So, I've been real interested in this Burn All GIFs Day
thing coming up in October (ssh! that date is still secret!
-- check out burnallgifs.org for more details). But I gots
to say that I really hate the bullshite that's happening
around MP3s, too. So, gar.
See, here's the deal: phenomenally popular little format, the MP3 doohickey.
INCREDIBLE sound file compression combined with recent advances in consumer
Internet bandwidth have made it possible for all of us to share lots of music
and play it and see crazy acid dream shit visuals while you do so. Which is
just really cool.
EXCEPT, you see, EXCEPT that after the MP3 format got all popular and there
were a ton of compressors and players and trippy acid freak fest visualization
programs, AFTER all that these folks at Fraunhofer IIS and the really scary
Multimedia Corp started to get all HEAVY about a PATENT they hold on some
of the compression technology that makes MP3 work.
FUCKING FUCK! More PATENTS! Gar! Just like with GIFS! I hate fucking software
patents! Gar! Gar gar gar! They mean that real good software that does things
that are real useful gets STIFLED and STRANGLED by morons in business suits and
twerpy GERMAN LAWYERS who look like DIETER. Gar! It's just WRONG! MP3 is
supposed to be an open standard! Gar! One more fucking SLAP IN THE FACE all
COMPUTER USERS EVERYWHERE.
Anyways, as with PNG vs. GIF, it looks like it's up to the Free Software
community and some good old anarchist organizing to get everyone else some free
fucking software and a REALLY open standard. [Patented standards. Oh, MAN.] As
best I can tell, there are two projects going on right now to get a
high-quality audio compression format out there for all of us to use instead of
The first is Free Expression,
which is linked from the GNU Project Web site and looks like a big idea and not
a lot of action right now. The OTHER is at a high level of code completion.
It's called Ogg Vorbis and it's linked at the bottom of this article.
Ogg Vorbis has a library available (libvorbis) and stubs for a command line
player. It's still in the development stage, but there's a lot of work being
done and a lot of momentum. The main developer is the same guy who did CDDA Paranoia, a cool CD
ripper, so you know he knows what he's talking about.
Anyways, check out Ogg Vorbis, and if you can code, maybe actually CHECKOUT
(with CVS) the current state of the code. This stuff needs some work. We need
to get out from under the thumb of patent-holding pricks. So, bust a move and
check it out yourself.