Today we updated RhinoSpike.com with support with Ogg Vorbis. What the heck is Ogg Vorbis, you say? Ogg Vorbis is a popular open source audio format that is unencumbered by patent and licensing issues, and arguably offers better quality audio than the MP3 format. We’ve also upgraded to a new in-browser media player that supports both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis, using HTML5 where available and Flash where it’s not. Also for certain browsers that don’t support Ogg Vorbis natively (like Internet Explorer and Safari), there is a Java-based media player that we use. We hope this will allow everyone to play all of the audio on RhinoSpike within the browser. We’ve done a lot of testing to make sure that it will work for everyone.
Our usage data indicates that about 80% of our users are using Firefox and Chrome, which will have no problem supporting these new changes. Most of the remaining users are using Internet Explorer and Safari, and about 80% of those users have Java installed, so they should have no problems either. If you find yourself unable to play Ogg Vorbis files on RhinoSpike, I recommend switching your browser to the latest version of either Firefox or Chrome, or installing Java if you’re too attached to your current browser.
What about downloading Ogg Vorbis files? How do I play them on my computer? The good news is many major media players already support Ogg Vorbis. Check out this page for a detailed list of software.
To see a live example of Ogg Vorbis in use, check out this recording.
So why support Ogg Vorbis? At RhinoSpike, we’re big fans of open source software, and believe we should help the world adopt an open audio format such as Ogg Vorbis. Also, support for Ogg Vorbis is a major step in our plan to bring in-browser recording to our users.