August 01, 2007
Spread Open Media vs PlayOgg
Spread Open Media or SOM which they call themselves for short looks pretty unprofessional. It is a word press blog with a narrow column of text. It doesn't seem to have any links on how to play any of the formats it supports. It doesn't have any sort of badge, button, or logo. they accuse PlayOgg of using "threat tactics, desinformation [sic], and ignorancy." That brings me to spelling I know I'm not a great speller but if I were running some sort of public campaign I'd be sure to have some sort of proof reader. Spread Open Media says to "avoid MP3, AAC, H.264, Xvid, and OOXML like the plague" but it doesn't say why. The truth is that MP3, AAC, H.264, and Xvid are open formats I have specifications for all of them, and anyone can buy the specs at the iso store for a fee. They are an inferior kind of open format because they are patent encumbered. Their name also seems a little bit too long. Spread Open Media is twice as long as PlayOgg, it's long enough that they call themselves SOM for short but unfortunately that don't own som.org.
PlayOgg may not look like a work of art wither but it looks a lot more professional than spread open media. It has a button that you can put near Ogg links, and conveniently PlayOgg.org points to the playOgg site. I disagree with PlayOgg's statement "Microsoft had to pay $1.5 billion after being sued for using MP3 without a license. With Ogg Vorbis, they would have been safe" because the patent in question was thought to be a non issue because it wasn't disclosed during development but was then brought out in the open much later now that MP3 is ubiquitous. In theory there could be several patents on which Vorbis/Theora potentially infringe where the holder may be waiting for popularity to increase before acting. It happened to MP3 and GIF. One blogger blasts PlayOgg saying: "This is the perfect example of how not to be an open source advocate; promoting a free audio format by suggesting to users that they .... download an entirely new media player." But at least PlayOgg gives some way to play these files unlike Spread Open Media. I do agree it would be good for PlayOgg to also link the Illiminable Ogg DirectShow Filters and XiphQT but i think that VLC should be displayed first because it is free software and it runs on any platform.