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Re: multimedia licensing



kwhiskers wrote:
 I would gladly convert my mp3 files, but there are thousands, and apart
from the time it would take, there is also the concern that there would be a loss of quality through the conversion. But mostly, I am worried that, were I to convert to ogg vorbis and theora, I could not share files with friends.
If you are worried about quality, MP3 isn't the way to go in the first place. On my box at home I have started to use FLAC. With a simple command, I can convert to any other format for sharing or playing. Of course many players are now starting to support FLAC as a native format. It is a lossless format and will actually test the compressed file for any errors.

http://flac.sourceforge.net/



These people do have a valid point, but only because proprietary formats are so ubiquitous. I have noticed that, as fantastic as Koffice, Abiword and Open Office are, Powerpoint presentations don't display properly in them (sometimes one can get them to display as separate pages, but often either the text, images, sometimes both, are missing). Also, Excel files will usually display, but they rarely perform the calculations from cell to cell. Sometimes a Word document will either not open, or more frequently, the tables, image positioning, etc are all messed up. Even editing web pages made with Front Page are a nightmare to edit in Quanta or Mozilla Composer. The conversions just don't work 100%, except for the most basic of files.

The first time I made and uses a power point presentation, it didn't work from one Windows machine to another without problems. It was quite embarrassing as I had to make it for a job interview. I still go the job though.



This is not a huge problem for me, but once when filling out a lengthy questionnaire in Open Office, I had to admit defeat. The lines and page formatting got all screwed up, symbols changed and so did colours, and in the end, to my chagrin, I had to do it all over again in Windows. It was exasperating.

This is again an issue with closed format files. I have found that form and tables are much better in OOo 2.0 beta than in 1.1.4.


Linux works for me, but only because I don't need to share much information, files, etc. I don't write documents or make image presentations. My primary output is exclusively for me. The few things I need to send out go in the form of emails, hence are platform independent.


I share all my documents with co-workers. It doesn't matter if they use Office or OOo. It works. There have been times that I could open their Word files that MS wouldn't even open. If you want to see someone stressed, then watch a person that has one hour to get a presentation ready and his presentation just decides that it won't open anymore.


Well, I guess I have gotten off topic, but I do hope that, if anything, Linux can have an impact on the use of standard file formats for the sharing of information.
It will be interesting now the Europe is pushing for open standards for files. If you look at the moves in Europe, they may force MS to support Oasis, the new file format for Open Office.

My only concern is with the move to DRM multimedia, but I refuse to purchase or support media I cannot play on Linux.

--
Robin Laing


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