Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Spread Open Media

Spread Open Media

is an interesting site.

Promotes and provokes a lot of thought.  Open source has been about for a long time now but with the new advances in media systems - graphics, video, office and sound; the open source community, which has also migrated from Linux to Mac and Windows.  Now non-power users but experts in their artistic fields can produce fantastic work with open source media.  To be fair deviant art and many other places have thrived for years now on the backs of amazing amateurs, people with more artistic talent than most professionals.  But now that those mentioned professionals are moving into the field we are seeing a migration to Open Media.  One of the other contributing factors is the I-Pod and the next generation phones etc that has pushed open digital as the final form of expression as well as creation.  Digital media are publishing forms.

Spread Open Media has a big push on with formats - if we are to create files in an open source / open format how do we feel about the formats we use and their openess?  Spare a thought for PDF, WMA, DVD's and MP3's all of which most companies have to pay a lot of money for the right to play and decode this information.  One reason why the X-Box didn't play DVD's until you bought its remote - it was to cover the cost of their license fee.  The same with MP's all MP3 players pay for the right to play them.  Open Source means releasing code, sharing it and your advances with the world so that it can be used as a stepping stone forward.  Libre Software is about freedom and the ability to use open sourced code and material to further yourself and anyone who comes along afterwards, to use it.  We need control.  The ordinary user needs control not the big high end companies.  The first step in this is about open and open source formats.  Store your information in a way that you have control now and forever.  Its about our ability to improve the format - currently in particular with sound the Open formats far surpass their counterparts.  Have a look at SOM and read through some of the articles.

In particular my two favourite programs is the MailOgging Campaign - a campaign to send emails / letters to the media supplying companies, hardware and digital shops, to support OGG formats.  And Operation Transcode - the first step to pushing open media forward is to convert your own files into Open formats.  Its a way of advertising the formats and their superiority and ethos.  Anyone getting material from you will see you convert it or your open format forms and ask about it.


I had such a pain to find a mp3 player that actually played ogg files... But the name "mp3 player" says it all.. Go to virgin and ask for an ogg player :)

The availability of the <video> and <audio> markups in firefox 3.1 to display video and audio on a webpage, supporting ogg vorbis and theora codecs by default, will hopefully help ogg to spread a bit...

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