Audio and video consideration

Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005

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Can we tell what makes or breaks a standard?

After battling with mkv files for a long time, I came upon some irritated opinions about the zillions of codecs needed these days. On doz, it takes about four different codec/players before most formats play all right.

Well, from what I hear about MP3 and DivX (and gif for that matter) it begins with a free-to-use private format with industry-wide coverage. When critical mass has been achieved, whatever happens people will stay on the boat. (Just compare web with print: one's a lot more flexible and recent but we still have both alongside.) And even competing against each other in some cases (as with google print)...

MP3 is the de facto standard for music. You see it on CDs, on p2p networks, on the iTunes music store among others, and most recent CD player will read it.
How does OGG compare with this? Bad... It's a better format I agree, but you can't just switch. Not without re-encoding all your backup copies and upgrading every piece of hardware around.

(Should anyone else need this information, using the matroska pack allows you to choose and install only what's needed to open mkv/mka/mks files. Have no fear: it shouldn't break your carefully installed codec list. At least, it didn't break mine!)

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