An Anonymous Coward writes:
MP3 decoding was already free and got recently included in Fedora. But now, encoding is also free according to Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS: "On April 23, 2017, Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated." The Wikipedia MP3 article confirms that.
So, do you still use an MP3 library or have you switched to another format or means of listening to music such as (spying built-in) streaming services?
I encoded all my stuff to 160kbps Ogg Vorbis long ago, and stuck with it.
Unlike some other people who say they "can't find a player for it", I never had that problem.I use Linux on my desktop, so playing Oggs has never been a problem there.I have an Android phone. It plays Oggs just fine.I bought a Mazda that plays music from a USB thumb drive. It plays Oggs just fine too.
Hard drive space is much cheaper now than it was 10-15 years ago, and USB thumb drives are rather large too, so I plan to re-rip all my CDs soon into FLAC format as well as 192kbps Vorbis to make sure nothing's lost to failed CDs. I wouldn't mind switching to Opus but I'm not sure my phone and car support that, but I'll check first.
Why use Opus? It's designed to "efficiently code speech and general audio in a single format, while remaining low-latency enough for real-time interactive communication". Ie not optimized for audio quality so FLAC seems like a much better choice.
As for players. You know how popular a codec is once you try to implement it on a embedded microcontroller that lack any kind of multiprocess environment with MMU.
Opus replaces Vorbis. From Wikipedia: "Opus replaces both Vorbis and Speex for new applications, and several blind listening tests have ranked it higher-quality than any other standard audio format at any given bitrate until transparency is reached, including MP3, AAC, and HE-AAC." FLAC has very large file sizes. Thumb drives aren't that big yet (i.e., my music collection will not fit on a 64GB microSD card or USB drive in FLAC format; when 256GB microSD cards are the norm, this will be different.).
Why the hell would I care about embedded microcontrollers without MMUs or muliprocessing environments? This isn't the late 90s any more. Anything you're going to be listening to music on these days is going to be running Linux or similar, and will have a CPU more than capable of decoding any audio codec you like. (Android phone - Linux kernel; Car infotainment system - Linux)
Is software-decoded audio really a battery drain? Certainly true of video, but, audio?
Actually Opus is designed to scale.From low bitrate (speex can actually do ULTRA-LOW bitrate, like 8 kbps or something, Opus is limited to 16 or 32+ from a modified version of the speex codec) speech to mid to high bitrate lossy audio, Opus is actually designed to unify the audio technologies of all of those.
I haven't checked to see how it actually compares to speex/vorbis/etc, since nowadays I would just rip anything I need into flac and call it a day, but if you DO need lossy/low space media, it is another tool in your repetoire, assuming your devices support it.
You can get VLC for IOS too. Plays OGG just fine
If you're planning to rip to FLAC and Vob, you would do well to do the following:
1. Rip to single-file FLAC per-CD, so you maintain the cuesheet information. For most CDs this doesn't matter much, but if you want a proper archive this is the way to go. Many players will handle these files and show them as separate tracks fine.
2. Script the conversion from FLAC to Vob, rather than ripping twice. This way, if you end up deciding to have mp3 instead/as well (as I have had to do for my car), you can just run the conversion overnight for your music collection.
> 2. Script the conversion from FLAC to Vob, rather than ripping twice. This way, if you end up deciding to have mp3 instead/as well (as I have had to do for my car), you can just run the conversion overnight for your music collection.
To save anyone the hassle of scripting it, systems already exist to do this for you. I use this one: https://github.com/ZivaVatra/flac2all [github.com]
It converts flac to mp3/aac/vorbis/opus/flac, with tagging, and supports multiple processes, so I can hammer my 12 core machine with batch conversion of my FLAC Collection when needed.