Should Ambisonics adopt Ogg Vorbis as the default file format?

I got an email from Sebastian Olter the other day, saying that he has coded up Ambisonic support inside Ogg Vorbis. OK, so it seems that Ogg Vorbis is a good fit for Ambisonics… it is an open format, non-proprietory format which is supported by many of the ‘gaining popularity’ media players out there like VLC and MPlayer.

So right now, I’m trying to parse through what moving to Ogg Vorbis entails … and trying to trigger a discussion in the community. But it is an interesting time for this to happen now, because of this recent event involving litigation over MP3 licensing disputes.

 “Regardless of the ultimate outcome, it’s clear that a cloud of uncertainty now hangs over the MP3 format, and that alone could drive developers and manufacturers to less litigious pastures.”….. “One of the most interesting contenders is Ogg Vorbis, an open-source, royalty-free rival to MP3 that also represents a generational improvement in sound quality.”

So the timing might just be right.

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2 Responses to Should Ambisonics adopt Ogg Vorbis as the default file format?

  1. Martin says:

    This depends on what you mean by “the default file format”. Vorbis, and so Ogg Vorbis is lossy. The default file format for use by audio professionals should be lossless. Whether the default file format for delivery to the end user can be lossy depends on what is lost. We don’t yet know how good in terms of quality Vorbis compression can be made to work on B-Format channels. Therefore, your question can not yet be answered.

  2. Hi Martin,

    this blog post is a little old. I think we have come to conclude that Vorbis is only potentially a good format for ‘delivering’ ambisonics.

    There’s been echoes about having CAF as a potentially good professional audio format to wrap around ambisonics. I think Fons is keen on CAF …

    The aim with Vorbis … and this is in the works, is to develop some ‘listening’ tests that can demonstrate whether Vorbis compression plays well with ambisonics … more on that soon.

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