MailOgging

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==The templates==
==The templates==
 +
===Request support in players (hardware/software)===
Dear XXX,
Dear XXX,
Line 67: Line 68:
Sincerely,<br/>
Sincerely,<br/>
 +
YYY
 +
 +
===For online shops===
 +
 +
Dear Sirs,
 +
 +
I'd like to congratulate you on XXX's recent decision to supply music downloads in a DRM-free format. By doing this you have made it easier for you customers to listen to the music they purchase using the player of their choice and I hope that they will reward you for this bold move.
 +
 +
But there is still something missing. Currently you offer your downloads in MP3 format; this was one of the first to become popular for digital music and hence has widespread support, but MP3 is still covered by a multitude of patents which makes it illegal in places to play it with open source software. In addition, though I clearly don't know what your commercial arrangements are, I can guess that you must pay a licensing fee to use the MP3 format. It's for this reason that Free Formats such as (Ogg) Vorbis were developed.
 +
 +
Vorbis was designed as a patent-free format and is widely supported by open source software, with support on Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms as well as support in many hardware players (from high-end manufacturers such as IRiver and Cowon to the “mp4 players” that predominate on eBay). It is now being used as the sound format for high profile projects like Wikipedia and One Laptop Per Child.
 +
 +
I'm not going to try to convince you that you should give up on MP3 and provide downloads in Vorbis instead, but I would ask that you consider supplying Vorbis as an alternative where practical. You may even, for high quality options, want to consider FLAC, a lossless counterpart to Vorbis. You have already taken a step towards regaining some of the trust between consumers and music stores; please consider the next one, I hope it will gain you an even wider audience.
 +
 +
If you would like any more information on Free Formats please get in touch with me or look at [http://spreadopenmedia.org www.spreadopenmedia.org].
 +
 +
Yours faithfully,<br />
YYY
YYY
==A few examples==
==A few examples==
 +
===Letter to Apple regarding the iPod===
===Letter to Apple regarding the iPod===
Dear Apple,
Dear Apple,
-
Through this letter, I, Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves, would like to request you to support other digital formats in the iPod, namely Vorbis and FLAC.  I intend to become one of your customers and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Apple exists to provide services for the people.
+
Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in the iPod, namely Vorbis and FLAC.  I intend to become one of your customers and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Apple exists to provide services for the people.
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want the iPod to be able to play the digital formats that I like.  I have my music under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want the iPod to be able to play the digital formats that I like.  I have my music under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.
Line 91: Line 110:
Sincerely,<br/>
Sincerely,<br/>
-
Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves
+
John Doe
===Letter to Microsoft regarding Windows===
===Letter to Microsoft regarding Windows===
Dear Microsoft,
Dear Microsoft,
-
Through this letter, I, Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves, would like to request you to support other digital formats in Windows, namely Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, Theora, and XSPF.  I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Microsoft exists to provide services for the people.
+
Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in Windows, namely Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, Theora, and XSPF.  I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Microsoft exists to provide services for the people.
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want Windows to be able to play the digital formats that I like.  I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want Windows to be able to play the digital formats that I like.  I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.
Line 123: Line 142:
Sincerely,<br/>
Sincerely,<br/>
-
Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves
+
John Doe
 +
 
 +
=== Letter to Samsung regarding YP-xx player series ===
 +
 
 +
Dear Samsung,
 +
 
 +
Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in your portable audio and video players, namely Vorbis, FLAC, and for video players also Theora.  I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Samsung exists to provide services for the people.
 +
 
 +
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want my portable player to be able to play the digital formats that I like. I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.
 +
 
 +
I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.
 +
 
 +
Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA.  It also streams pretty well over the Internet.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.
 +
 
 +
FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression.  It stores songs with all quality possible.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.
 +
 
 +
Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4.  It streams pretty well over the Internet.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.
 +
 
 +
But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:
 +
 
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis<br/>
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC<br/>
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora<br/>
 +
 
 +
So, please, dear Samsung.  Be kind enough to consider my request.  Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users.  Add support for Vorbis, FLAC, and Theora.
 +
 
 +
Sincerely,<br/>
 +
John Doe
 +
 
 +
=== Letter to NIKON regarding digital cameras ===
 +
 
 +
Dear NIKON,
 +
 
 +
Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in your cameras, namely Theora and HuffYUV or Lagarith. I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, NIKON exists to provide services for the people.
 +
 
 +
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want my camera to output movies in free and optionally also lostless digital formats that I like, rather than formats being both proprietary and lossy. I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day produce such media more easily and directly.
 +
 
 +
I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.
 +
 
 +
Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4.  It streams pretty well over the Internet.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.
 +
 
 +
But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:
 +
 
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora<br/>
 +
 
 +
So, please, dear NIKON.  Be kind enough to consider my request.  Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users.  Add support for Theora and free lostless video codecs in your products.
 +
 
 +
Sincerely,<br/>
 +
John Doe
 +
 
 +
=== Letter to Creative regarding soundcards and soundchips ===
 +
 
 +
Dear Creative,
 +
 
 +
Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to publicly provide full technical documentation of your soundcards and soundchips, rather that "windows" codecs only.
 +
 
 +
Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because this issue is really important for me, I really want to play my media stored in free formats using alternative OS'es, rather than play "windows"-friendly media on "windows".
 +
 
 +
Examples of free media formats:
 +
 
 +
Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA.  It also streams pretty well over the Internet.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.
 +
 
 +
FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression.  It stores songs with all quality possible.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.
 +
 
 +
Speex is an audio codec for speech.  It can be used for both audio books and VoIP, among other things.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.
 +
 
 +
Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4.  It streams pretty well over the Internet.  The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.
 +
 
 +
But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:
 +
 
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis<br/>
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC<br/>
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speex<br/>
 +
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora<br/>
 +
 
 +
So, please, dear Creative. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users. Provide full documentation of your audio hardware, don't make alternative OS development unnecessarily difficult, let the users to choose their OS.
 +
 
 +
Sincerely,<br/>
 +
John Doe
 +
 
 +
=== Letter to Play.com requesting Vorbis and FLAC ===
 +
 
 +
Dear Sirs,
 +
 
 +
I'd like to congratulate you on Play.com's recent decision to supply music downloads in a DRM-free format. By doing this you have made it easier for you customers to listen to the music they purchase using the player of their choice and I hope that they will reward you for this bold move.
 +
 
 +
But there is still something missing. Currently you offer your downloads in MP3 format; this was one of the first to become popular for digital music and hence has widespread support, but MP3 is still covered by a multitude of patents which makes it illegal in places to play it with open source software. In addition, though I clearly don't know what your commercial arrangements are, I can guess that you must pay a licensing fee to use the MP3 format. It's for this reason that Free Formats such as (Ogg) Vorbis were developed.
 +
 
 +
Vorbis was designed as a patent-free format and is widely supported by open source software, with support on Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms as well as support in many hardware players (from high-end manufacturers such as IRiver and Cowon to the “mp4 players” that predominate on eBay). It is now being used as the sound format for high profile projects like Wikipedia and One Laptop Per Child.
 +
 
 +
I'm not going to try to convince you that you should give up on MP3 and provide downloads in Vorbis instead, but I would ask that you consider supplying Vorbis as an alternative where practical. You may even, for high quality options, want to consider FLAC, a lossless counterpart to Vorbis. You have already taken a step towards regaining some of the trust between consumers and music stores; please consider the next one, I hope it will gain you an even wider audience.
 +
 
 +
If you would like any more information on Free Formats please get in touch with me or look at [http://spreadopenmedia.org www.spreadopenmedia.org].
 +
 
 +
Yours faithfully,<br />
 +
Ian Malone

Latest revision as of 17:49, 20 March 2008

This project is for the use of the average bloke (yes, you), who would like to further help and promote the use of your favorite free format. The MailOgging is a strategy to get the attention of hardware and software vendors who do not know the Ogg family, do not care about it, or do not know how many people care about it. The MailOgging provides free templates that you can use (and change according to your likeness) to create letters that you can then send to the corporations you want to nag. Nagging as many as you can is appreciated and gives you magical elite points.

Contents

FAQ

Q. Why should I do this?
A. You tell me, but if you think it's worth it, if you want to support the Ogg family, and if you'd like to try making your voice heard, then there's your reasons. Most vendors never gave a damn about Xiph or free formats, so maybe it's time they hear some words from the community.

Q. Can I induce others to do the same?
A. Now we are talking.

Q. Can I expand, modify and make corrections to the templates?
A. But of course. The MailOgging is available in wiki format for this sole reason. Please help fix problems you see in the text, or further expand it. You can also suggest changes in the Talk page.

Q. What about translations?
A. Sure. Go ahead and make them available here. There's lots of companies outside the English speaking world like Haier (China) and Samsung (Korea), and surely they would rather hear from customers on their homeland.

Q. Is this official, as in, part of the Xiph.Org Foundation?
A. Yes, it's part of the Spread Open Media iniative by Ivo Emanuel Gonçalves and a few other goons.

Q. What are magical elite points?
A. Oh, you'll find out when you get them.

Q. So, how do I use the templates?
A. You need to change a few things in the template you want to use. After you are done, get either the physical address or e-mail address (or both) of the corporation you'd like to contact and send the letter.

Here's a list of things you'll need to replace in the text:

  • XXX = Name of the corporation, company, or person (e.g. Creative, Peter Pawlowski)
  • YYY = Your name. If you'll be using snail-mail, don't forget to sign the letter with a pen!
  • ZZZ = Name of the product (e.g. iTunes, Creative Zen, etc.)

You also need to know what formats you'll be requesting support for, since you'll need to edit out the template to remove what shouldn't be there. Don't forget that asking for all of them at once is probably not wise. The list is as follows:

There's also a few slashes "/" so you can choose what's more appropriate for you and the letter. Don't forget to make decisions on what goes and what stays.

The templates

Request support in players (hardware/software)

Dear XXX,

Through this letter, I, YYY, would like to request you to support other digital formats in the ZZZ, namely Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, Theora and XSPF. I'm one/I intend to become one of your customers/users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, XXX exists to provide services for the people.

Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want the XXX to be able to play the digital formats that I like. I have my music/videos/media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.

I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.

Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA. It also streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the ZZZ play it.

FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression. It stores songs with all quality possible. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the ZZZ play it.

Speex is an audio codec for speech. It can be used for both audio books and VoIP, among other things. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the ZZZ play it.

Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4. It streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the ZZZ play it.

XSPF is a playlist format based on XML with a lot of features that make life easier for both consumers and vendors. It's simple, cute and mean. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the ZZZ play it.

But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:

//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speex
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XSPF

So, please, dear XXX. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your customers/users. Add support for Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, Theora and XSPF in the ZZZ.

Sincerely,
YYY

For online shops

Dear Sirs,

I'd like to congratulate you on XXX's recent decision to supply music downloads in a DRM-free format. By doing this you have made it easier for you customers to listen to the music they purchase using the player of their choice and I hope that they will reward you for this bold move.

But there is still something missing. Currently you offer your downloads in MP3 format; this was one of the first to become popular for digital music and hence has widespread support, but MP3 is still covered by a multitude of patents which makes it illegal in places to play it with open source software. In addition, though I clearly don't know what your commercial arrangements are, I can guess that you must pay a licensing fee to use the MP3 format. It's for this reason that Free Formats such as (Ogg) Vorbis were developed.

Vorbis was designed as a patent-free format and is widely supported by open source software, with support on Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms as well as support in many hardware players (from high-end manufacturers such as IRiver and Cowon to the “mp4 players” that predominate on eBay). It is now being used as the sound format for high profile projects like Wikipedia and One Laptop Per Child.

I'm not going to try to convince you that you should give up on MP3 and provide downloads in Vorbis instead, but I would ask that you consider supplying Vorbis as an alternative where practical. You may even, for high quality options, want to consider FLAC, a lossless counterpart to Vorbis. You have already taken a step towards regaining some of the trust between consumers and music stores; please consider the next one, I hope it will gain you an even wider audience.

If you would like any more information on Free Formats please get in touch with me or look at www.spreadopenmedia.org.

Yours faithfully,
YYY

A few examples

Letter to Apple regarding the iPod

Dear Apple,

Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in the iPod, namely Vorbis and FLAC. I intend to become one of your customers and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Apple exists to provide services for the people.

Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want the iPod to be able to play the digital formats that I like. I have my music under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.

I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.

Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA. It also streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the iPod play it.

FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression. It stores songs with all quality possible. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have the iPod play it.

But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:

//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC

So, please, dear Apple. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your customers. Add support for Vorbis and FLAC in the iPod.

Sincerely,
John Doe

Letter to Microsoft regarding Windows

Dear Microsoft,

Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in Windows, namely Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, Theora, and XSPF. I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Microsoft exists to provide services for the people.

Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want Windows to be able to play the digital formats that I like. I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.

I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.

Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA. It also streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression. It stores songs with all quality possible. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

Speex is an audio codec for speech. It can be used for both audio books and VoIP, among other things. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4. It streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

XSPF is a playlist format based on XML with a lot of features that make life easier for both consumers and vendors. It's simple, cute and mean. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:

//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speex
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XSPF

So, please, dear Microsoft. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users. Add support for Vorbis, FLAC, Speex, Theora, and XSPF in Windows.

Sincerely,
John Doe

Letter to Samsung regarding YP-xx player series

Dear Samsung,

Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in your portable audio and video players, namely Vorbis, FLAC, and for video players also Theora. I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, Samsung exists to provide services for the people.

Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want my portable player to be able to play the digital formats that I like. I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day support my media.

I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.

Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA. It also streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression. It stores songs with all quality possible. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have Windows Media Player play it.

Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4. It streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.

But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:

//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora

So, please, dear Samsung. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users. Add support for Vorbis, FLAC, and Theora.

Sincerely,
John Doe

Letter to NIKON regarding digital cameras

Dear NIKON,

Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to support other digital formats in your cameras, namely Theora and HuffYUV or Lagarith. I'm one of your users and, as such, I believe I have a say on what I'd like you to provide me, after all, NIKON exists to provide services for the people.

Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because I really want this feature, I really want my camera to output movies in free and optionally also lostless digital formats that I like, rather than formats being both proprietary and lossy. I have my media under those formats, and so I believe I have the right to at least ask if my favorite product could one day produce such media more easily and directly.

I'm pretty sure your fine technicians already know these formats I've mentioned above, but I'll make a brief introduction to each of them, so you'll understand why I have chosen them to store and encode my media.

Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4. It streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.

But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:

//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora

So, please, dear NIKON. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users. Add support for Theora and free lostless video codecs in your products.

Sincerely,
John Doe

Letter to Creative regarding soundcards and soundchips

Dear Creative,

Through this letter, I, John Doe, would like to request you to publicly provide full technical documentation of your soundcards and soundchips, rather that "windows" codecs only.

Now, as you may have guessed, I took the time to put this letter together because this issue is really important for me, I really want to play my media stored in free formats using alternative OS'es, rather than play "windows"-friendly media on "windows".

Examples of free media formats:

Vorbis, commonly known as Ogg, because of its container format, is a lossy audio codec with higher quality over MP3 and WMA. It also streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.

FLAC is a lossless audio codec with high compression. It stores songs with all quality possible. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.

Speex is an audio codec for speech. It can be used for both audio books and VoIP, among other things. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.

Theora is an advanced video codec like MPEG 4. It streams pretty well over the Internet. The specification is available free of charge, it's not encumbered with patents, and there's no need for you to pay royalties to have your devices play it.

But don't take my word for it. Wikipedia offers detailed articles that may be found at:

//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speex
//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora

So, please, dear Creative. Be kind enough to consider my request. Outdo your competition, hear the voices of your users. Provide full documentation of your audio hardware, don't make alternative OS development unnecessarily difficult, let the users to choose their OS.

Sincerely,
John Doe

Letter to Play.com requesting Vorbis and FLAC

Dear Sirs,

I'd like to congratulate you on Play.com's recent decision to supply music downloads in a DRM-free format. By doing this you have made it easier for you customers to listen to the music they purchase using the player of their choice and I hope that they will reward you for this bold move.

But there is still something missing. Currently you offer your downloads in MP3 format; this was one of the first to become popular for digital music and hence has widespread support, but MP3 is still covered by a multitude of patents which makes it illegal in places to play it with open source software. In addition, though I clearly don't know what your commercial arrangements are, I can guess that you must pay a licensing fee to use the MP3 format. It's for this reason that Free Formats such as (Ogg) Vorbis were developed.

Vorbis was designed as a patent-free format and is widely supported by open source software, with support on Windows, Linux and Macintosh platforms as well as support in many hardware players (from high-end manufacturers such as IRiver and Cowon to the “mp4 players” that predominate on eBay). It is now being used as the sound format for high profile projects like Wikipedia and One Laptop Per Child.

I'm not going to try to convince you that you should give up on MP3 and provide downloads in Vorbis instead, but I would ask that you consider supplying Vorbis as an alternative where practical. You may even, for high quality options, want to consider FLAC, a lossless counterpart to Vorbis. You have already taken a step towards regaining some of the trust between consumers and music stores; please consider the next one, I hope it will gain you an even wider audience.

If you would like any more information on Free Formats please get in touch with me or look at www.spreadopenmedia.org.

Yours faithfully,
Ian Malone

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