OGG is a free and open-source container format for digital multimedia files. It was developed by Xiph.Org Foundation and was released to the public in 2003. This format is regarded as an unrestricted format developed to ensure efficient on-demand streaming and handling or editing of high-quality digital multimedia.
The Pros: Advantages of OGG
Files with an OGG file extension are similar to audio files based on the MP3 file format in terms of how their audio data were compressed. However, in terms of file size, OGG files have smaller file sizes. These files are compressed using the Vorbis audio codec.
The Vorbis codec produces high-quality and smaller-sized files because it is more advanced and efficient than the MP3 codec.
It is important to highlight the fact that the application of OGG extends beyond audio compression. It is a container format for digital multimedia. Some of its applications include digital music distribution, online music streaming, podcasts and audiobook distribution, and video streaming.
Videos are coded using the open-source Theora codec. This codec is considered to be on par with other video codecs like H.264 and VP8 in terms of video quality.
Note that the MP4 container format is one of the closest rivals of OGG. MP4 is a proprietary format that uses the H.264 codec for encoding digital video and the AAC coding standard for encoding digital audio.
Below are the specific advantages of this container format:
• Open-Source Format: One of the advantages of OGG is that it is a free and open-source format. This means that it is free to use and can be used or developed by any individuals and even organizations without needing to secure licenses.
• High-Quality and Small Size: Audio and video files formatted using this container format can also have qualities that are similar to MP3 audio files and MP4 audio-video files while also having smaller file sizes.
• Suitable for Streaming: The respectable quality and small size of OGG files also make this container format suitable for online content distribution to include digital downloads and music or video streaming applications.
• Low Processing Requirements: Another advantage of this container format is that it has low complexity compared to other container formats. This translates to having low processing requirements and suitability for low-powered devices.
• Flexible Applications: OGG is a container format. This means that a particular file may contain streams encoded with multiple lossless or lossy codecs or embedded with other audio and video formats such as MP3, MP4, Dirac, and FLAC, among others.
• Considerable Support: Some software-based multimedia players support this format. Furthermore, in consideration of device support, it is a popular format used in the Android operating system and even feature phones.
The Cons: Disadvantages of OGG
It is important to highlight the fact that OGG is not as popular as other container formats. The main codecs it recommends to use such as the Vorbis audio codec and Theora video codec are not as popular as MP3 and AAC audio codecs and H.264 video codec.
The aforesaid limitations stem from the fact that it was introduced in the 2000s while other container formats and codecs are part of long-standing development efforts or legacies. Note that MP3 was introduced in 1991 but it is part of the earlier efforts of the ISO MPEG Audio group.
Furthermore, the fact that it is open-source has contributed to its poor adoption by device manufacturers and software developers who prefer using licenses or patented technology. Using licenses or patents provide full technical support.
Below are the specific disadvantages of this container format:
• Limited Adoption: Remember that one of the biggest disadvantages of OGG is its limited adoption. It is not a standard container format in the industry. This can create problems such as support and compatibility issues.
• Cons of Vorbis and Theora: The recommended codecs for this container format also have limited support, unlike more popular and standard codecs such as H.264, VP8, and AAC. This can create problems when troubleshooting needs arise.
• Limited Playback Support: Another disadvantage is limited software and device support. Some media and editing software do not support this format. Devices such as iPhones ands iPad do not have native support for OGG files.