Adding OS X ogg playback support.
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Ok, I know what you're thinking - OS X is a user friendly, creative person's ideal choice of operating system. Sadly, this isn't the case.

Mac OS X not only doesn't have native Ogg support, it makes it a royal pain in the a#s to install it. Ogg is a high quality audio codec, that is also a free codec - in other words, Ogg will NEVER have patent or licensing requirements, and it will, even more important, NEVER have drm (drm is the Orwellian term for 'digital rights management', which is a perversion of english, what that term really should be is Digital Restrictions Management)

So I know you're asking, OK, why would the legendarily user friendly system of Mac OS X make installing the required software codecs not only not native, but actually HARD? The answer, sadly, is found in the massively profitable iTunes/iPod franchise, which uses drm encumbered AAC+ (a relabeled MP4 format from what I understand). That's right kids, ipod/iphone/ipads do NOT support ogg. This is, by the way, why I will never buy an iPod or iPad, I need a system that actually plays free music codecs.

So let's get on with it,

How to add OGG support to OS X
This will take a few steps, sorry about that, but don't blame me, this stuff is simple as pie on Windows (foobar2000 plays everything, of course), or Linux.


  1. Ok, first thing's first, we need to get the Ogg vorbis playback audio Codec. We'll find that at xiph.org. What we need is specifically the Xiph Quicktime components. Quicktime is the backend for the main Mac audio programs, like iTunes.
  2. Please make sure your Mac OS X version is supported. You want this one: XiphQT 0.1.9 (Mac OS X) - please make sure that is the current version before you grab it directly though.
  3. You might also want to just get Ogg Drop (download page - NOTE this is adware supported software, google ads are in it), which also lets you encode, not just play, ogg files.
  4. But let's stick to the xiph playback package for now. When you click the download link, you will get the Download dialogue for the dmg file, save that somewhere, we'll use that to install ogg properly.
  5. Click on the dmg file, and it opens to show the readme instructions, pick the rtf formatted one.
  6. To install system-wide support, you will copy the XiphQT file to:
    /System/Library/Components folder. If you don't have this folder, make it. Note, Finder makes it hard to find your actual file system, using the left navigation pane, click on: Macintosh HD, there you'll see the System folder.
  7. To copy something into that folder, you'll need the password for the computer user. Hopefully the person has that. If not, just put it in the user's home directory, here:
    click Macintosh HD again, now find:
    /users/<username>/Library/Components
  8. NOTE: to create a new folder, click on the right side star type drop down list selector, that's where OSX hides the standard right click type options. I couldn't get it to make the folder where I wanted, so I just made it, then dragged it into the Library folder.
  9. Then I believe you need to reboot, which is weird, but that's what you need to do to make OS X see the newly available codec..
  10. Try opening the app in iTunes again. Or just give up and install VLC media player, I can't stand iTunes myself, it's a horrible mess that I can't make play anything the way I want it to.
  11. But let's stay with itunes, so now it should be playing your ogg.

Now for those of you who don't follow usability issues, this procedure is a huge FAIL. Not a slight failure, this is a total full on failure. And also is totally inexcusable given the fact that Mac OS X promotes itself as a media friendly user friendly system. Apparently that's only friendly if you are paying them or buying their stuff.

Now let's see if we need to add flac support. And in fact, NO LUCK for iTunes users. You can rest absolutely assured however that this is by design, to make it that much harder for you to not be able to play your free and lossless audio music collection. Apple is about the most reprehensible company out there in my opinion when it comes to how they are handling multimedia playback, they make Microsoft look like pure saints in comparison.

So to playback the flac audio we need to use VLC for Mac. Just give up the non-free Mac garbage altogether, in other words.
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