Ogg Vorbis 101

ogg-vorbis 101

Despite the multitude of information available on the internet, still, the most frequent e-mails I recieve are about ogg-vorbis, how to use it and how to convert them to burnable format. So, to make things easy, I’m going to break it down step by step for the most common tasks. The way I see it, there are four major tasks people want to perform. So, let’s take it one by one.

Playing ogg Vorbis Files

Playing ogg-vorbis files is getting easier with each season. While the vorbis format has been supported on Linux platforms for some time through the often bundled XMMS player, it has only recent gained adoption on Windows and Mac OS X. Windows Media Player, the piece of garbage player included in all new version of Windows, not only enforces digital rights management, but also sends a small packet of information to Microsoft that includes every song or movie you watch or play. Makes you think twice about internet porn, doesn’t it? That’s why there’s good ol WinAmp, the incredible Foobar 2000, the growing FreeAmp, and a host of other multi-media players too numerous to mention.

For Mac user, check out the following websites: macosxhints.com and nouturn.com.

Ripping ogg-Vorbis Files

Ripping ogg vorbis files from CD is now easier than ever, thanks to all sorts of software. firsttube.com recommends FreeRipMP3, which is a spectacular program that is incredibly easy to use. This software will rip a CD into ogg vorbis, mp3, or wav. Produced by mgshareware this product is what produces all ogg files for firsttube.com.

direct link: [download]

Another piece of software, one that is SUPER easy to use converts wav files to ogg files. Just launch this exe, drag and drog any .wav file onto the little fish, and an ogg file will magically appear in the same directory. While you can’t really convert from CD with this, many firsttube.com user have reported that this is their favorite ogg ripping application. Home page is here

[direct link: download]

Converting ogg-Vorbis files to MP3

The last year or so has seen the rise of the IPod, the Archos Jukebox, and other mp3 players by both Creative and iRiver. While iRiver and other companies are currently working on firmware updates that will play oggs (it *will* happen), for now, you have to make due with mp3. Understand that this is conversion between two lossy formats which WILL degrade the sound quality, but if you want to make this conversion, you should use LameDropXPd, available from this page

direct link: [download]
If that link is unavailable, you can also find it here: [download].

Converting ogg-Vorbis files to WAV for burning to disc

Before we discuss this, I’d like to make sure everyone understands: making audio CDs from lossy formats such as mp3 or ogg-vorbis is not a good idea. You should NEVER burn a CD using these formats except for for personal use and should absolutely never trade them without very explicit labelling and forewarning. Lossy audio formats do not make for crisp recordings.

That said, if you want to burn your ogg files to CD, yoiu’ll need to convert them to .wav files. While there are many programs that do this well, most of them are not freeware and charge for extended use. Fortunately, the best software that manipluates ogg files is a free program called “Audacity.” Audacity is available on almost every platform, and can edit, normalize, add effects, or sharpen your audio. I highly suggest you master your ogg files if you intend to put them on CD. This is a snap with Audacity.
direct link: [download]

Another program that I’ve heard lots of good things about is called CDex. This super easy program converts on the fly between many popular formats.
direct link: [download]

For more on ogg vorbis files, please visit the ogg vorbis homepage or the software page.