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Difference Between OGG and MP3

mp3_logoOGG vs MP3

There are many types of audio files. So if you want to reproduce or change the sound formats in order for them to be played in various audio players, you should familiarize yourself with different audio file types. These file types can be distinguished by checking the extension of the file name.

With that being said, there are compressed audio file types that are highly favorable for downloading, copying, and storing. The two of the more commonly used compressed audio file types are the OGG (.ogg) and the MP3 (.mp3). These two are known as lossy compression audio formats.

MP3 is actually short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. It is a ground-breaking digital audio file format that allows audio files to have smaller sizes, but still maintain the same sound quality of the significantly larger PCM WAV formats. MP3 was developed by Thompson Multimedia and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in the late 80′s. It was specially devised for easy storage and download over the internet, and became very popular because of that achievement.

One can normally load more than a hundred MP3 songs on a standard CD. The popularity of the format also paved the way for MP3 players, and many companies who manufacture these devices achieve significant profits. It was so practical and popular that it caused a lot of turmoil in the music industry, since copyrighted music become very easy to obtain and share electronically.

Because of its small file size, it can be sent via email and shared; it can be embedded into websites, which can also become downloadable. A 50MB WAV file can be compressed to about 3 to 5 MB of MP3 file without sacrificing the digital sound quality.

The OGG or OGG Vorbis is another compressed digital audio format. It is not as popular as the MP3, but smaller in file size, as it is even more compressed, so to say. Unlike the patented MP3, OGG is not constrained by any patents, since it is open source and free to all.

OGG compression of digital audio varies in bit rate. The bit rate varies depending on the need, thus, with OGG, a 5 minute sound of silence will have a very small file size, or no size at all. This is one of the main differences between OGG and MP3, because the latter compresses digital data at a constant bit rate. Even when a particular track is completely silent, the file will still have a significant size.

Summary:

1. MP3 is still more popular and more commonly used than OGG.
2. A file in OGG format will have a smaller size compared to a file in MP3 format.
3. OGG is the open source equivalent of MP3. Therefore, it is free to all with no strings attached.
4. MP3 compresses at a constant bit rate, while OGG’s bit rate compression varies with the need.


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2 Comments

  1. Enjoyed the article. You made the OGG vs MP3 argument very understandable

  2. This is slightly misleading: OGG is a container format, like WAV and AVI. Vorbis, the audio format, can be used with other container formats (Matroska) and video, and still retains all advantages to MP3.

    The encoding itself in Vorbis is more efficient than MP3, due to it being 15 years younger. A 128k constant rate Vorbis file will always beat a 128k constant rate MP3 file.

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