Xiph, Ogg, FLAC, et al.

Late last year the Xiph QuickTime Components project took up where the moribund qtcomponents.sourceforge.net had left off – great news for lovers of open audio formats like Ogg Vorbis. (Vorbis encodes music at higher quality than MP3 at equivalent bitrates, and is unencumbered by patents and licensing.) The latest release of the components, earlier this month, features Intel compatability and preliminary support for FLAC (a lossless encoding).

The thing that makes this project so useful is that QuickTime components can transparently provide services to any OS X application relying on QuickTime – such as iTunes. So while you can’t play Ogg Vorbis (or Speex or FLAC or…) files on your new iPod, you can play them in iTunes. Getting there.