I'm pleased to announce that all the music on Magnatune is now downloadable in the Opus audio format.
What is Opus?
Opus is a fairly new, open source, IETF standard audio format that provides extremely high audio quality. It has been in development since 2007, by Xiph (the ogg/flac people) and Skype (it uses a modified version of Skype's encoding technology).
Currently, the most popular programs that can play Opus files are VLC and Firefox, as well as foobar2000, GStreamer and FFmpeg. Thus, it is becoming popular on Linux, and those who use the VLC audio player on all platforms, but it's also a good solution when streaming audio to Firefox users (which is something I'm looking into now).
By the way, if you've not heard of the VLC audio/video player, I highly recommend you give it a try, as it is what I use exclusively for playing video files, because (amazingly) the video quality is significantly better for me, when watching movies, than using Apple's Quicktime player. It's completely free. Check it out at http://www.videolan.org
For audio quality, we're using the Opus VBR settings, but instead of the default 96kb stereo, we're using a higher encoding level of 128kb stereo. I've been listening to Magnatune's classical music this morning encoded by Opus, and the sound quality is very, very impressive.