After years of research and development, Ogg Vorbis is finally ready for public release. While many of our fans have been encoding and decoding Vorbis files using release-candidate code for the past year, the time has come. Today, we announce and release Ogg Vorbis 1.0.
We wouldn't be here without you.
A lot of people have donated to the Xiph.org Foundation in a lot of different ways. Software developers like Michael Smith and companies like theKompany have stepped up and given our users some fantastic tools. Musicians like Kerry Livgren and Skinflowers have published music online in Ogg format, and given us access to a lot of music that we can't find at the local record store. Users like you have helped Ogg Vorbis by stress-testing our code, writing helpful articles and helping out new listeners. A lot of people have donated money to the Xiph.org Foundation, and their money has helped us to pay the bills and gave us the freedom to be where we are now.
As you can tell by the headlines, there is a massive push to control the methods by which you 'consume' multimedia. You're being accused of theft if you skip commercials, you're considered a pirate if you share music with your friends, and independent webcasters are fighting for their lives. One of the world's most popular codecs is controlled by a company that's been found guilty of abusing a monopoly.
This would almost be acceptible if the numerous companies bearing down on your choices were releasing great things.
Newsflash. They're not. Publically-traded multimedia companies are sacrificing good design at the altar of shareholder value. They want quantity, not quality, and they want it as fast as humanly possible. They strive to find the fastest path to money, and take that path in a way that will be the most profitable. If they shut down a competitor on that path, that's even better. This is what successful companies are supposed to do. It's their modus operandi.
This is supposed to be a good thing. Consumers are supposed to get choice, and they're supposed to get their choice out of the best that healthy competition has to offer. It's an interesting situation. The companies beating each other for 'multimedia marketshare' have products that pale in comparison to Ogg Vorbis. As of this writing, there isn't a single lossy audio compression codec developed by a for-profit company that can take on Vorbis and win a listening comparison test.
We fight for quality. We fight for choice. We fight for you, whether you know it or not. We think you deserve better than a rushed bid for marketshare when it comes to listening to music. We're a non-profit company; You're not consumers to us. You're people who want great technology, and the ability to use that technology without worrying about license fees or anything that's going to get between you and your music.
Ogg Vorbis, as impressive and as it is, is only the beginning. We're out to develop an open multimedia platform that will provide all sorts of great tools for you to use. We're working on Theora to bring open video to your desktop, continued development on Vorbis to support 5.1 channel sound and other goodies, and the establishment of the Xiph.org Open Collaborative. We can't do that without your continued support. If you like what we're doing, please do what you can to help us out.
If you're a developer, take a look at the Vorbis specification and build something wonderful. If you're a musician, release some of your music in Ogg format, and let us hear from you! If you can afford to drop us some money to keep the wolves away from our doors, please donate! If you can't afford to send us any of your money, please tell your friends about us and our mission, and have them listen to some audio encoded in Vorbis to hear the difference for themselves.
Thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far, and thanks to everyone who will continue to help us into the future!
CEO, Xiph.org Foundation