1. Vorbis was never threatened by MPEG LA, so it is undoubtedly completely patent free.
    (MPEG LA never misses a chance to spread patent FUD)
  2. Windows supports mp3, so it isn’t because they want to push their crappy wma.
  3. The GPL allows distribution alongside commercial products, and
  4. Even if they fear to ship GPL software, they can still load it automatically, like they do with XviD

So why can’t a windows customer not simply drop a ogg vorbis file into his/her music library and listen to it via WMP?

PS: To counter misconceptions: They already download the GPL’d XviD codec on demand, so they already have 99% of what it takes to do the same with Vorbis. It would take me about 5 minutes to do this, if I were familiar with the WMP code base and directshow filter system.

PSS: I was told to ask this here rather than on stackoverflow, so i do.

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    Days/weeks to research and get a committee to agree to it, 5 minutes to code it (Really???), 2-3+ days for a QA person to test it and all related functionality, etc, etc, etc. Software development is not about how fast or how many features you can add. Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


I reverse the question:

Why would Microsoft being interested in supporting such a format?

  • Few wide-spread portable players support it (this is likely to change, at least I hope)
  • mp3s are good enough for most users (the average user doesn't know what a OGG is)
  • Why should microsoft spend time and resources on this if a third-party can implement a ogg codec for Windows Media Player for free?
  • i’m not asking microsoft to develop their own directshow filters, but instead i ask why they don’t invest 5 minutes development time to tweak the XviD-on-demand download code to load them from xiph.org/dshow when a user wants to play a ogg file. Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 12:19
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    Precisely because "it is just five minutes": blogs.msdn.com/b/ericlippert/archive/2003/10/28/53298.aspx Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 14:53
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    @Sergio Acosta - That was a GREAT article. I can't stop laughing and crying all at the same time. The sad part is that it's 100% true/legit. That one link alone should be the answer to this question. Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 15:38
  • great article, but support for vorbis is not really a one-off feature, but more like one of the three formats to save a music collection. (the other ones being aac and mp3) Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 15:56
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    @Daniel: When I build a viewer/player for more than one file format, it is modular enough that you just need one definition File/Class to enable one more. I don’t know, but I guess the DirectShow filters take that part in the Windows world. Am I right? Also I find “This is what we call in the programming world ‘feature creep’.” a little insulting. As if I wouldn’t be in your exclusive “world”. Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 22:37

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