniel

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    Subject: I don’t get it?
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 01:58
    What is the story with MS Windows ‘freeware’ mp3 players such as Ashampoo, WinAmp, etc? I noticed that Nullsoft are an official licensee, yet you can download Winamp free of charge. Same with others. How does that work? Does NullSoft pay royalties for every download?

    Or is this a new thing, and all these companies will now get charged… hence the end of all free mp3 players?

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    Subject: Nullsoft is now sponsored by
    Author: Raif
    Date: Saturday, 2002/09/21 – 22:54
    Nullsoft is now sponsored by AOL (in case you haven’t notice the fun new icons Winamp3 installs), and MS can afford it.
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    Subject: Ogg Vorbis wants to say thank you
    Author: d00d
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 22:55
    Dear Thomson Multimedia:

    [..]

    Thank you for the unbelievable amount of free publicity we have received in the wake of this announcement. If it weren’t for the change in mp3 licensing, there’s a very real chance that the continued adoption of our open standards may have slowed down.

    Thank you for presenting a reminder to people that when they choose a patented alternative over a free one, they will eventually have to pay in one way or another. It’s been difficult to send this message all by ourselves; we’re glad you’ve decided to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park.

    Thank you for providing the impetus for millions of people and hundreds of companies to give an open, free alternative a try. We love it when people get a chance to evaluate technology, and we’ve been happy to present them with a superior alternative to mp3. If it weren’t for the removal of the free-decoder exemption, it might have taken even longer for people to try it out.

    […]

    see http://www.xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/openletter.html for full letter

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    Subject: We thought it was good too…
    Author: zx64
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 01:02
    So we included it in the body of the article when we posted it 🙂
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    Subject: Non-negotiable
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 22:38
    Debian is really about ‘free’ software. MP3 is not ‘free’, so I guess it needs to be ditched?
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    Subject: I expect mpg321 and xmms mp3
    Author: godot_d6
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 22:42
    I expect mpg321 and xmms mp3 capabilities will be removed.
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    Subject: non-US ??
    Author: molo
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 21:29
    Can’t we just move this stuff to non-US like we did for RSA, etc. previously? No reason to rip it out of the archive entirely, no?
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    Subject: erm. no.
    Author: ashridah
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 23:09
    you DO realise that about 1/2 to 3/4ths of european countries, australia and many other countries around the world actually have policy in place to adhere to US patents?
    if we move it over to non-US, we’re STILL going to have issues.
    we’d have to make another tree, non-patent, and store it somewhere that US patents don’t apply.

    anyone got a server in cuba?

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    Subject: capitalism stinks
    Author: johanneswilm
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 21:12
    Ok, so capitalismis really getting out of hands and is more and more of a problem to technological innovation.
    Until we get an alternative better fit for this age, we might needto think about making an “debian-illegal” archive. The administrators for this archive would probably need to be anonymous or/and placed outside the US. Their main goal should be to always have a repository for all the “illegal” stuff (copyright problems,etc.) somewhere.
    All alternatives should be tried out such as servers in freak-states (those on the list of terrorist contries), anonymous networks such as freenet,etc. . The current sources-line would then have to be mailed and posted around, since the archive probably wouldhave to move every so often.
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    Subject: What i once got I don’t let go
    Author: dr_pain
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 11:19
    Ok, I’m starting to get pissed.
    Whenever something turns out to be of any use sume fat ass US Company clames rights on it and get a lot of $ out of it.
    I say fuck it. we need apt to be able to talk to freenet (or something simmilar) and keep that “illegal” stuff available for the people who want’s to use ’em.

    I’m not interested to conver somtging around 170 GB mp3 encoded data.
    The only thing that will happen when we kick things that will be tricky (look at the kernel 2.4.18 bugs) out of debian we force the useres to mess up there debian installations with ther own source builds and debian will lose it’s most importent feature (the extreamly good update handling).

    And mailing around the sourceline is not a good idea.
    A kind of offical url reflector system (trickydebian.org) or simmilar should be in place.

    The hard part is to get some anonymsing functunality into packet maintainig.

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    Subject: a: it’s capitalism’s fault?
    Author: godot_d6
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 21:44
    a: it’s capitalism’s fault? captialism is the home to technological innovation. why are all non-capitalist nations decades behind the US in every technological department? don’t say because the govt. puts money into research, because most innovation comes from private business. the US is the leader in technology because it respects the intellectual property rights of individuals. do you think the state should own all property rights? at least we don’t have to pay >=60% of our income to the state. while i think this was a very poor decision to suddenly start charging, it seems to be fully within their rights. since they did invent it, and you didn’t. the market should dictate the price of it and they should be allowed to place whatever restrictions they want on it. perhaps a little simplistic, but…

    b: right. debian-illegal. that sounds like a great idea. debian really needs to get on the bad side of governments willing to enforce this patent (it’s not just the US). beyond that my isp can simply track my http or ftp connections to the illegal server and bang! they know i have illegal software on my computer. i also sure hope you’re joking about terrorist countries, definitely not the sort of associations a respectable group like debian wants to make.

    c: i really don’t like the commie-fascist side of some vocal linux users. intellectual property is a far more complicated subject than ‘free as in beer.’ i like free software as much as the next guy, but if i spent a few years working on a program i doubt i’d release it as open source unless i knew of some other way to make money off of it. if you think restrictive property rights = capitalism you’re a complete socialist fanatic. the RIAA is so powerful because its been allowed to have a monopoly and because people have been sheep when it comes to boycotting the music industry. these abuses of the law are not restricted to capitalism at all, far from it. the real problem i foresee for linux is the fact that it is free, there’s no money to be had developing it. this may be fine with a few developers who like to do it on the side, but how long is that going to last? man cannot live on software (or beer, lamentably) alone.

    Oh, and I’m not trying to flame or start an argument. These are simply my views, I hope you’ll think about it before you reply ‘lololol yu0 sux0rs f@gg0t’ or some such nonsense. This whole thing will probably blow over in a couple days. Big deal.

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    Subject: Re: a: it’s capitalism’s fault?
    Author: d00d
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 23:22
    a: it’s capitalism’s fault?

    no. capitalism is just a consequence of collective selfishness, which
    is the real problem.

    captialism is the home to technological innovation. why are all non-capitalist nations decades behind the US in every technological department?

    because:

    a) capitalism is the home to technological innovation, wich means that
    innovation is forbidden to everyone who doesn’t live at home. see software
    patents for a reference.

    b) all non-capitalist nations are victim of boicot, terrorism and other crimes
    performed by “developed” states like the US. See Cuban export regulations or
    the [in]famous operation Northwoods for a reference.

    c) all non-capitalist _states_ are/have been governed by autoritarian regimes,
    while libertarian alternatives to capitalism never had a chance and have been
    smashed many times in history. see anarchism in spanish revolution (1936-9)
    for a reference.

    don’t say because the govt. puts money into research, because most
    innovation comes from private business.

    agreed. furthermore the govt. is merely an instrument of private bussiness.

    the US is the leader in technology because it respects the intellectual
    property rights of individuals.

    that’s true also, except that intellectual property (and private property
    in general) is not a human right but merely a treaty. Since it isn’t agreed
    that makes it am imposed treaty.

    do you think the state should own all property rights?

    of course not. the state doesn’t have right to take away what belongs
    to the workers.

    at least we don’t have to pay >=60% of our income to the state.

    you have to pay a considerabily high percent of your income to the state,
    plus another considerabily high percent of your worker production to your
    employers.

    while i think this was a very poor decision to suddenly start charging, it
    seems to be fully within their rights. since they did invent it, and you
    didn’t.

    in what way does this justify their rights? they were free not to invent
    anything (if that happened we’d be all happy with Ogg).

    the market should dictate the price of it and they should be allowed to place whatever restrictions they want on it. perhaps a little simplistic, but…

    the concept of market basicaly implies that it’s only profitable to provide
    resources when enough people are uncapable to afford the price for them.

    In that way, capitalism negates cheap vegetarian food to dying hunger because
    market has decided that wasting that food into feeding an animal to produce
    expensive carnical food that can be sold in rich countries is more profitable.

    In that way, capitalism purposely destroys goods when there’s not enough
    demand in the market for these goods, so that price of stocks won’t lower
    down.

    In that way, capitalism negates permission to use something that can be
    copied and shared at zero-cost because market specilations say that a small
    percent of people suffering without that resource would actualy pay money
    for it.

    b: right. debian-illegal. that sounds like a great idea.

    i don’t think it’s a good idea either.

    debian really needs to get on the bad side of governments willing to enforce this patent (it’s not just the US). beyond that my isp can simply track my http or ftp connections to the illegal server and bang! they know i have illegal software on my computer.

    exactly. I hope you realise what fascism means now.

    i also sure hope you’re joking about terrorist countries, definitely not the sort of associations a respectable group like debian wants to make.

    When you speak about terrorist states, i hope you think for a while and
    determine by yourself which states are and which aren’t practising terrorism.

    The mediatic message is that terrorist states are the “Axis of Evil”, but
    you should be able to determine which states or north atlantic organisations
    are guilty of terrorism and which are not. It may happen that the “Axis of
    Evil” is the only terrorism sanctuary in the world, but then again it might
    not be exactly like that.

    c: i really don’t like the commie-fascist side of some vocal linux users. intellectual property is a far more complicated subject than ‘free as in beer.’ i like free software as much as the next guy, but if i spent a few years working on a program i doubt i’d release it as open source unless i knew of some other way to make money off of it.

    See what I mean? I don’t blame you, but you could be preventing a lot of
    people from enjoying your program because capitalism forces you to “earn
    money”, “make a living”, etc.

    if you think restrictive property rights = capitalism you’re a complete socialist fanatic. the RIAA is so powerful because its been allowed to have a monopoly and because people have been sheep when it comes to boycotting the music industry. these abuses of the law are not restricted to capitalism at all, far from it.

    contrary from that theorical “perfect competence” capitalism advocates
    continously talk about, the natural tendency of a capitalist society has been
    proven to be oligopolism and monopolism. I won’t extend on this, but i’m
    a firm believer that the final result of bussiness disappearing or merging
    is just a big monopoly.

    the real problem i foresee for linux is the fact that it is free, there’s no money to be had developing it. this may be fine with a few developers who like to do it on the side, but how long is that going to last? man cannot live on software (or beer, lamentably) alone.

    no, that’s why we need volunteer workers on other fields. software just happens
    to be the easiest one.

    Oh, and I’m not trying to flame or start an argument.

    well, i consider this a sane and respectful discussion. hope it doesn’t
    become a dirty flame.

    These are simply my views, I hope you’ll think about it before you reply ‘lololol yu0 sux0rs f@gg0t’ or some such nonsense. This whole thing will probably blow over in a couple days. Big deal.

    I respect your views and hope you respect mine.

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    Subject: d00d: booyah!
    i think you na
    Author: simms
    Date: Friday, 2002/08/30 – 17:55
    d00d: booyah!
    i think you nailed all the important points.
    thank you for elevating this thread to an insightful and intelligent debate.

    peace

    -p

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    Subject: anarchism/non-hierachical socialism
    Author: johanneswilm
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 08:03
    I do agree with your comment.
    The reason why I would consider it non-unethical to put up stuff in the countries that are on the list of “terrorist countries” is quite frankly, that we don’t have a problem with setting up servers in such countries as Israel (terrorizing the Palestinians) or the US (terrorizing about everybody who doesn’t want to build oilpipelines for the US).
    It’s just, that these countries are on “our side”. I am not suggesting switching the government style to that of those countries (which is quite horrible), but I think we shouldmake use of the fact that these countries obviously will try to hurt the western countries. North Korea fx. send out the Soccer World Cup to all its citizens without even to consider paying a license to FIFA. About everywhere else, the CUP was mostly on Pay-tv. But there are other ways, such as freenet.

    To debian-illegal: actually there always existssuch a thing. When Mplayer wasn’t fully GPL, there was some server which carried it. If you want WineX, you can find it out there somewhere. Or the xine-dvd-plugin,its always there somewhere. What I am saying is just that the ones who put up these things on servers might try to work together and find solutions together, so that one doesn’t have to have a million sources-lines. This would,of course have nothing to do with the official debian.

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    Subject: Re: anarchism/non-hierachical socialism
    Author: d00d
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 10:36
    agreed.

    I’d like to add that it is unfair to talk about “terrorist countries” at all. some people, organisation or states commit crimes, but generalising that to the whole population of a country is not correct.

    for example, i’m sure that most people in Irak are not criminals or terrorists but normal people. when the US bombs Irak and kills civilians, don’t think of them as terrorists that belong to a terrorist country, but rather as victims of terrorism that belong to humanity.

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    Subject: “terrorist” states
    Author: johanneswilm
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 12:41
    I totally agree. It just so happens that the word “terrorist” has been so over-used since sep. 11th that it has lost its main sense.
    In the Bush-slang it now means something like “everybody who is against my businness-partners”.
    And don’t get me wrong: although the US commits crimes of terror (the state does by bombing civilizians around the globe), normal US-citizens are not in any way terrorists. Most people didn’t even elect Bush and although many (most?) might support his plans for Iraq, one can not hold them responsible, since most of them do it on the grounds of having way too little information. What is needed is an effort to “eduction” (as harsh as this may sound). A real discussion is really not possible as long as many live with the believe that there really exists such a thing as a “will for evilness” among large groups of people in some countries.
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    Subject: Converting mp3s to Ogg
    Author: godot_d6
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 16:36
    Over the past few years I’ve ripped all my cds to mp3, totalling some 28GB of data. Is there any program out there I can use to convert my mp3s to ogg? I want to make sure stuff like bitrate, id3 tags, and filenames.

    To answer my own question, yes 🙂
    http://oggasm.sourceforge.net/oggasm_1.4.0.deb

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    Subject: Be warned
    Author: zx64
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 16:51
    Transcoding between lossy formats can be hazardous to your sound quality. Apparently some people on audio(phile) boards just transcoded to ogg rather than do it properly then complained at how ogg sounded worse than the other format.
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    Subject: mp3’s dead on linux?
    Author: hot chilli
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 15:53
    i have about 30 mp3 cd’s, im not going to convert them to ogg because of this politics. My question, is mp3 decoding dead on linux, will i always be able to apt-get xmms? will mp3-players in-general are completely dead on linux?
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    Subject: Don’t convert, rerip
    Author: KjetilK
    Date: Thursday, 2002/08/29 – 10:09
    Just in case you aren’t aware: You shouldn’t convert MP3s to Oggs, even if you can. Both codecs are lossy, so you can loose a lot. See the FAQ entry.
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    Subject: xmms isn’t only an mp3 player
    Author: zx64
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 16:03
    The mpeg decoding part of xmms is only a plugin. However, I think it is currently still distributed with the source, so it’ll have to be seperated/removed by upstream. The plugin will probably still live, just you’ll have to search for it :-).
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    Subject: Discussion?
    Author: xm
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 04:33
    Hmm, either the discussion on debian-legal isn’t amounting to much ATM (three messages AFAICS), or the archives are out of date.

    Anyone subscribed to that list care to summarise any further what’s going on?

    cheers,
    /mike


    fitter, healthier, more productive
    like a pig, in a cage, on antibiotics

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    Subject: there’s more on debian-legal
    Author: blueHal
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 07:57
    MP3 decoder’s non-freeness

    not that reading mailing lists can provide any real answers, but at least you get to read the opinions of folks you respect.

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    Subject: I tend to agree with Towns…
    Author: harmony
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 08:16
    I tend to agree with Towns… If it’s not legit, rip it out, ’cause we don’t want sponsors getting cornholed over this.

    It’s not like Ogg sucks or anything. What about mp2? That’s pretty good, is it also suffering from patent issues?

    I’m not really up with the play on the situation of patents and legalities, but there are other free types of media format that could be used. I wonder what [shudder] the licensing is like on Windows Media?

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    Subject: ogg r0x0rs your j0x0rs. 🙂
    Author: ashridah
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 23:17
    grab the vorbis-tools package from unstable. it’s currently at version 1.0, and can be used as a substitute for mp3’s (note, substitute for mp3’s, not a substitute PLAYER for mp3’s)
    the command line params for oggenc are VERY similar to lame’s, iirc, virtually no difference, and grip knows how to deal with it.

    the encoder is a little slow, but the decoder is perfect.
    someone’s even actually done the hard work, and investigated how to plug ogg into a chip. i believe IRiver (makers of mp3/cd players) are looking into making ogg-capable players too.

    http://oggonachip.sf.net/ has 13 megs compressed of specs for hardware-based decoders. based on the AMBA core. this project was finished last july, btw, it’s NOT half-arsed. 🙂

    ashridah

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    Subject: mpeg[1..4]
    Author: DarthAggie
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 13:22
    What about mp2? That’s pretty good, is it also suffering from patent issues?

    Almost all the mpeg stuff have patent issues. In fact, almost all digital media have patent issues, ogg being an exception. Windows Media may be an exception, if Real’s reverse engineering of the stream can stand up.

    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

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    Subject: Ogg is really good. Probably
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/28 – 09:07
    Ogg is really good. Probably the best.
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    Debian Security Announcements
    DSA-943 perl
    DSA-942 albatross
    DSA-903 unzip
    DSA-941 tuxpaint
    DSA-940 gpdf
    DSA-939 fetchmail
    DSA-938 koffice
    DSA-937 tetex-bin
    DSA-936 libextractor
    DSA-935 libapache2-mod-auth-pgsql

    Planet Debian
    Wouter Verhelst: On flames.
    Joachim Breitner: Fixing my planet.debian.org subscription
    Steve Kemp: She has the blood of reptile just underneath her skin
    Pierre Habouzit: Married …
    Pierre Habouzit: whitelister 0.4 (SPF) and aaege ….
    Pierre Habouzit: kde 3.4.1 upload
    Holger Levsen: In case you are running OpenWRT
    Michael Janssen: Shiny roofs are good for the environment!
    Matthew Palmer: Work it out yourself, dammit!
    Axel Beckert: Tell me which music you like and I tell who you are

    Debian Administration
    How do I prevent rebuilt packages from being upgraded?
    Disabling the print-screen key inside X?
    Monitoring your bandwidth usage with vnstat
    Ruby on Rails on Debian
    Choice for Virtual Private Servers?
    Monitoring your hardware’s temperature
    Sending mail with Exim from ‘dialup’ IP
    How to recover GRUB Debian Sarge after reinstalling Windows
    Getting a GUI
    Spam filtering with Pyzor and SpamBayes

    Latest poll: Which release scheme should Debian follow?
    Continue this way (release when ready)
    48%
     
    Give up on releasing
    8%
       
    Split the release up
    8%
       
    Speed the release up
    32%
       
    Crank the workload up (see DebianWiki ReleaseProposals for details on these)
    4%
       

    Total votes: 372
    0 comments · older polls

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