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Difference Between MP3 and OGG Vorbis

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Main Difference

MP3 and OGG Vorbis are the compressed audio file types and commonly known as lossy compression audio formats. Both of them are considered to be favorite for downloading, storing and copying. OGG Vorbis is not only free but also an open audio encoding format. MP3 is a proprietary media encoding format. It is claimed by the designers of the MP3 format that they may charge royalties for any kind of file or application using their MP3 format. Compression bit rate can be varied in OGG Vorbis according to the need but in MP3 the bit rate of compression can’t be varied and remains constant.

What is MP3?

MP3 is a audio format and is the abbreviation for “MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3”. It was developed by Thompson Multimedia and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in the late of 1980’s. Basically MP3 is an audio format that ground-breaks the digital audio format in to the smaller sizes maintaining the same sound quality. Even a 50MB WAV file can be compressed to smaller size of 3MB using this MP3 maintaining the same digital sound quality. Compression bit rate can’t be varied using MP3 compression format. MP3 supports two discrete channels and also a “Joint Stereo”which is used to minimize the amount of data for storing the audio stream.

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What is OGG Vorbis?

OGG Vorbis is an audio format that ground-breaks the digital audio format in to a smaller size without scarifying the digital sound quality. OGG Vorbis was developed by Viph.Org Foundation and first released in 2002. It is also a lossy compression audio format. It is an open source and free to all for download and use. The bit rate for encoding can be varied in the OGG Vorbis depending on the need. It is an open source and gaining popularity among developers due to its superior sound quality. It is also making its place in game development industry. OGG Vorbis uses more than 2 channels.

Key Differences

  1. OGG Vorbis supports more than two channels maximum up to 256 while MP3 supports two discrete channels and also “Joint Stereo”.
  2. OGG Vorbis is not only free but also an open audio encoding format. MP3 is a proprietary media encoding format. It is claimed by the designers of the MP3 format that they may charge royalties for any kind of file or application using their MP3 format.
  3. While at 192kbps the encoding for OGG Vorbis is better than MP3 but at 128kbps both have the similar quality.
  4. MP3 is more familiar than OGG Vorbis.
  5. MP3 is more popular than OGG Vorbis.
  6. Sound quality of OGG Vorbis is superior to MP3.
  7. Size of the file compressed in OGG Vorbis format is smaller than the size of same file compressed in MP3 format.
  8. OGG Vorbis is an open source but MP3 is constrained by the patents.
  9. Compression bit rate can be varied in OGG Vorbis according to the need but in MP3 the bit rate of compression can’t be varied and remains constant.
  10. OGG Vorbis was developed by Viph.Org Foundation while MP3 was developed by Thompson Multimedia and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
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Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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