Back in Hacker Public Radio episode #1103, I mentioned I’d try to put together a system for podcasters and others who don’t have “resources” to figure out how to provide legally free (Ogg Vorbis and Opus) media formats themselves to use.

Since it’s a system for allowing audio to “escape” from proprietary-format “prison”, the metaphor of a file in a cake was suggested, and I liked the sound of “FileCake”, so here it is.

You can check on the current status of the project here on this page, which I’ll update from time to time whenever I manage noteworthy progress on it.

2013-05-26: “Absolute Minimum Useful Functionality” has been achieved! I can upload a .wav source file and an optional “album art” file, fill in whatever metadata and choose encoding parameters I want in the final file, and get a correct and valid .opus file for download in response.

It’s still very “utilitarian”, and right now only accepts .wav files for input (opusenc requires .wav, raw pcm, or aiff for input). I’m currently working on using ffmpeg to enable use of any media file with a recognizeable audio track as source media instead of just wav. Following that, optional Ogg Vorbis encoding in addition to Opus. Then I need to make a change to fix one relatively minor security-issue from a shortcut I took at the beginning. Then I’ll have reached “minimum useful functionality ready for public ridicule”, at which point source code will be available. (If you want to look at it before this, just ask – it’s not a huge secret or anything, I just wanted to fix things up a bit before presenting it.)

Jamendo Input: Legally-free-music site Jamendo recently changed their API. Jamendo has historically offered relatively high quality (192kbit) crappy-old-mp3, but also Ogg Vorbis audio. Unfortunately, the Ogg access seems to be relatively obscure, and they treat it as “cheap, low bandwidth” (112kbit) rather than “higher quality” (112kbit Ogg Vorbis is equivalent quality to somewhere around 128-160kbit mp3), and of course they don’t (yet?) offer the even-better but still brand-spankin’-new Opus format at all. The new api DOES make highest-quality lossless .flac format available for each track, however. This is perfect for converting to opus…since that’s what FileCake is for, I’m planning to also develop a Jamendo-input interface for FileCake as well. Hooray! 128kbit Opus is approximately equivalent to 160kbit Ogg Vorbis or 192-224kbit mp3.

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