The Ots Media File format was first developed in 1997, and is now used by many thousands of people around the world. The format was conceived and designed with music play-out systems in mind. Ots Media Files are known as Ots Album files or Ots files for short. An Ots file allows many different data types, such as audio data, video data, CD+G data, title/artist information, copyright information, genre, album cover graphics, mix point information, etc, to be encapsulated in a single file. In addition, an Ots file is not limited to a single track/song, but rather an entire album (or a lot more) can be contained. These capabilities make Ots files ideal for encapsulating an entire musical work of art, such as a CD, including all information -- not just the raw audio. Some of the data types that Ots files cater to allow DJ or recreational music play-out systems, like OtsAV, to perform powerful functionality not found when using standard files, such as raw MP3 files.
The development of the Ots file format was necessary for two major reasons: there is no standard or efficient manner of storing the additional data types that the new generation of audio application requires, and MP3 is a streaming format and was never designed as a file format.
An Ots file is a collection of chunks. A chunk is essentially a block of data, with each chunk being of a pre-defined type. For example, a chunk of type audio data stores an actual audio waveform, which can obviously be played back. There are many chunk types, and many more are being defined all the time. The basic design of an Ots file allows for expansion in many areas without breaking compatibility with existing software that uses Ots files.
An Ots file also consists of one or more items. An item is a logical group of chunks. For example, item 3 of an Ots file might consist of all chunks which make up track 3 from a given CD. An Ots file can contain up to 65,000 items, though you probably won't normally encounter more than about 100.
If a chunk belongs to a specific item, then it is known as an explicit chunk. There are also global chunks, and default chunks. A global chunk is not directly related to a specific item, but rather is relevant to the collection as a whole. Good examples of global chunks are the album title and album cover chunks.
A default (or probably better described as item default) chunk is one which does directly apply to items, but not so much to one item, as it does to many. For example, if the artist of all or most items in an album is the same, then you would use a default artist chunk to represent this, rather than specifying the same information many times directly for each item, which would be inefficient. When a program wants to know the artist for a given item in an Ots file, it simply asks for the "artist chunk for item X", without caring if there is an explicit artist chunk for that item, or simply a default artist chunk for the entire collection. The Ots file API takes care of delivering the correct information.
You may have a default artist chunk in a given Ots file, because most of the items are all by the same artist. You can still specify explicit artist chunks for the tracks which happen to require different artist info. An explicit chunk for a given item will always take higher precedence than a default chunk of the same type that happens to be present.
This unique structure allows for all required, relevant or useful information to be stored, and in an extremely efficient manner with virtually no redundancy.
Various media file types can be easily converted to Ots files.
There is no loss of audio quality when you convert an MP3 file to an Ots file. (This applies to MP2 also. PCM WAV is quality-preserved when choosing the uncompressed PCM mode in Ots Studio Encoder Settings.)
An Ots file stores a lot more information that just the audio data that an MP3 file contains.
An Ots file is slightly shorter than the original MP3 file - even with all the extra information it stores.
A single Ots file can contain many items (or songs), just like a CD or DVD.
Some examples of the additional data that an Ots file stores are CD cover art, mixing information, genre, release info, copyright info, video data, beat info and of course title and artist information. The ability to store time-coded lyrics, lighting control and any other future data types has also been catered for.
You can convert an Ots file back to an MP3 file and the MP3 file will be identical to the originating MP3 (i.e. no quality loss or truncation).
An Ots file makes certain technical feats in the playing software possible or more feasible.
An Ots file is fully extensible and expandable. Powerful forwards and backwards compatibility mechanisms are in place to prevent annoying file version not supported errors that you may get with other file formats.
Ots files are not limited to MP3 compression. Although MP3 compression is brilliant, with time obviously more sophisticated compression algorithms will become available. Ots files will be able to benefit from them without altering the entire format.
Converting your media files
Editing your Ots files