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Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-29-2008

OGG Vorbis Support?

I just updated to the latest firmare v. 1.01.11a and still no OGG support.  Anybody have any headsup when Sansa is getting with it?  I sent a feature request support.  No word as of yet.  Will post more info when it comes available. 
"Free Your Music & Your Mind May Follow"
-8 GB FUZE™ Silver ¤ Mac OS X ¤ Get SongbirdGet Songbird!
SanDisk Senior User
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎08-07-2007

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

I seriously doubt that there are enough people out there that know what OGG is, much less wish to use it over the widely popular *.mp3 format. It seems pointless to waste memory space on a file format that's on the fringe, similar to FLAC... Also known as FL"We don't even know what we are"AC.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -Galileo Galilei
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-29-2008

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

Thanks for your response. Though I agree that MP3 is popular, the fact remains that MP3 as a format has the following limitations:

  1. Time resolution can be too low for highly transient signals, may cause some smearing of percussive sounds.
  2. Due to the tree structure of the filter bank, pre-echo issues are made worse, as the combined impulse response of the two filter banks does not, and can not, provide an optimum solution in time/frequency resolution.
  3. The combination of the two filter banks creates aliasing issues that must be handled partially by the "aliasing compensation" stage, but that create excess energy to be coded in the frequency domain, thereby decreasing coding efficiency
  4. Frequency resolution is limited by the small long block window size, decreasing coding efficiency
  5. No scale factor band for frequencies above 15.5/15.8 kHz
  6. Joint stereo is done only on a frame-to-frame basis
  7. Internal handling of the bit reservoir increases encoding delay
  8. Encoder/decoder overall delay is not defined, which means lack of official provision for gapless playback. However, some encoders such as LAME can attach additional metadata that will allow players that are aware of it to deliver seamless playback.

OGG Vorbis doesn't share these limitations. Also there are legal implications such as the fact that a large number of different organizations have claimed ownership of patents necessary to implement MP3 (decoding and/or encoding). These different claims have led to a number of legal actions, and legal threats, from a variety of sources, resulting in uncertainty about what is necessary to legally create products with MP3 support in countries where those patents are valid. The various patents claimed to cover MP3 by different patent-holders have many different expiration dates, ranging from 2007 to 2017 in the U.S. The license for these patents adds to the price of the end product which is passed onto us the consumer.

 

Whereas OGG Vorbis is a free and open source, lossy audio codec project headed by the Xiph.Org Foundation and intended to serve as a replacement for MP3 and is also in the public domain. I think citing the reasons above it is a vaild format for Sansa to consider for implementation into it's products. You can find out more about MP3 and OGG Vorbis on their respective Wikipedia Articles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogg_vorbis and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3

"Free Your Music & Your Mind May Follow"
-8 GB FUZE™ Silver ¤ Mac OS X ¤ Get SongbirdGet Songbird!
SanDisk Senior User
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎08-07-2007

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

That's a nice list, but my point still stands. I personally don't care if my sound is a little "smeared" or has some small issues that I'd need the hearing equivilant of a microscope to point out.
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -Galileo Galilei
SanDisk Guru
Posts: 5,822
Registered: ‎12-26-2007

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

Though OGG is definitely possible, I question whether there would be enough popularity to justify it.  Take, for example, the uber popular MP3 file.  Where does one browse the catalog du OGG??

 

One must rip thine own OGGage from CD, yes?  Transcoding...what is that word...sucks!  Not to mention that the OGG format is pretty clean indeed.  I know it's popular among the Linux crowd.

 

To add OGG might mean having to sacrifice other popular functions, though I like the idea of having an alternate choice of firmware.  The downside of doing so can be readily conceived, as confused users load the wrong version.

 

Well, I have ideas of how to limit that problem too, but that's another subject entirely.

 

Bob  Smiley Wink

Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-29-2008

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

That's a good point, bob.  Here is a site where you may browse free audio books in the public domain in OGG, Speex, or MP3:  http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/categories/1 .

 

Also, I think that many end users are familiar with 'ripping' CDs for their PCs and devices.  Though it may 'suck' to some, it's a necessary step that most are more than willing to learn, even as far as importing from analog sources such as tapes and LPs. All the tools for encoding into OGG format are freely available. 

 

As for loss of functionality if you look at competitors to the Sansa lineup of products such as the Samsung U3, Insignia Pilot, iRiver Clix, among others, have been able to incorporate the technology without any perceivable detriment to the product or it's further development, which is why I referred in the original post as incorporating such a function as 'getting with it'. 

 

I would like to hear you elaborate on the negative aspects of such an addition.  I appreciate the perspectives that have been brought up so far, yet popularity seems to be the main justification.  I think the FUZE is a great product and want to see it succeed which is the reason for proposing this addition to its further development, which wouldn't seem to cost very much in terms of programmer time and effort.  To clarify, I wasn't proposing an alternate firmware but to add the functionality in a future firmware update which should eliminate any confusion.   

"Free Your Music & Your Mind May Follow"
-8 GB FUZE™ Silver ¤ Mac OS X ¤ Get SongbirdGet Songbird!
Newbie
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-29-2008

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

[ Edited ]
That's a great point to bring up, A-Killer. Why not add FLAC functionality? Having an option to go lossless would only add to the value of Sansa's product lineup.
Message Edited by sol6 on 04-30-2008 07:53 AM
"Free Your Music & Your Mind May Follow"
-8 GB FUZE™ Silver ¤ Mac OS X ¤ Get SongbirdGet Songbird!
SanDisk Professor
Posts: 682
Registered: ‎04-18-2008

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

As much as I would love to see Sansa add better codecs, I don't think it's ever going to happen.  MP3 is just too ubiquitous (especially with Amazon and others now offering high-bitrate DRM free MP3s) and US consumers are in general extremely ignorant when it comes to codecs.

 

Ogg is great and infinitely preferable to MP3 & WMA, but without support from online services will never gain much tracktion in the market.  I think there might actually be a stronger argument for FLAC as it is the preferred format for archiving CDs on the computer.  But FLAC file size is really too big for most flash players.  I think you need to get to 32GB+ before it becomes realistic.

 

Personally, my library is 100% FLAC and I use Winamp to automatically transcode to MP3 when syncing to portables.  When first filling up a player it takes a long time, but after that it's pretty quick to sync changes.

 

While I understand why it's not a priority for Sansa, it is kind of depressing that virually every player coming out of Korea, no matter how cheap, supports Ogg and FLAC, but pretty much none of the major players in the US market do.

SanDisk Fanatic
Posts: 390
Registered: ‎11-27-2007

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

it is possible that sansa is going to support aac and ogg. think of this .. . if they supported aac, these players get on par with ipods. . . and if they support ogg, they would be one step above ipods! this opens possibly more consumers for them. sansa has to be at least considering about offering these support! we can only wait and see if it happens, but I believe it will happen soon . . . hoping. . . maybe. . . yes?
SanDisk Professor
Posts: 434
Registered: ‎04-24-2008

Re: OGG Vorbis Support?

I would consider AAC support to be much more marketable than ogg. The iPod has a huge chunk of the MP3 player market, and winning that market long-term means getting iPod users over to Sansa. iPod users pretty much have to use iTunes, and the default iTunes encoder (for ripping CDs) is AAC. Consequently, many iPod users have large AAC libraries. iTunes (by far the largest reseller of legal music downloads) also sells some albums in unencrypted AAC, which works on a Zune (and others) but not on a Sansa. A lot more music is also showing up on the (illegal) download sites in AAC format. The Ogg user base is very vocal but still relatively small.

 

I went from an iPod to a Sansa, and I have to say one of the big drawbacks is the lack of AAC support. Even my car stereo and DVD player support AAC. None of them support Ogg.