Berkman Audio and Video is now in open formats!
If you receive audio and video content from the Berkman Center you are
probably used to seeing it in a limited number of proprietary formats -
whether it be as a live Quicktime stream, as an MP3 download, or as an
As of June 16, most of the Berkman Center's multimedia content is also available in the "Ogg" format! (And not so coincidentally, later this week we'll be at the Open Video Conference in NYC, where you can learn more about open formats and open video, so register now to secure your spot!)
Ogg is a free, open standard format for quality video and audio content that is maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation.
Being Free and Open Source allows Ogg's codecs to be easily incorporated into software and hardware that play media. That means multimedia players that you can download for free without the fear of being locked in to a proprietary technology. Open source technologies will not require you to download and pay for plugins and other software to keep it working - and won't get you into legal trouble if you decide to tinker with the code. Open source codecs and players support software developers by eliminating the problems of access restrictions and potential patent violations.
Ogg formats - Vorbis for audio and Theora for video - are now becoming available as options for viewing and listening across the entire Berkman Interactive Section. Whether you want to hear Radio Berkman's interview with the CIA, watch Larry Lessig's inspiring talk on the Change Congress Movement, hear Esra'a Al Shafei's discussion about the challenges of the Web and Activism in the Middle East, or see Jonathan Zittrain's panel discussion on "The Right to Know" - you can now catch all these talks and more in the open format you are comfortable with.
Looking for a good Ogg player? Look no further than the VLC media player provided by VideoLAN or Miro, built by the Participatory Culture Foundation.
(Photo CC-licensed by flickr user st3f4n)