Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Ogg Vorbis in iTunes

Update (April 2017): This blog post was written in 2003 and is no longer relevant; QuickTime for Windows has been discontinued, and the Xiph QuickTime Components are no longer in development.

One of my iTunes gripes was the lack of support for the Ogg Vorbis format – with it being open and free, including support for it is a no-brainer. Well, trust the open source community to come up with a (partial) solution.

Enter the Quicktime Components Project, which has released an audio codec that adds Ogg Vorbis to QuickTime. And, since iTunes inherits its audio support from QuickTime, it means that, with this codec installed, iTunes can play Ogg Vorbis files! At least, that’s the plan.

The reality is somewhat less than Utopian – while it does indeed work as advertised, be prepared for iTunes to hang for 10-15 seconds before playing each Ogg Vorbis file, during which time the program is completely unresponsive and CPU usage shoots up to 100%. You also cannot get tag data for an Ogg file while it is playing, unless you want to endure that pause.

So, it’s a start, but sadly falls short of the ‘useful’ grade. Downloads are available for Windows as well as Mac OS 9 and OS X, so it will also spruce up the original Mac-based iTunes too. Windows users should extract the file to their C:\Windows\System32\QuickTime folder (swap ‘system32’ for ‘system’ if you’re not running XP, NT or 2000). It will work with any version of QuickTime above 6.0.2.

I really hope that someone helps this project move forward – it hasn’t been updated since 19th December last year and evidently needs work on it. However, despite the fact that all my music will now play in iTunes, I’m still not convinced that it’s the program for me. Although it loads up quicker than Winamp3, dBpowerAMP still wins hands down for resource usage and format support.


  1. Ogg on iTunes?

    Neil has posted a way to add Ogg support to iTunes. It isn’t exactly smooth at this point, but I would expect how it works to improve in the future. This is especially true now that iTunes is available on the windows platform.

  2. Hmm… that’s too bad its so buggy in Windows. The Mac version of the plugin works without any such glitches. :-\

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