Open Media Standards

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Proprietary media standards lock content in programs that are owned by private companies; open media standards are not owned by such companies, they are 'open source'.


From Marc Canter, at

"Proprietary media standards—Flash, Windows Media, and QuickTime, to name a few —helped liven up the web. But they are proprietary standards that try to keep us locked in, and they weren't created from scratch to handle today's online content. That's why, for many of us, an Open Media standard has been a holy grail. Yahoo's new Media RSS standard brings us one step closer to achieving open media, as do Ogg Vorbis audio codecs, XSPF playlists, or MusicBrainz.

Media RSS (being developed by Yahoo with help from the community) extends RSS and combines it with "RSS enclosures" —adds metadata to any media item—to create a comprehensive solution for media "narrowcasters.

The open media landscape is far and wide, reaching from game machine hacks and mobile phone downloads to PC-driven bookmarklets, players, and editors, and it includes many other standardization efforts. XSPF is an open standard for playlists, and MusicBrainz is an alternative to the proprietary (and originally effectively stolen) database that Gracenote licenses. is a community front-end to Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive. Brewster has promised free bandwidth and free storage forever to any content creators who choose to share their content via the Internet Archive. is providing an easy-to-use interface and community to get content in and out of the Internet Archive, giving users the ability to share their media anywhere they wish, without being locked into a particular service or tool. Ourmedia plans to offer open APIs and an open media registry that interconnects other open media repositories into a DNS-like registry (just like the www domain system), so folks can browse and discover open content across many open media services. Systems like Brightcove and Odeo support the concept of an open registry, and hope to work with digital creators to sell their work to fulfill the financial aspect of the "Long Tail."

More Movers and Shakers:Creative Commons, the Open Media Network, Jay Dedman, Ryanne Hodson, Michael Verdi, Eli Chapman, Kenyatta Cheese, Doug Kaye, Brad Horowitz, Lucas Gonze, Robert Kaye, Christopher Allen, Brewster Kahle, JD Lasica, and indeed, Marc Canter, among others." (