Site Map - skip to main content

Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes every weekday Monday through Friday.
This page was generated by The HPR Robot at

hpr1103 :: Thoughtkindness: In Defense of Media Freetardation

Media formats and freedom

<< First, < Previous, , Latest >>

Thumbnail of Epicanis
Hosted by Epicanis on 2012-10-24 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
media format, freedom, Opus, Ogg Vorbis, WebM, MP3, Flash Video, MP4. 16.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 01:19:50


It took 14 months longer than intended to get this episode done! To make up for it, I've unintentionally ended up with enough time of me talking to almost make up a minimal-useful-sized episode every month while everyone's been waiting.

Today's episode of "Thoughtkindness" consists of:

  • Me begging for forgiveness for disappearing for a year.
  • An update on "bunnies", my linux laptop from Ohava Computers
  • Over an hour of my attempt to collect and explain why we need to make media on the internet more "freetarded"

After revealing what ticked me off and made me start on this episode, I launch into a short technical and historical talk about the handful of audio and video files that matter on the web today.

(Opus, Ogg Vorbis, WebM, MP3, Flash Video, MP4, and a few others).

Following this, I explain why I think the legally-free media formats are so important, and much more useful than most people seem to recognize, why I think we need to be paying more attention to audio than video, and what needs to happen to make legally-free media ubiquitous.

I conclude by once again begging for attention and foolishly publically announcing that I want to try to develop some software and invite everyone to pester me for it as well as for future audio shows. Maybe I won't be allowed to procrastinate for another year before producing more this time.

Let me know if this is helpful or at least entertaining...

Note: an Opus version of this episode will be available at for either online listening in Firefox 15 or later, or downloading for listening in VLC or other Opus-supporting applications.


Subscribe to the comments RSS feed.

Comment #1 posted on 2012-10-25 11:52:24 by deepgeek

More, Please

Hi, Epicanus, I, for one, want to hear about your RAID/btrfs experiments!

Comment #2 posted on 2012-10-25 13:24:45 by pokey


Wow, what a good job! Without any exaggeration whatsoever, I can say that this episode is well thought out, well executed, thorough, serious, important, technical, political and funny all at the same time. Of our 1103 episodes so far, this one is solidly in the top 20 (perhaps top 10) imo. I wish I could put out an episode this good. Bravo.

Comment #3 posted on 2012-10-26 18:25:20 by Epicanis

Et tu, DeepGeek?

"Hi, Epicanus"

Dagnabbit - I've had this pseudonym for about two DECADES now, and suddenly in the last year this starts happening.

I want to once again assure everyone that the exit of my digestive system is entirely unremarkable. There is nothing "epic" about it at all!

Thanks for the encouragement - I'll put together something on my btrfs experiment and a couple of other topics on my list!

Comment #4 posted on 2012-10-27 13:58:48 by Quvmoh

have to comment on two in one week

entertaining and informative, thank you!

Comment #5 posted on 2012-10-30 16:17:47 by AukonDK


Great episode! Feeling pretty inadequate comparing my own efforts to this wonderfully and effortlessly funny performance. However, the message behind it is very encouraging and inspires me to step up my game.

Comment #6 posted on 2012-10-31 11:25:05 by JonTheNiceGuy ( |

A great episode & Media Conversion

Hi Epicanis,

Just wanted to thank you for producing such an excellent show, which explains this subject so very well.

I'd love to discuss this subject with you (and, well, frankly anyone - email addresses are above), but in particular, the media converter project you mention.

I already have a large chunk of this in my show generator code:

I'd love to help out, or at the very least, talk about it further!

All the best,

Jon "The Nice Guy" Spriggs

Comment #7 posted on 2012-10-31 15:24:14 by Ken Fallon

Join the dev mail list

Hi Jon/anyone else that wants to help

Please join the dev mail list at


Comment #8 posted on 2012-10-31 21:56:46 by Epicanis

Guess I'd better get to work!...

Quvmoh: Thanks for the encouragement!

AukonDK: Bear in mind that it took me over a year of labor to make it seem "effortless", and in that time you put out *three* episodes, so I don't think you're doing too bad at all!

JonTheNiceGuy: Thanks, I'll shoot you and email. I've slowed down a bit on the project just because I got it to the "barely minimally functional" stage (I can now upload a .wav file, fill in the metadata, and have it fire off the process to successfully generate a .opus file from it, including [I think] "album art"). Still a lot to tackle, though.

I'm also working on a proposed upload form for HPR submissions that I need to get done, but I'll probably post the three topic ideas I have going for my next HPR submissions over at for discussion soon. (I wasn't kidding about inviting people to pester me so I don't slack off...)

Thanks, all!

Comment #9 posted on 2012-11-06 20:38:16 by Epicanis

Metadata in the media files

Regarding checking to see if the files play okay with the metadata I put in them, and how much of the metadata displays in the player that is used, here are my own results so far:

VLC 2.0.4 (Linux, x86_64), Ogg: Plays fine, shows Artist, Title (no album art) VLC 2.0.4, mp3: Shows Artist, Title, Album Art

Firefox 16 (Linux, x86_64) Ogg: Plays fine. No metadata. (No album art)

JuK, Ogg: plays fine, shows Artist, Title, Album (no Album art)

Amarok, Ogg: plays fine, shows Artist, Title, Album (no album art)

Dragon Player, Ogg: plays fine, shows Artist, Title, Album (no album art).

(kid3 shows the album art, so it's in there...)

Will be testing more and reporting later. Thanks!

Comment #10 posted on 2012-11-07 17:07:07 by pokey

I'd love to be a fly on the wall...

Epicanis, and John The Nice Guy: I think listening to the two of you bounce ideas back and forth would make for some great listening! Now, if only there were a place on the internet that the two of you could submit a recording of suck a thing...

Comment #11 posted on 2012-11-08 01:53:56 by Epicanis

More metadata testing

I'm seriously annoyed to find so few players actually bother to decode album art in Ogg Vorbis files, but I finally DID find one...

Nightingale (fork from "Songbird" which dropped Linux) actually decodes and displays album art from hpr1103 corrrectly. Hooray!

ZVUE 250 (hardware mp3/ogg/"divx" player from 2006) - plays hpr1103 fine but shows no metadata.

pokey: I'm not sure if the exchange would be all that interesting to listen to - right now we have several hours to a day or more to consider between replies! I should, however, be including some background on metadata in general in the next episode I do (which should be about geotagging) and in audio files specifically when I get around to doing the followup episode to HPR1103 (probably shortly after the geotagging episode and a shorter/low-priority btrfs one).

(Also even more about metadata, probably, if I ever get around to doing the topic I'm currently thinking about after those...)

Comment #12 posted on 2012-11-13 13:39:26 by pokey


I meant "such a thing" not "suck a thing"! My dyslexia is getting bad lately. I'm really sorry I didn't catch that while proof reading.

Comment #13 posted on 2012-12-05 02:27:03 by Somewhat Reticent

Test listen cut short

Near-inaudible conversation invaded by full-volume horns results in hostile reaction. Sorry. I mute some ads on television for the same behavior.

Comment #14 posted on 2012-12-05 02:39:53 by Somewhat Reticent

Thanks for introducing Nightingale

Always good to meet freed software!

Comment #15 posted on 2012-12-11 21:30:55 by dann

playback on sansa clip zip +

the ogg file worked just fine. I did not see any album art, but it did display the information and play without a hiccup.

Comment #16 posted on 2012-12-16 18:27:06 by Epicanis

Misplaced comments/Thanks Dann!

Looks like a couple of commenters ended up here instead of on whatever episode they were commenting on?

Thanks for testing, Dann - does the Clip Zip+ show album art for anything (mp3 or otherwise)? (I know my v1 Clip doesn't, and I don't think the other tiny Sansa device I have does either).

Leave Comment

Note to Verbose Commenters
If you can't fit everything you want to say in the comment below then you really should record a response show instead.

Note to Spammers
All comments are moderated. All links are checked by humans. We strip out all html. Feel free to record a show about yourself, or your industry, or any other topic we may find interesting. We also check shows for spam :).

Provide feedback
Your Name/Handle:
Anti Spam Question: What does the letter P in HPR stand for?
Are you a spammer?
What is the HOST_ID for the host of this show?
What does HPR mean to you?