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MP3 versus OGG Edit

I'm raising this issue because it's come up on Talk:Yesterday's Enterprise (episode). The problem is which format to use for sound bytes that are stored on Memory Alpha. The MP3 format is much more common, but it is encumbered by patent issues that make it a non-free format. The Ogg Vorbis (OGG) format, on the other hand, is completely open and free, but it's much less well known.

Personally, I couldn't care less about patent issues. Although it would be nice to be able to stick to the OGG format and remain a truly "free" reference source, I believe it's impractical at the present time to force everyone to use that format, especially considering the state of browser support for it (or the complete lack thereof). Using MP3's would be much more straightforward, IMO. -- Dan Carlson 14:59, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

There's also the matter of size constraints. The clip I uploaded yesterday, I also have in MP3 format. It is twice the size for about the same quality level. I went with OGG because that was the format agreed to on Wikipedia, and their arguments made sense. But, if you want, I can go back and put them in as MP3s. -- Michael Warren 16:26, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Well, don't change it just yet. Let's get some input first. (Also, I didn't realize that OGG had such good compression rates!) -- Dan Carlson 16:34, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

I can't open .OGG files with either Real One Player or Windows Media Player. Ottens 17:26, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

There are some plugins available for the OGG format — for WMP, use [1], and for QuickTime, use [2]. -- Dan Carlson 17:58, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Perhaps I could/should do a better job summarizing the opposing viewpoints as they've been expressed on Wikipedia. The supporters of Ogg Vorbis point out that the MP3 encoder is patented and someone has to pay for the license to use that encoder or decoder. That means that any content contained in MP3 format is essentially NOT free, and therefore contradicts the purest sense of Wikipedia as a free (open-content) encyclopedia. The same could be argued to apply to Memory Alpha as an open-content Trek reference source. Supporters of the MP3 format argue that OGG is still so obscure that it makes listening to OGG-encoded sounds difficult at best. They claim that the MP3 format is so widespread that it's essentially free for individual use anyway.

So, on top of the issue of ease of listening to clips, we're also stuck with the question of whether sounds in MP3 format are actually free or not. Despite the official policy, it seems that even Wikipedia hasn't quite answered this question yet. -- Dan Carlson 18:27, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

What I'd like to now is who holds the patent on MP3. Microsoft? -- Redge 16:37, 12 Jun 2004 (CEST)

No, Microsoft holds the copyright on the WMA/WMV file formats for their Windows Media Player. I forget who holds the patents for MP3... the Wikipedia:MP3 article states both Thompson Institute and something called Fraunhofer. -- Dan Carlson 19:21, 12 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Some german Fraunhofer Institute invented MP3 during mid 1990's. Regarding the licensing, this only affects software which converts to MP3 or plays MP3. Simple storing MP3 won't be licensed – at least not to Thomson or Fraunhofer. Besides this I would rather give OGG a chance because it's better in important key features. -- Florian K 00:00, 17 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Any other questions/arguments can be given here.

Final Vote MP3 vs. OGG
  • Support OGG -- Redge 20:49, 21 Jul 2004 (CEST)

Rules for audio files Edit

I've always wondered; why are audio clips found on MA (and Wikipedia, for that matter) in OGG format? Because more operating systems can handle OGG files vs. WAV or MP3 files? Also, I looked around and found requirements for images, but nothing for audio clips. What are some ground rules about when audio clips can be uploaded? They seem to be fairly sparsely located on MA. Do copyright requirements state that they can only be of a certain length, etc.? --24.210.107.80 23:17, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

wav files are way too large compared to formats like mp3 or ogg, and the mp3 format has some copyrighted/patented code that requires licensing. ogg format is open source, so no licensing issues. As far as how much is allowable, it's a judgment call, but they can only be a small portion of the whole (same as a screen shots are only a small portion of the whole movie or TV show). We tend to err on the side of caution, rather than push the envelope. We really only use them for illustration, as in an article where you can't really do a subject justice without a sample of the related sound, like the sound of a device (transporter, phaser, etc.), or a clip of a particular language or song, or show's theme music. I'm sure that there are a few more places where clips could be used, but probably not a large number. -- Renegade54 05:00, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
See above. --Alan (talk) 15:32, May 10, 2018 (UTC)

Breaking down Memory Alpha audio files‎ Edit

A few that spring to mind:

  • Memory Alpha audio files (music) - (maybe with subs)
  • Memory Alpha audio files‎ (titles) - (this may be replaced with videos)
  • Memory Alpha audio files‎ (languages)
  • Memory Alpha audio files‎ (sound effects)
  • Memory Alpha audio files‎ (non-Trek)

Much like Memory Alpha images, we should have our audio files in subcategories of the "main" audio file category. - Archduk3 23:32, September 4, 2013 (UTC)