That is what I am hoping for. But circumstance leads me away from this hope. Plextor has so far ignored me in even answering this question, whether publicly or privately. Thank you for checking that out.
Perhaps someone can do a comparison encoding of Ogg v1.1.0 and v1.0.1 and compare the filesize output with the Plextor Ogg output to make a final determination of what Plextor’s really using?
If you really want to encode your music without having to doubt any future osolescence concerning the quality you’d better use a encoding method that leaves the data alone (i.e. lossless) and where futher improvements are in compression method/ratio only. I’d suggest you look at .APE or .FLAC for your needs.
This is unreasonable at this time for a multitude of reasons: lossless file sizes are currently too high for me (and probably always will be), portable players not supporting, my preferred software not playing those files, etc. Eventually, music players will not just store music, but stream it from your home PC or a private online “locker”, and as file size and bandwidth will be gadflies for a long time to come, lossless gets a bonk from me too, on that. I went with Ogg for a reason, after much deliberation.
Even with the encoders like APE and FLAC, these too are TTBOMK part of the Vorbis Libraries, so if there is, has been, or will be an update to either of these, it will only be in Plextor’s updating of the Vorbis Libraries this will be reflected.
I mean let’s look at it: You don’t want do encode in Ogg 1.0.1 because you want to benefit from the additional quality offered in Ogg 1.1.0. Now tell me: What will you do when Ogg 1.2.0 comes out (or 1.3.0 after that, or 1.4.0 after that, or …)?
As long as you insist on using an encoder that is not lossless, any future version is bound to bring a further improvement in sound quality. That alone kind of makes your ‘demand’ for Ogg 1.1.0 a bit pointless.
The first assertion in the above quote is intended to sound ridiculous and you succeed, but I can see how you might come to that conclusion from what I wrote. Let’s put it this way: First, Ogg is a relatively new format at the beginning of its lifespan. It is not like MP3, a well-developed format at the end of its lifespan. The only MP3 encoder still being developed is LAME–even Fraunhofer itself has moved on. So if I had chosen MP3, would I re-encode every time mp3dev.org comes out with a new LAME release? No. But considering PlexTools is using a version of OGG which is TWO YEARS OLD, AND it is a new format, yes, THAT is of concern. Mp3dev.org also seems to make releases quite a bit more frequently than Xiph.org (Ogg Vorbis). So updating to the current libVorbis is a big deal, whether I re-encode or not.
I’m not making this post entirely for me. And I will doubtlessly purchase more CD’s in the future and encode them, hopefully with a current encoder. As I’ve said, if Plextor does not bother to keep current those few choices of DAE encoding it offers, and if the Plextools program and DAE in particular is the only thing Plextor offers which is truly unique enough to justify the extra cost, it will reflect very poorly on Plextor, especially if they are going out of their way on their Plextools Update page to state that they “updated” the Vorbis libraries, when they are, according to the included tags, are in fact not up-to-date.
It doesn’t take a mind of a genius to know that if you’re putting out DAE/Encoding software, that you include current encoders with that software, or at least (or even more preferably) allow users to update the encoder themselves. I was disappointed upon purchasing my Plextor that the vorbis libraries have been embedded into Plextools, but I am VERY disappointed to find out that Plextools is using a 2-year-old encoder!
I was wary of using Ogg until they came out with version 1 out of beta. But as all new products, it is wise to wait for a few inevitable corrections. I have been waiting to encode my music for a number of years, so none of this I did lightly; I deliberately waited until the release of v1.1.0 and then went ahead with my Plextor purchase when I noticed on the Plextools website that they had “updated” the Vorbis libraries, this being several months AFTER the release of v1.1.0, so I reasonably assumed Plextools was using v1.1.0. So no, I won’t want to re-encode with release v1.2.0+, but I did want to be encoding at v1.1.0. I might not even hear the difference, but if I ever have to transcode my files into yet another format to keep it current, I want the encoding to be of the best quality possible at that bitrate, because it’s in cases of re-encoding where weaknesses in encoders really show up!
And hopefully users will continue to put pressure on Plextor to make sure they update the Vorbis libraries. It will only be to the benefit of Plextor. Many of us made our purchasing decisions based on the CDFreaks forum, and there may be some lurkers to whom DAE is important but other things (such as the ability to do more than 1 kind of error test at once) is too, who decide to go with another vendor over this thread. Plextor is supposed to be King of the Hill of DAE, but with a few bungles recently, Plextor is putting its credibility on the chopping block. Aside from this libVorbis controversy, Plextools “XL/3.x” includes a couple extra DAE features which REALLY should’ve been part of Plextools Pro 2.x, and are still missing from recent updates. Namely, 1) the ability to create playlists from the extracted audio files, and 2) “Eject Disc After Extraction.” They are not very sophisticated as features go, but they are [U]very[/U] important to include with Plextools Pro updates, yet Plextor is [U]intentionally not including these basic features in Plextools Pro[/U]. I don’t buy Plextor’s supposed claim that they had to rewrite the code from the ground up just to add that in. Maybe to add a Video DVD Maker, but not to add Playlists and “Eject After Extract”! This is a slap in the face to all users of Plextools. The existence of Plextools Premium is now a factor in keeping Plextools Pro from being properly updated. They wrote the improvements, but they don’t share them with us–you gotta purchase Plextools “again” to be able to maximize the window and such?! I already paid $40 extra for this drive, mostly for Plextools.
Plextools Pro software is considered to comprise a major chunk of the price difference one pays for a Plextor drive, and it can only be used if you have a Plextor drive installed, so I consider it “Pay” software, not “Free” software. So then they go and release an even “higher” version of an already-“Pay to Play” software, which includes updates which should have been included in Plextools Pro the whole time? I have noticed the tone of the Plextor forum grow more negative over recent months, as we have time to come to a consensus on the faux-pas of Plextor regarding the PX-716, Plextools “XL”, and whether the extra cost really does translate to extra value. And the consensus answer is increasingly, “Not really”.
Oh, and a last note on Ogg. Ogg is significantly more efficient than MP3, and considerably more sophisticated. I won’t get into the unlimited bit reservoir and other reasons why it is superior on paper, but I will relay my hearing experience. You can encode Ogg’s at 96 Kbps and they will sound very good! You can’t do that with MP3, not even LAME. My general rule is that I have found is OGG at 96 is like LAME at 128. That is very significant space savings for portables which can play them (watch out for iRiver–the ones which can play Ogg’s at all don’t support frames beneath 96kbps). Ogg is about as efficient as Windows Media, but without the baggage. It is amazing that an encoder as sophisticated as Ogg is also free–even free of patents, and is a testament to the open source community. But I don’t think the encoder even costs Plextor a dime, and the Vorbis library is updated so infrequently that it is inexcusable in my opinion if Plextools has not updated it over a year later.
I still have not received a reply from Plextor; let’s hope that I do. Others feel free to email them yourselves.