Filename extension.ogg[1]
Internet media typeapplication/ogg, audio/ogg, audio/vorbis, audio/vorbis-config
Developed byXiph.Org Foundation
Initial releaseMay 8, 2000 (2000-05-08)[2][3]
Latest release
Vorbis I
(February 3, 2012 (2012-02-03)[4])
Type of formatAudio compression format
Contained byOgg, Matroska, WebM
Open format?Yes[5]
Developer(s)Xiph.Org Foundation
Initial releaseJuly 19, 2002 (2002-07-19)
Stable release
1.3.6 / March 16, 2018; 22 months ago (2018-03-16)
Written inC
TypeAudio codec, reference implementation
LicenseBSD-style license[6][7]
WebsiteXiph.org downloads

Vorbis is a free and open-source software project headed by the Xiph.Org Foundation. The project produces an audio coding format and software reference encoder/decoder (codec) for lossy audio compression. Vorbis is most commonly used in conjunction with the Ogg container format[8] and it is therefore often referred to as Ogg Vorbis.

Vorbis is a continuation of audio compression development started in 1993 by Chris Montgomery.[9][10] Intensive development began following a September 1998 letter from the Fraunhofer Society announcing plans to charge licensing fees for the MP3 audio format.[11][12] The Vorbis project started as part of the Xiphophorus company's Ogg project (also known as OggSquish multimedia project).[13][14] Chris Montgomery began work on the project and was assisted by a growing number of other developers. They continued refining the source code until the Vorbis file format was frozen for 1.0 in May 2000.[2][3][15] Originally licensed as LGPL, in 2001 the Vorbis license was changed to the BSD license to encourage adoption with endorsement of Richard Stallman.[16][17] A stable version (1.0) of the reference software was released on July 19, 2002.[18][19][20]

The Xiph.Org Foundation maintains a reference implementation, libvorbis.[21] There are also some fine-tuned forks, most notably aoTuV, that offer better audio quality, particularly at low bitrates.[citation needed] These improvements are periodically merged back into the reference codebase.


Vorbis is named after a Discworld character Exquisitor Vorbis in Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. The Ogg format, however, is not named after Nanny Ogg, another Discworld character; the name is in fact derived from ogging, jargon that arose in the computer game Netrek.[10]