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SupportOGG Vorbis Faq

  • What is Ogg Vorbis?
    Ogg Vorbis is a new audio compression format. It is roughly comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, such as MP3, VQF, AAC, and other digital audio formats. It is different from these other formats because it is completely free, open, and unpatented.

  • What do all the names mean?
    Vorbis is the name for the specific audio compression scheme used to create Ogg Vorbis files. It is part of the Ogg project, which is a blanket project designed to create a fully open multimedia system. Right now, Ogg Vorbis is the only functional part of the Ogg project which is anywhere near completion.

  • Where do the names come from? What does the logo mean? has a page explaining the sources and meanings of the names and logos.

  • What is the file extension for Ogg Vorbis?
    Since it is part of the Ogg project, Vorbis files have the extension .ogg.

  • What is the MIME content type for an Ogg Vorbis stream?

  • Does Vorbis completely replace MP3, or is it just a complementary codec?
    Ogg Vorbis has been designed to completely replace all proprietary, patented audio formats. That means that you can encode all your music or audio content in Vorbis and never look back.

  • When will Ogg Vorbis be done?
    There are stable reference implementations available now, and the file format has been finished for some time. A Vorbis file created today will still be compatible with future decoders for years to come. The format has been designed to be flexible, so that the developers can continue to improve file size and sound quality without "breaking" older encoders and players.

  • I'm an artist. Why should I be interested?
    There are a couple of reasons:
    Although not all artists realize it, MP3 is what is known as a "lossy" format. Thus, much of the sound data is removed when MP3 files are created. This results in a file with inferior sound quality to a CD. Vorbis is also a "lossy" format, but uses superior acoustic models to reduce the damage. Thus, music released in Vorbis will sound better than a comparably sized MP3 file.
    Also, artists should be concerned about licensing terms for formats. If you decide to sell your music in MP3 format, you are responsible for paying Fraunhofer a percentage of each sale because you are using their patents. Vorbis is patent and license-free, so you will never need to pay anyone in order to sell, give away, or stream your own music.

  • I'm a music fan. Why should I be interested?
    For one, Vorbis provides a high-quality format for you to listen to your music. For a given file size, Vorbis sounds better than MP3, and is getting better as development continues. Vorbis already enjoys widespread player support and should be compatible with several major hardware players soon. With Vorbis, you can listen to your music with higher quality in less space. Also, using Vorbis means your player and encoder choices aren't bound by licensing terms. Right now, you can only choose from a few encoders to create your MP3 files, because most companies won't or can't pay the licensing terms for encoders. Using Vorbis lets you choose from a wide variety of encoders.

  • I'm a developer. Why should I be interested?
    If you develop hardware or software audio players, you cannot distribute your work without being affected by proprietary audio patent licensing terms. With Vorbis, you can create hardware or software products to encode or decode music files without restrictions, royalty payments, or limits on distribution. Vorbis also provides a flexible, high-quality format that is of great interest to all the audio geeks out there. For more developer information, please refer to our developer site.

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