"Ogg Vorbis is an open-source and patent-free audio codec
that is being developed by Xiphophorus along with several other
multimedia projects (cdparanoia and Icecast, to name two).
Xiphophorus is a collection of open-source, multimedia-related
projects and programmers who are working to ensure that Internet
multimedia standards reside in the public domain where they
belong. The work on Ogg Vorbis is currently funded by iCAST,
the entertainment arm of CMGI."
"Ogg Vorbis is an open standard, and this is important for a
number of reasons. There are few truly open standards in the realm
of digital audio. Look at Windows Media, Quicktime or RealAudio.
These standards are all closed and proprietary, and because of
this, none of the standards interoperate well (or at all outside of
their corporate walls) with one another. When was the last time
that you could play Quicktime 4 in RealPlayer or vice versa? When
will Linux have Quicktime or Windows Media support? Linux and the
Internet are founded on open standards, and as multimedia on the
Internet and on Linux rapidly matures, the need for multimedia
applications like Ogg Vorbis grows rapidly as well."
"There are two parts to Ogg Vorbis: Ogg and Vorbis. Ogg is a
wrapper format, similar in some ways to Apple's Quicktime or
Microsoft's Active Streaming Format. It helps you collect a group
of things that belong together. For example, if you have an Ogg
movie file, it might contain a Vorbis stream alongside a video
stream in another codec. Or the Ogg movie file might contain ten
Vorbis streams, one for each language available."