mp3 is an audio file format. It’s quite popular these days, I think most people have seen the name, even if they don’t get what it means. mp3s have a relatively small file size, while retaining relatively good quality. The drag is that the man who invented it says that if you make software that makes mp3s, you have to pay him copious amounts of cash. Worse yet (for me) if you stream online in mp3, you have to make even larger payments.
A while back, some guys decided to make a Free alternative, called Ogg Vorbis. Ogg is the technology name, Vorbis is the name of the audio format. They also have a video format called Ogg Theora. But I digress.
With Ogg Vorbis, there are no fees for creating the files, and no fees for streaming. Most popular mp3 streaming server software now supports Ogg Vorbis. The catch is client software. Windows Media Player doesn’t support it, and probably never will. WinAMP supports it, but they’re going away. That’s about 99.9% of the market right there.
Besides, the New Thing is web based clients now. Macromedia Flash can make a SWEET mp3 player, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. But there are two problems
- It can only do mp3
- It can only do files, not streaming
If they made Flash work with streaming Ogg Vorbis|Theora, they could utterly dominate the streaming market.
But as we heard today, Adobe is probably going to buy Macromedia. This means that there will be 6 month to a year of No New Stuff as Adobe assimilates Macromedia, and even then who knows if they’ll even care?