I believe in open source software and patent free technology. Because of that, I didn’t even really have to make a choice when I implemented my phonepost system: I was going to use Ogg Vorbis, not MP3. However, my love for and belief in open source software and patent free technology doesn’t surpass my desire to create applications and features that are easy to use for as many people as possible. And, unfortunately, Ogg Vorbis just isn’t that easy yet.
For me, under Linux, it’s a piece of cake. Well, mostly. I tried half a dozen different media players, downloading their various plugins and whatnots until I determined which player seemed to handle them the best ("kplayer" won, if you were wondering). However, when Jess got home from work, she decided she wanted to listen to my phoneposts. Unfortunately, her media player (Winamp3) didn’t handle them. I tried to help her download a plugin from the Winamp site, but couldn’t find one. Eventually, I found a site in Google that claimed to offer a plugin. I downloaded it and tried to follow the install instructions, but, failed because her install of Winamp didn’t have the required "plugins" directory. I’m not really sure why. Eventually, I ended up having her download the new Winamp5 and everything just worked after that.
However, that leads me to a tough decision to make. If it’s difficult for me to get a plugin up and running on a fairly up-to-date computer, I can only imagine how difficult this might be for other, less technical users. Perhaps enough to keep them from trying and therefore, enough to keep them from enjoying the content here. And that’s the point of doing it in the first place. But, I do know that if people don’t USE Ogg Vorbis, then it’ll never be accepted enough to be easy enough for everyone to use. So, I’m stuck in a bad spot.
Do I use MP3s to make it easier on everyone and help support a technology and a concept that I don’t believe in? Or, do I use Ogg Vorbis and deal with the fact that many of my readers will never go through the trouble required to enjoy this new content?
I’d like to request an informal poll (since this site has no polling software). Please be honest and let me know (via comment) which of the following situations best describes you:
- I didn’t even bother to click on the PhonePosts because I really didn’t care what it said.
- I clicked on the PhonePost and it played on the first shot with no trouble.
- I clicked on the PhonePost, but it didn’t play. I downloaded the needed software and then I listened to it with no trouble.
- I clicked on the PhonePost, but it didn’t play. I downloaded the needed software, but couldn’t get it to work. I eventually gave up and I don’t plan on trying any more.
- I clicked on the PhonePost, but it didn’t play. I downloaded the needed software, but couldn’t get it to work. I am still trying to figure it out.
- I clicked on the PhonePost, but it didn’t play. I couldn’t figure out how to download the required software so I gave up and don’t plan on trying any more.
- I clicked on the PhonePost, but it didn’t play. I couldn’t figure out how to download the required software but am still trying to do so.
- I clicked on the PhonePost, but it didn’t play. I decided it wasn’t worth my time to try to figure out why.
Thank you for your response.