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davep
2007-02-22, 21:34
Quote from today's Guardian (UK) newspaper:
<Quote>"Microsoft was yesterday fined a record $1.52bn (777m) for infringing a digital music patent which could throw into doubt the future of the digital music industry.

A San Diego court ruled that the software giant has infringed patents, owned by Franco-American technology firm Alcatel-Lucent, which cover the conversion of audio tracks into the popular MP3 file format which is used by hundreds of companies and millions of music listeners." </Quote>

I'm sure that M$ will somehow manage to get out of this but it just goes to emphasise that even mp3, which most people would assume is a freely usable format, is in fact not. Makes truly free codec schemes like FLAC seem even more crucial to have around.

davep

tyler_durden
2007-02-22, 21:44
This affects .mp3 files. Wouldn't it be strange if it turned out that .mp3 file use gets essentially sued out of existence for commercial use? Of course, it would still be used by people like us, as long as there are free software players to play it, and old mp3 player hardware around to play them, but new, tiny portable players that play mp3 might disappear. Kiss those CD and DVD players that can play mp3 goodbye, too.

What does that leave us with? Apple's proprietary DRM'd formats, Windows proprietary DRM'd formats, etc.

mp3 getting killed in the courts will be the best thing that ever happened to M$ and apple. If anyone wants to listen to recorded music, they'll have to buy a player from M$ or apple, and they'll have to buy all their music from M$ and apple, too.

Unless more portable player makers start supporting vorbis and flac! Hmmmmm....

TD

pfarrell
2007-02-22, 21:51
tyler_durden wrote:
> This affects .mp3 files. Wouldn't it be strange if it turned out that
> .mp3 file use gets essentially sued out of existence for commercial
> use?

The MP3 format is not open, it is subject to intellectual property.
Both Thompson and Franhauffer claim patent rights to the underlying
technology. It is not subject to DRM, but it is not free.

Many people ignore the license terms, but that does not make it right.

--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Kevin O. Lepard
2007-02-22, 22:21
>tyler_durden wrote:
>> This affects .mp3 files. Wouldn't it be strange if it turned out that
>> .mp3 file use gets essentially sued out of existence for commercial
>> use?
>
>The MP3 format is not open, it is subject to intellectual property.
>Both Thompson and Franhauffer claim patent rights to the underlying
>technology. It is not subject to DRM, but it is not free.

However, if MP3 "goes away," there is always Ogg Vorbis which is, per
the FAQ at www.vorbis.com, "completely free, open, and unpatented."

Compressed audio isn't going to go away. I wish Ogg were the
ubiquitious format MP3 has become since it free and open, alas.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

peter
2007-02-23, 00:23
tyler_durden wrote:
> This affects .mp3 files. Wouldn't it be strange if it turned out that
> .mp3 file use gets essentially sued out of existence for commercial
> use? Of course, it would still be used by people like us, as long as
> there are free software players to play it, and old mp3 player hardware
> around to play them, but new, tiny portable players that play mp3 might
> disappear.
>

AFAIK only encoders are forced to pay a license fee, players (decoders)
are apparently left alone. Apparently that's the reason binaries of LAME
are somewhat hard to come by.

> What does that leave us with? Apple's proprietary DRM'd formats,
> Windows proprietary DRM'd formats, etc.
>

Shudder.

> It will be the best thing that ever happened to M$ (and apple) if mp3
> gets killed in the courts.
>

It's not in the interest of the patent holder to kill the format. This
type of thing has been going on for a long time and mp3 is still very
much alive.

> If anyone wants to listen to recorded music, they'll have to buy a
> player from M$ or apple, and they'll have to buy all their music from
> M$ and apple, too.

Thank goodness we have ogg and flac and even wav ;)

Regards,
Peter

cliveb
2007-02-23, 02:04
I wish Ogg were the
ubiquitious format MP3 has become since it free and open, alas.
Ogg Vorbis has many plus points over MP3 - better quality at a given bitrate, gapless playback without jumping through hoops, guaranteed patent free.

BUT... compressed formats are really only relevant for portable devices like iPods. And here is Ogg Vorbis' achilles heel: decoding it takes large amounts of CPU power, which greatly reduces battery life. No matter how good battery technology gets, squeezing the longest playback time from a device will always be an important issue for portable players.