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Update: PlayOgg!

by peterb Contributions Published on Apr 16, 2008 01:51 PM
Update: WBUR now streaming in Ogg!
Update: read the press release on WBUR streaming Ogg

We handed our letter to the assistant of Paul A. La Camera, the general manager The WBUR Group. Mr. La Camera was not in this morning, but the letter is waiting for him to arrive.

Outside we passed out copies of the letter to employees entering the building and members of the general public passing by. One found its way into the hands of the director of new media, Robin Lubbock, who immediately invited us inside for a tour of the station.

Peter Brown, Robin Lubbock, Joshua Gay
From left to right: Peter Brown, Robin Lubbock, Joshua Gay

It was a delight to see the studios where Car Talk and On Point are recorded, and the staff was joking and friendly -- perhaps not used to being on this side of the "picket line." Robin, as it turns out, has a GNU/Linux box at home and understood much of what we had to say. After the tour we sat down with Robin and we discussed at length the details of web casting and audio formats.

Robin was receptive to our letter, and he asked some good tough questions about the ethical and technological aspects of providing freedom respecting audio formats. We offered FSF technical expertise and time resources to help WBUR provide Ogg.  By the time we left, Robin seemed confident that the technical barriers were sufficiently low.

Now the ball is in WBUR's court, and we look forward to their response.

It is time for our publicly funded broadcasters to take seriously the impact their decisions to webcast only in proprietary formats have on the future of free unencumbered audio standards.  As an avid listener to their radio broadcast, it is frustrating not to be able to listen online.

The next step for WBUR is an easy one: provide an Ogg Vorbis stream.

After we left WBUR we headed to the offices of Dr. Robert A. Brown, president
Boston University (BU) and handed a copy of the letter to his assistant and described the important role BU can have in fostering free audio formats at WBUR.

Joshua Gay

p.s. Get prepared for the follow up - sign up to the playogg action mailing list
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