Linux Music I Like Ubuntu

From MP3 to Ogg and back again

When I first bought my Cowon iAudio 7, I was excited at the prospect of finally moving to Ogg from MP3. It was a nice sentiment to be moving in the more open direction for music file formats. Sadly, I have switched back to MP3 for several reasons:

  • While it’s easy to switch from .doc to .odt or IE settings to Firefox settings without losing data, you cannot do the same for MP3 to Ogg, as they are both lossy compression formats. So I would have to re-rip (and some of the CDs are not available to me now) my entire huge collection into Ogg or suffer even more loss of listening quality by converting from MP3 to Ogg. If I can’t have my whole collection in Ogg, there’s not really a point in having a portion of it be that way.
  • It’s nice to have an MP3 player myself that can play Ogg music files, but if I ever want to share my music with my wife, I’d have to get her to use something other than iTunes on her Mac and then install Rockbox on her iPod Nano. I don’t think she’d go for that.
  • The five free music downloads I got from Amazon for buying an iAudio were ironically MP3s, which—like the MP3s I already have—would suffer in quality if I converted them to Ogg.
  • And, more importantly and again ironically, I found that Ubuntu’s Free software tools work better with MP3s (provided you install the necessary multimedia packages). With Ogg or Flac (which I also avoided, because it makes huge files), I can’t use TagTool or Rhythmbox to edit the ID3 tags post-rip!

Richard Stallman would not approve, of course, but I am supporting a manufacturer (Cowon) who supports Linux, I am using an open source operating system, and I’m trying to support freedom. Sometimes you have to live in “the real world” and pay your dues to “the man.”