[maemo-users] N810 is here

From: Nils Faerber nils.faerber at kernelconcepts.de
Date: Thu Oct 25 12:27:27 EEST 2007
Krischan Keitsch schrieb:
> Am Donnerstag, 18. Oktober 2007 schrieb Ralph Angenendt:
>> John Rudd wrote:
>>> Kahlil Johnson wrote:
>>>> Wow, still no OGG.... when will maemo people ever learn. Who cares
>>>> about AAC, give us OGG.
>>> Huh.  I have many AAC files.  I have no OGG files.  Why should even
>>> remotely care about OGG?
>> How weird. I have no AAC files but a big bunch of ogg files, why should
>> I even remotely care about AAC?
>> IOW: What is the point you are trying to make?
>>> Or is this one of those "you absolutely need it for interesting content
>>> in Europe, but it's absolutely useless for content in the Americas" type
>>> situations?
>> Huh? What does it have to do with America/Europe? It's about *open* and
>> *free* music codecs - neither AAC nor MP3 are free.
>> And I don't really see the problem with supporting *also* ogg.
>> Cheers,
>> Ralph
> I couldn't agree more!

Well, me too, though I think the issue is a little tight to the
hardware. As you know the TI-DSP inside the TI-CPU is heavily used for
decoding multi-media stuff.

Most if the used codecs are heavily patent and license contaminated.
This is not only a problem for Nokia but for all hardware manufacturers
that want to deal with this kind of stuff. The process is tedious, long
and hard to a) implement the codecs in a non-patent-vialoating way (i.e.
follow the patent) and afterwards licensing (try to find out what an MP3
decoder will cost and you know my point here).
So what most manufacturers do, since they are not the first ones to make
this stuff, they rely on third parties to figure out all that stuff for
them and then just buy the package.
So what I assume what has happened is that Nokia simply bought/licensed
a pre-configured package of codecs for the TI DSP. They will probably
not have developed the codecs themselves, just the interface to them.
This way they only have very little influence on the codecs, their
number or which codecs they get. The most popular ones are of course
included, like MP3 and AAC.
But since there is no money to make with sublicensing OGG-Vorbis, there
will only be little to none suppliers for a ready made TI-DSP OGG-Vorbis
codec engine. So it did not make it into the product.

The licensing argument that came up in another thread is probably just a
misunderstanding. It could be meant like "Since Nokia had to choose that
package due to licening issues they were not able to individually pick
additional codecs like Ogg". Some take-it-or-leave-it deal.

That's my view on the status quo.

Concerning the future I think that TI and Nokia could do more to help
the community to fill the gap. There would be the possibility for the
community to do this development on their own, i.e. write a DSP
application doing OGG decoding. I can remembder that someone on the -dev
mailinglist started this but cannot remember the name anymore, sorry.
What Nokia could do to help here is to push TI more to release more
development information to interested DSP core developers (and to the
public of course). There is a DSP SDK available from TI, but buried down
somewhere on some development page for which you have to sign up first
before being able to download. The license agreement you have to sign
during the process is anything than clear and might suggest that your
are not allowed to develop something with this version that you intent
to redistribute (even open source) - so only for internal evaluation.
For a real developer license you have to buy the quite expensive
software development kit. So also an official statement from TI would be
needed that this SDK version can be used for open source development and
that the resulting work can be freely distributed in source code and
binary form. Only then Nokia can pick this up and include it in future

Again this is my personal view from what I read on the MLs and from my
experience with companies and licening...

> Krischan
  nils faerber

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