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Old 10-14-2004, 08:18 AM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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Free audio downloads of US presidential debates

Audible offers the 2004 U.S. Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates for free download at http://www.audible.com/debates.

Any Audible web visitor can register, download, and transfer audio to any AudibleReady mobile device, burn standard audio CDs for playback away from the computer, or stream audio at the user's computer.
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:14 AM   #2
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Its a spoken-only stream. Why they chose to use .mp3 as a storage format boggles the mind. Using .ogg would have produced files 1/2 as large, with significantly better audio quality.

Sigh.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
Its a spoken-only stream. Why they chose to use .mp3 as a storage format boggles the mind. Using .ogg would have produced files 1/2 as large, with significantly better audio quality.

Sigh.
Most non-techies have no idea what an .ogg file is. That is probably why.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsoax
Most non-techies have no idea what an .ogg file is. That is probably why.
Most non-techies had to learn what a .mp3 file was at some point too. You have to adapt, if you are going to survive in this world, and that includes adapting to changing technologies.

In this day and age of "mobile" electronics, including things like mp3 players, iPods, Palms with audio support, and so on... it behooves everyone to seek the highest-quality-at-smallest-size file format possible, and .mp3 is NOT that format.

The .mp3 file format is unnecessarily large, horrible audio quality (yes, even at bitrates of 384 and higher), and is restricted by several patents. When a superior quality, smaller, patent-free file format exists, why wouldn't you want to learn how to use it?
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:18 PM   #5
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I would guess that Audible's point was to make the files accessible to as wide an audience as possible for transparency (so democratic!).

And for those of you who would like to convert the files, try dBpowerAMP's converter.
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:55 PM   #6
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Most people don't care about the difference in audio quality (MP3 is good enough for them) or whether a format is restricted by patents. Besides, OGG isn't that widely supported either. (I don't think the iPod supports it, for instance.) Same as Betamax vs VHS back in the 80s, or Windows vs Mac, it's not always the "best" format that wins.
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Old 10-15-2004, 08:34 PM   #7
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I doubt that any audio format would improve the quality of the debates all that much. And why would anyone want to listen TWICE? At least with the text downloads one can skip around and check memory without having to go through the pieces.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
Most non-techies had to learn what a .mp3 file was at some point too. You have to adapt, if you are going to survive in this world, and that includes adapting to changing technologies.

In this day and age of "mobile" electronics, including things like mp3 players, iPods, Palms with audio support, and so on... it behooves everyone to seek the highest-quality-at-smallest-size file format possible, and .mp3 is NOT that format.

The .mp3 file format is unnecessarily large, horrible audio quality (yes, even at bitrates of 384 and higher), and is restricted by several patents. When a superior quality, smaller, patent-free file format exists, why wouldn't you want to learn how to use it?
One thing that I am learning (from reading users accounts, not personal experiance) is that OGG is hugely processor intensive, and thus eats batteries. Has anyone else seen that?
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Old 01-08-2005, 06:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsoax
One thing that I am learning (from reading users accounts, not personal experiance) is that OGG is hugely processor intensive, and thus eats batteries. Has anyone else seen that?
That is correct. Probably not of concern for desktop computers, but it is for sure something to consider when using embedded and handheld solutions.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:15 AM   #10
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That is correct. Probably not of concern for desktop computers, but it is for sure something to consider when using embedded and handheld solutions.
Then that would definitly be why people are not using OGG for mobile solutions. If this is true, what does it matter if you can carry twice the music, you can only use it for half as long.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsoax
Then that would definitly be why people are not using OGG for mobile solutions. If this is true, what does it matter if you can carry twice the music, you can only use it for half as long.
It doesn't take twice the power to decode an ogg file, and phones/PDAs are getting faster and faster processors anyway.

But the real reason is for sound quality. mp3s, even at the highest bitrate setting, sound like absolute garbage, when compared to an equally-bitrated ogg file. Try giving your mp3 music a listen on proper studio-quality headphones or noise-cancelling headphones, and you'll notice a very big difference.

I'd rather listen to accurately-reproduced music for 90% of the time of inaccurately-reproduced music for 10% longer, and at 1/2 the amount of storage space.

YMMV of course. The reason why phones do not carry ogg decoders has nothing to do with the speed, it has to do with the entrenchment of the decoder, and the Sorensen licensing that many companies are bound by (restricting them from putting any other formats in their decoder software, for example). Once those licenses expire, you'll see even more companies adding support for ogg in their core product lines.
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