iPod Mini Could Play Oggs…

As I search for a portable audio player with Ogg support, I’ve long relied upon the VorbisHardware page in the Xiph wiki. And, though it’s updated regularly, it often lacks depth in its snippets. But, I’ve recently discovered DAPReview.com (Digital-Audio-Player Review), which redirects to AustinV.com (the DAPReview author’s primary domain).

I’m a bit surprised that I hadn’t come across it before (and, thinking about it for a moment, I'm not quite sure how I found it in the first place). In any case, it’s a bit like “Slashdot for mp3 players” — Austin links to articles such as player reviews and news of a new players.

Recently, he linked to this Gizmodo interview with Rio audio engineer Hugo Fiennes. Most interestingly, they discussed the chips in the iPod. And, according to Hugo, though the regular iPods simply don’t have the horsepower to play Oggs, the iPod minis have a newer processor and could conceivably be programmed for Ogg support:

The Rio Karma (developed here, in Cambridge UK) uses a PP5003 CPU. It plays OGG (and FLAC and MP3 and WMA). […]

The 5020 is based on the 5003, and so has the cache bug fixed. It’s capable of playing OGG with 25% or less hit on power (depending how much optimisation is done). I would suspect the 5020 will find its way into the next iPod [it's already in the iPod Mini], as it’s cheaper and integrates both the firewire MAC and the USB2 mac/phy blocks which are separate chips on the gen3. […]

An iPod with Ogg support would probably be the best of both worlds — patent-unencumbered Ogg support along with Apple’s UI expertise. But, I don't really see Apple going through the effort; after all, iPods already play MP3s and Apple wouldn’t want to shift focus from its proprietary AAC format.

Update 06/05: Monty from Xiph.org posted a comment on Slashdot about this where he asserts that iPods really do have the horsepower to play Oggs after all. Still, I don't think I’m going to hold my breath for Ogg support on iPods :-/.

One thought on “iPod Mini Could Play Oggs…

  1. Yeah, I don’t see OGG coming to iPod until someone hacks the iPod and makes some open source something. Otherwise, Apple doesn’t have the slightest incentive to do it themselves… which is too bad.

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