Ogg is a free, open standard container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. The creators of the Ogg format state that it is unrestricted by software patents and is designed to provide for efficient streaming and manipulation of high quality digital multimedia.
The Ogg container format can multiplex a number of independent streams for audio, video, text (such as subtitles), and metadata.
In the Ogg multimedia framework, Theora provides a lossy video layer. The audio layer is most commonly provided by the music-oriented Vorbis format but other options include the human speech compression codec Speex, the lossless audio compression codec FLAC, and OggPCM.
Before 2007, the .ogg filename extension was used for all files whose content used the Ogg container format. Since 2007, the Xiph.Org Foundation recommends that .ogg only be used for Ogg Vorbis audio files. The Xiph.Org Foundation decided to create a new set of file extensions and media types to describe different types of content such as .oga for audio only files, .ogv for video with or without sound (including Theora), and .ogx for multiplexed Ogg.
As of March 25, 2010, the current version of the Xiph.Org Foundation's reference implementation, is libogg 1.2.0.
Another version, libogg2, has been in development, but is awaiting a rewrite as of 2008. Both software libraries are free software, released under the new BSD license. Ogg reference implementation was separated from Vorbis on September 2, 2000.
Because the format is free, and its reference implementation is non-copylefted, Ogg's various codecs have been incorporated into a number of different free and proprietary media players, both commercial and non-commercial, as well as portable media players and GPS receivers from different manufacturers.
The Ogg project began with a simple audio compression package as part of a larger project in 1993. The software was originally named Squish but due to an existing trade mark it was renamed to OggSquish. This name was later used for the whole Ogg project. In 1997, the Xiphophorus OggSquish was described as "an attempt both to create a flexible compressed audio format for modern audio applications as well as to provide the first audio format that is common on any and every modern computer platform". The OggSquish was in 2000 referred to as "a group of several related multimedia and signal processing projects". In 2000, two projects were in active development for planned release: Ogg Vorbis format and libvorbis - the reference implementation of Vorbis. Research also included work on future video and lossless audio coding. In 2001, OggSquish was renamed to Ogg and it was described as "the umbrella for a group of several related multimedia and signal processing projects". Ogg has come to stand for the file format, as part of the larger Xiph.org multimedia project. Squish became just the name of one of the Ogg codecs. In 2009, Ogg is described as "a multimedia container format, and the native file and stream format for the Xiph.org multimedia codecs".
Ogg reference implementation was separated from Vorbis on September 2, 2000.
In May 2003, two Internet RFCs were published relating to the format. The Ogg bitstream was defined in RFC 3533 (which is classified as 'informative') and its Internet content type (application/ogg) in RFC 3534 (which is, as of 2006, a proposed standard protocol). In September 2008, RFC 3534 was obsoleted by RFC 5334, which added content types video/ogg, audio/ogg and filename extensions .ogx, .ogv, .oga, .spx.
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