Ogg Vorbis Makes Run for Portable Music Players.

By Richard Menta 9/3/02

Even though it is a license-free codec, Ogg Vorbis has not seen adoption yet in portable digital music players. The reason is because Ogg Vorbis required a floating-point processor to function, something missing in today's MP3 players. Yesterday, Ogg's creator Xiph has answered this issue with the release of their new Vorbis decoder named "Tremor."

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Tremor is a fixed-point implementation of the Ogg Vorbis 1.0 decoder. Xiph hopes this is the first step towards an eventual universal adoption of the free codec in digital music portables. Certainly the price is right, which should draw the interest of most electronics manufacturers looking to expand the features available in their offerings. Tremor solves a technical barrier that prevented Ogg's adoption in the past.

Most digital music players handle both the MP3 and WMA codec, with a few others also adding the AAC codec to the list. To show their intent to see Ogg Vorbis' widespread adoption in the next generation of portables, Xiph.org is also offering with Tremor any of the resources at their disposal including free engineer time.

"It's not good enough just to hand you some code and expect miracles" says Xiph.org Foundation CEO Emmett Plant on the group's web site. "Just giving you Tremor isn't a 'magic bullet' to guarantee solid hardware support. We want to help you implement Vorbis playback in your player, so we've also established a public mailing list to help things along".

Xiph's announcement of Tremor also includes a list of several MP3 portable manufacturers who already have expressed interest in supporting Ogg in future products. To encourage Ogg Vorbis fans to contact these manufacturers in support of the codec, this list includes company addresses, numbers, and even contact names.

Those interested can download Tremor here.


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