Build Date: Tue Mar 5 13:30:04 2024 UTC

Remember, safety third.
-- Johnnie Royale

While We're At It, Burn All MP3s, Too

by Mr. Bad

1999-09-20 00:29:13

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 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 anti-competitive Thomson 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 MP3.

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.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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