Quicktime 6 and MPEG-4

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Creative Mac has an interview with Frank Casanova on Quicktime 6 and MPEG4. Of note, it appears Quicktime 6 will incorporate the MPEG-4 standard:



NAGEL: Everybody's talking about MPEG-4 right now, but what's going on with that?

CASANOVA: ... QuickTime 5 does not have anything to do with MPEG-4. So right now, our version of QuickTime that's being distributed--a million copies every few days--is massively popular, but it remains separate from our MPEG-4 development. We have, though, seeded an early version of QuickTime that has MPEG-4 built in to a set of key developers. And they've had this code for upwards of a month now. This software is letting them start testing the next release of QuickTime with MPEG-4 support and see how it fits into their applications and make sure everything works just fine.

 

amichalo

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2001
124
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AAC vs. MP3 =?= Beta vs. VHS

Oh, because AAC delivers the same quality with smaller files sizes, people will change. I remain a critic.

MP3 is so far improved over other formats like .WAV (Microsoft I know) that it is a no brainer to switch. But when there are so many consumer electronics out there now that are just getting MP3 standard - from iPod/Rio devices, to AIWA in dash MP3 players for your car, to Mazda (the car company in bed with Ford) coming out with a limited edition *CAR* called the MP3 (look for the bright yellow two door at your local dealer) I would say the MP3 format has a foothold in the market that it would take something more significant that marginally smaller file size (with higher quality just being a function of size since We can rip MP3's at better than 128-160 but more people choose not to due to the size/quality tradeoff).
 

Matthé

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2001
75
0
ipod

well the ipod is updateable so there won't be any problems there
but people will change to a new smaller format, if only to use on their computers. the car mp3 players and the rest will slowly fade away
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,499
1,783
I'd say I'm more with amichalo...

I'm guessing it will take a while before people switch over to another format.

Especially as many people have converted their CD collections into MP3.... for those of us with thousands of MP3'd songs... what's the incentive to re-import them again? Even it it was 50% smaller than MP3... size is not much of an issue when you can pick up a 100gig drive for < $300. And more likely we all have at most 10 gigs or so of MP3's.

I'd pay $300 not to have to reimport all my songs plust have 90 gigs of space to spare.

arn
 

Xapplimatic

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2001
417
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California
Article timely.. MPEG 4 out?

Apple just released QuickTime Server 4.0p2 which--among other improvements--includes:

"Native Hinted MPEG-4 Streaming - support for native MPEG-4 Hinted files as defined by the technical standard for interoperability proposed by the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA)"

One can find it on Versiontracker.com in the OSX section.
 

MasterX (OSiX)

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2001
310
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MPEG4 vs DivX

I'd like to consider myself well versed in the land of Quicktime, but I always get conflicting answers from these facts:

1) DivX is the same as MPEG4. That's what I thought, but prove me wrong.

2) VCDs use MPEG1, therefor DVD Players can view a standard MPEG movie (in the right size of corse)

3) Wouldn't it make more sense to release QT 5.5 first? Oh well…whatever, as long as a LCD iMac exists under $1000 to shut up Gateway I could care less.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,499
1,783

From my understanding... DivX is based on MPEG-4 technology - but is not MPEG-4 itself. In that DivX and MPEG4 will not and are not interchangeable.

VCD's do use MPEG1 compression
DVD use MPEG2

MP3 is Mpeg1 Layer 3

arn
 

iwantanewmac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2001
356
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mp3 quality?

Who said anything about MP3's and quality.
A LOT of time i'm busy listening to music or mixing music (in a studio).
The quality of mp3's makes me very sad.
especialy at at lower butrates 128-190. I know a lot of people cant tell the difference, but I can and I know A LOT of people who can too.
 

joey j

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2001
117
0
Re: AAC vs. MP3 =?= Beta vs. VHS

amichalo> Oh, because AAC delivers the same quality with smaller files
sizes, people will change. I remain a critic.

As do I. Where are these AAC encoders and decoders anyway? Seeing as the
format has been established for a while, I was thinking that given
bandwidth limitations we would have switched to MPEG-2 or 4 AAC by now.
Patent restrictions perhaps?


>MP3 is so far improved over other formats like .WAV

The two don't exactly fill the same niche.
 

Hes Nikke

macrumors member
Apr 16, 2001
93
7
DIVX ;) is based on microsoft MPEG4 wich has nothing to do with the MPEG4 standard aside from its name!

3ivx otoh is based on the actual MPEG 4 standard, but it is still off spec.

i beleave there is now a 4ivx but i don't know anything about it
 

rehmbo

macrumors newbie
Dec 20, 2001
1
0
AAC and DRM

First - AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is not new. It is a part of the MPEG2 specification which has been around for several years. It offers comparable quality/size to MS's WMA format without feeling guilty. Also, do not forget MP3Pro which is also in the same category - about 20X compression compared to MP3's 10X.

One fly in the ointment for many of the new formats: Unlike MP3, AAC requires the implimentation of digital rights management (DRM). This will severely limit the adoption by the "underground" market, or for basically honest people like me who want flexibility. As an example, most DRM schemes would prevent files created on your computer's HD from being able to be read from a CD-ROM.

Dolby Labs is now the licensing authority for this technology(http://www.aac-audio.com/). For those that don't want to follow the rules, Dolby has sharp teeth, and are not afraid to bite. I seriously doubt you'll find an AAC encoder or decoder available that can avoid the DRM issues.

So, AAC holds promise of improvement similar to some other formats more recent than MP3. However, the wildfire success of MP3 is not likely to be repeated since AAC comes with some extra baggage.
 

GPTurismo

macrumors 6502
May 4, 2001
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Montgomery, AL USA
This is why they haven't released DVD2, and why MP3 won't be replaced for a while. It's another Beta vs VHS fight. MP3 is the set standard, and with so many devices that use them and so many people know the name MP3, it's going to be awhile before they disappear.
 
N

NO B&W

Guest
DIVX

Does QT6 mean my Divx CD's will finally work on my Mac? why can't QT handle mp3's in avi's today?

irks me
 

samy85114

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2001
133
0
interesting!!!

What a great news, for a long time I was looking for Mpeg-4 player built in quicktime .... and there it comes!
I bet its gonna be possible to read Divx too, well.. if it,s not i'll be dissapointed. But in whole part, i have just great feeling about it... :) ....
Does somebody know an Divx encoder for mac... your help will be appreciated. Just email me

Merry xmas!
 

Onyxx

macrumors regular
May 5, 2001
152
0
divx

there are no DIVX encoders but there are players. There is a rather good one for osx that lets Divx play on quicktime (you have to convert movies first if they contain certain audio formats, but hey, small price to pay). I think that the makers of the above codec are working on the encoder as well.
 

4_5_8

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2001
2
0
AAC is the future, even for the iPod, without DRM

I work for ARM in Cambridge, England in the software division. One of first major products was an MP3 decoder. But that was soon followed by an AAC decoder and we also have a WMA decoder.

The iPod is ARM-based, upgradeable, and so will easily be able to handle AAC or WMA or MP3Pro or any other new format.

And from working with the technologies and knowing how they are being pushed, AAC is the future. The sound quality on MP3, even on high bit rates, is terrible and I can tell the difference. I've hated it from the start, but I still have an iPod.

Whereas AAC, and yes even nasty Microsoft's WMA, are superior in every respect (apart from incorporating WMA into portable players is more expensive because of its larger memory requirements which is one reason it sounds better). And the industry will make the push in to AAC as the future.

But it most be pointed out that it does not have to be with a DRM. The record companies want to protect their investment but it is quite possible to put out products with an AAC decoder/encoder that does not support DRMs. In fact RIO did so a long time ago.

Indeed our AAC products do not require DRMs and they have been sold into the market.

Until you've heard the difference with AAC and seen the smaller file sizes, don't write it off. MP3 does in fact have patents on it and licenses are still required to produce products based on it. So AAC is no different.

And if companies are still making mid-to-high-end players today that can't be upgraded, then they deserve never to sell any of them.

And if people are still buying mid-to-high-end players that can't be upgraded, they deserve to be left behind when the future of digital music arrives.

I, personally, can't wait for the day that my iPod will play AAC. And with Quicktime 6, that might be sooner rather than later!
 

joey j

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2001
117
0
Re: AAC is the future, even for the iPod, without DRM

4_5_8> The iPod is ARM-based, upgradeable, and so will easily be able to
handle AAC or WMA or MP3Pro or any other new format.

Is the embedded ARM beefy enough to decode AAC (assuming it takes more
processing power than MP3 decoding)?


>Indeed our AAC products do not require DRMs and they have been sold into the market.

In your opinion then, what slowed AAC adoption? I heard patent problems,
which is the obvious answer anyway, particularly since the MPEG group's
claim that the contributing members will licence patents "on fair terms"
to all comers sounded like bunk anyway.

In any case, how does MPEG-2 AAC compare to MPEG-4 AAC?
 

4_5_8

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2001
2
0
AAC: iPod, MPEG-2/4

ARM's implementation of AAC actually requires less processing power than our MP3 decoder! This is part of the point of AAC because they effectively started from scratch, had legacy to support, and could create a good standard from the ground up.

Unlike MP3 because an MP3-compliant decoder (actually follows the standards) must also be MPEG Layers 1 & 2 compliant as well. Which is legacy and adds to overheads and inefficiencies of MP3. It's one of the reasons MP3 sound quality is so bad.

So, with a clean sheet to play with, AAC decoding is actually more effiicient than MP3.

And practically every ARM in existence is capable of decoding AAC 2-channel, just that most will be used for other purposes (like phones) or not have sufficient memory bandwidth to handle the incoming bitstream and outgoing data.

OK, I'm answering the question... yes. The iPod, for example, is perfectly capable of decoding AAC!

I think the biggest reason for slow AAC adoption is the hardware manufacturers wanting to be on the bandwagon. MP3 had already taken off and manufacturers weren't about to ignore it. Putting AAC into their systems adds cost to the product and that is one of the key aspects of any product - cost.

And for most users where there was (is?) an abundance of free music in MP3 form, they weren't about to start using AAC despite its sound benefits.

Couple that with lack of knowledge of AAC to the consumer and its got its work cut out. But the industry is behind it and it will hopefully get the momentum it needs to take off as it is the best of the Digital Music formats at present.

There is only one AAC. MPEG-4 AAC just refers to the fact that AAC is the digital music format of choice for the MPEG-4 standard to sync up with the video. However, when AAC was introduced it was introduced as part of the MPEG-2 standard.

So MP3 is actually MPEG 1/2/2.5 Layer 3 (the MPEG number actually be used, in this case to refer to the sample rates supported), whereas the full name of AAC is MPEG-2 AAC.

It's adoption into MPEG-4 doesn't change it, it's still the same AAC capable of supporting 48-channels!