PDA

View Full Version : MPEG-4 Licensing


arn
Jun 5, 2002, 06:21 AM
This CNet article (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-932129.html?tag=fd_top) indicates that the MPEG-4 Licensing terms are still under negotiation. Quotes from both Steve Jobs and the vice president of the MPEG LA indicate that they believe that the terms will be worked out by Quicktime 6's official release:

"The licensing stuff is getting worked out," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview Tuesday. Every 'i' is not dotted and every 't' is not crossed, but it's getting there. I have a lot of confidence it will. This is too important not to get worked out."

and

"We don't have any new information on the licensing, and we hope that we'll have final terms sometime this summer," said Larry Horn, vice president of licensing and business development for MPEG LA. "That being said, Apple's announcement shows great confidence that a reasonable license from all the various patent holders will be available."

britboy
Jun 5, 2002, 06:40 AM
Clearly all the issues have not quite been resolved. I wonder what sort of agreement had to be made to get the go-ahead for the public release of quicktime 6? You can encode in MPEG-4 with this release, so some sort of arrangement must have been reached. Perhaps that's why the MPEG-4 encoding isn't very good quality in this release?

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by britboy
Perhaps that's why the MPEG-4 encoding isn't very good quality in this release?

no... there's no reason they would "hold back" on the encoding quality.

arn

eyelikeart
Jun 5, 2002, 08:13 AM
but this does play a big part as to why we won't see the final release of Quicktime 6?

britboy
Jun 5, 2002, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by arn


no... there's no reason they would "hold back" on the encoding quality.

arn


So the encoding abilities with QT 6 will just not be all that good then? I understood mp4 was going to 'replace' divx for the quality/size ratio.

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by britboy

So the encoding abilities with QT 6 will just not be all that good then? I understood mp4 was going to 'replace' divx for the quality/size ratio.

what makes you say it's not very good? I haven't tried it and/or compared the two.

Of note, Divx is based on mpeg-4 and the newest version in fact can create mpeg-4 compliant video.

arn

britboy
Jun 5, 2002, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by arn


what makes you say it's not very good? I haven't tried it and/or compared the two.


I've exported some footage i shot with my digital camcorder from iMovie, using the full quality option. The .mov file was great quality. In quicktime i then exported it as a .mp4 file (the .mov was 1.5GB, and i kind of wanted to burn it to CD). I set everything to as high a quality as possible, but even then i was getting a lower resolution than the .mov file.

Granted, it was reduced to 140MB, but i want the quality to remain high.

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by britboy


I've exported some footage i shot with my digital camcorder from iMovie, using the full quality option. The .mov file was great quality. In quicktime i then exported it as a .mp4 file (the .mov was 1.5GB, and i kind of wanted to burn it to CD). I set everything to as high a quality as possible, but even then i was getting a lower resolution than the .mov file.

Granted, it was reduced to 140MB, but i want the quality to remain high.

:) Clearly, that's not the most scientific comparison... I haven't played around with the settings... presumably, you can tweak the bitrates... but you'll have to ask around or experiment. The Preview may be limited in it's options...

arn

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 09:46 AM
britboy,

see

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/preview/mpeg4_gallery/

for examples of mpeg-4 video

arn

britboy
Jun 5, 2002, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by arn


:) Clearly, that's not the most scientific comparison... I haven't played around with the settings... presumably, you can tweak the bitrates... but you'll have to ask around or experiment. The Preview may be limited in it's options...

arn

Clearly :) It's based on my personal experience, which, to say the least, is rather limited at the moment. But it does make me believe that the quicktime preview doesn't offer the same quality as we can hopefully expect from the full release, due to continued wranglings with the licensing.

Pants
Jun 5, 2002, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by arn


what makes you say it's not very good? I haven't tried it and/or compared the two.

Of note, Divx is based on mpeg-4 and the newest version in fact can create mpeg-4 compliant video.

arn


isnt mpeg4 just a wrapper for whatever codec you want to use?

Rower_CPU
Jun 5, 2002, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Pants
isnt mpeg4 just a wrapper for whatever codec you want to use?

I think you're getting them switched around.

MPEG4 is the codec, DivX is a wrapper that uses MP4 video and MP3 audio and puts them into an .avi file.

cjerens
Jun 5, 2002, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by arn


what makes you say it's not very good? I haven't tried it and/or compared the two.

Of note, Divx is based on mpeg-4 and the newest version in fact can create mpeg-4 compliant video.

arn

What I've always wondered is if that is so, why does Divx.com not have the licensing problems Apple does? Is what they are doing legal because it's only "based" on mpeg-4? If so, then why doesn't Apple just "base" their codec for QT6 on mpeg-4?

King Cobra
Jun 5, 2002, 07:18 PM
You know I have noticed something about the rumor reports here on the forums. For rumors that say something wishful will happen soon, it sometimes doesn't. Or, if it does, there are problems with the rumored subject. However, when something that people are eager to get will have to wait a long time, those rumors are accurate. So far, it's been several months since QT6 was rumored to be finished in 6 months. And now there is speculation on the final product being finished in October, since that is when the Preview ends.

Now, who is this wiseguy Murphy? :)
__________________

Fear the King.

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by britboy

But it does make me believe that the quicktime preview doesn't offer the same quality as we can hopefully expect from the full release, due to continued wranglings with the licensing.

No - this makes NO sense. Apple/MPEG4 could irreversibly damage MPEG4's reputation if they released a poor quality codec on purpose.

QT6 Prewiew's MPEG'4s implementation is in NO WAY handicaped from the final version. at least... on purpose. Of course there could be bugs etc...

As for your previous statement... watch what you say. You hinted that MPEG4 wasn't as good as Divx... have you taken the same video and encoded them in MPEG4 and in Divx?

arn

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by cjerens


What I've always wondered is if that is so, why does Divx.com not have the licensing problems Apple does? Is what they are doing legal because it's only "based" on mpeg-4? If so, then why doesn't Apple just "base" their codec for QT6 on mpeg-4?

Divx.com has accepted the licensing terms, and are distruting their software under those licensing terms.

Apple has not. If Apple was ok with the licensing terms, they could have distrubted it back when they first announced it.

Note that the license issues don't even directly affect Apple and Divx. They only affect content providers (websites which stream video based on MPEG4)

arn

britboy
Jun 5, 2002, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by arn

As for your previous statement... watch what you say. You hinted that MPEG4 wasn't as good as Divx... have you taken the same video and encoded them in MPEG4 and in Divx?

arn


I didn't mean to imply that divx is superior to MPEG-4. Clearly the quality:size ratio is a huge improvement here.

If i could try the divx encoding then i would. Is there an encoder available for the mac? Divx.com just say 'coming soon', and have done for months now.

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by britboy

If i could try the divx encoding then i would. Is there an encoder available for the mac? Divx.com just say 'coming soon', and have done for months now.

nope... no mac version yet.... (of Divx encoder)

arn

arn
Jun 5, 2002, 09:09 PM
Encoding options..

Hey britboy...

When you choose MPEG4 in the Export option. Click on Options, then on Video and change the Bitrate (k/second). Increase it and see how it helps

arn

cjerens
Jun 5, 2002, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by arn


Divx.com has accepted the licensing terms, and are distruting their software under those licensing terms.

Apple has not. If Apple was ok with the licensing terms, they could have distrubted it back when they first announced it.

Note that the license issues don't even directly affect Apple and Divx. They only affect content providers (websites which stream video based on MPEG4)

arn

Ahh, ok, got it. That makes good sense. Thanks :-)

-Cameron

elmimmo
Jun 6, 2002, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU


I think you're getting them switched around.

MPEG4 is the codec, DivX is a wrapper that uses MP4 video and MP3 audio and puts them into an .avi file.

Almost, but you are messing it up also. The only wrappers worth mentionaning are Quicktime and WindowsMedia (Video for Windows or whatever it is called: avi), and now, questionably the .mp4 file format (which would wrap MPEG4 video along with AAC audio).

Quicktime's MPEG4 and DivX are video codecs, MP3 and AAC are audio codecs.

Rower_CPU
Jun 6, 2002, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the clarification.

Since you seem to pretty knowledgable about MPEG4, care to share your impressions of the format? Pros, cons, etc.

j763
Jun 6, 2002, 08:34 PM
The Head of QuickTime Marketing was on Your Mac Life (http://www.yourmaclife.com) (a Macintosh Internet Radio show). You can hear the interview in the Archives.

j763
Jun 6, 2002, 10:50 PM
Anyone know of any sites apart from apple.com/mpeg4 which have MP4 Audio??

j763
Jun 7, 2002, 03:05 AM
OMG, i just d/l'd QT6 on my win2k box and watched the iMac Ad (download version, not streaming) from apple.com/mpeg4/ It looks so utterly cr*p on my AMD Athlon win2k PC and so much better on my G3 White iBook.