What is Ogg

Ogg is a free, open container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. The creators of the Ogg format state that it is unrestricted by software patents and is designed to provide for efficient streaming and manipulation of high quality digital multimedia. The Ogg container format can multiplex a number of independent streams for audio, video, text (such as subtitles), and metadata.

In the Ogg multimedia framework, Theora provides a lossy video layer. The audio layer is most commonly provided by the music-oriented Vorbis format but other codec options include the human speech compression codec Opus, the lossless audio compression codec FLAC, and OggPCM. Because the format is free, and its reference implementation is not subject to restrictions associated with copyright, Ogg’s various codecs have been incorporated into a number of different free and proprietary media players, both commercial and non-commercial, as well as portable media players and GPS receivers from different manufacturers.

The “Ogg” bitstream format, spearheaded by the Xiph.Org Foundation, has been created as the framework of a larger initiative aimed at developing a set of components for the coding and decoding of multimedia content, which are available free of charge and freely re-implementable in software. The format consists of chunks of data each called an “Ogg page”. Each page begins with the characters, “OggS”, to identify the file as Ogg format.

A “serial number” and “page number” in the page header identifies each page as part of a series of pages making up a bitstream. Multiple bitstreams may be multiplexed in the file where pages from each bitstream are ordered by the seek time of the contained data. Bitstreams may also be appended to existing files, a process known as “chaining”, to cause the bitstreams to be decoded in sequence. A BSD-licensed library, called “libvorbis”, is available to encode and decode data from “Vorbis” streams. Independent Ogg implementations are used in several projects such as RealPlayer and a set of DirectShow filters. Being a container format, Ogg can embed audio and video in various formats (such as Dirac, MNG, CELT, MPEG-4, MP3 and others) , based upon On2′s VP3, it is targeted at competing with MPEG-4 video (for example, encoded with DivX or Xvid), RealVideo, or Windows Media Video.