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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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CNet Asia reports that Japanese firms are unhappy with MPEG-4's terms:

Japan's mobile video content providers are threatening to snub the MPEG-4 compression format--touted as crucial technology for delivering video to mobile handsets--unless the cost of using it comes down.

Similar objections emerged with the announcement of the MPEG4 standard -- with specific reservations from Apple regarding licensing fees for content providers. The solution provided a total cap as well as a minimum subscriber threshold below which no fees are required.

Alternative solutions mentioned in this particular article include H.264 and MPEG-1. H.264 is an up and coming standard which has not yet been finalized, but has been described as threatening MPEG-4's adoption. H.264, however, appears to be an extension of the MPEG-4 and is also known as MPEG-4 Part 10. It appears that licensing for this new standard will also be handled by the MPEG LA -- the same organization who set the licensing requirements for MPEG-4.
 

Haberdasher

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
142
0
Los Angeles, CA
I think the level of MPEG-4 licesnsing is pretty rediculous. I hope whoever makes the MPEG-4 standard doesn't hope to have everyone blindly adopt their fees. I, of course, know almost nothing about this issue...:D
 

mkaake

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2003
1,153
0
mi
i'm with you on this (not knowing anything about it). stupid me didn't even know it was a licenced thing. guess i really shouldn't even be posting then. oh well. i guess i'll ask the question:

what can this mean for apple? if mpeg-4 ends up going out the window, do we have to find a new 'revolutionary' codec for itms?

matt

<edit for clarity, to avoid foot in mouth, which is suffer from more than any of you know>
 

synthetickittie

macrumors regular
Dec 17, 2002
223
0
Boston
Ya same here.. no clue whats going on. Someone wana help out and clue me in? How much is it linsense this and how much more is that then previous codecs
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,091
5,316
Originally posted by synthetickittie
Ya same here.. no clue whats going on. Someone wana help out and clue me in? How much is it linsense this and how much more is that then previous codecs

The link in the article links to this (licensing fees for MPEG4):

Under the new terms, owners of Web site content can license the latest video and audio compression format for 25 cents per subscriber or 2 cents per hour, subject to a $1 million annual cap. Also, MPEG LA set a minimum threshold so that content owners with fewer than 50,000 subscribers aren't subject to royalties. The fees are applicable to Web site operators that benefit commercially from use of the technology, through either paid advertisements, pay-per-view services or subscriptions.

MPEG2 (DVD's) had no license fees for content providers.... just fees for decoders/manufacterers. So.... a DVD player (or I guess the decoding chip) had a licenscing fee associated with it. So does DVD Player software, or anything that decodes MPEG2. But you can stream it without fees.

MPEG4 has streaming fees (as described abovE)

arn
 

Wry Cooter

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2002
418
0
When will people realize that 'standard' means a protocol a platform that all agree upon for the sharing of info, not a proprietary format which can produce income like a toll road. Standard and Proprietary are practically antonyms, a bit like someone thinking the verb "Innovate" means stealing or bullying or buying someone elses intellectual work and calling it your own.

If MPEG LA is serious about "formulating a standard", they need to realize they are about to cut off their nose to spite their face with their efforts to create a proprietary license with intent to gouge.
 

Mr T

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2002
23
0
got it all wrrong ........

Apple backed the wrong horse. As usual they have the best technology that very few people use because it is to expensive. The Microsoft way would be to give it away for free and then pull the plug and demand money when it becomes the standard.
 

alset

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2002
1,262
0
East Bay, CA
Ogg Vorbis

They should choose Ogg Vorbis or another "fresh" codec for encoding, anyway. As for video, I'm pretty nervous. This is the second time Apple has bet on a tech with baggage (802.11g, regardless of what Apple says, may turn out to be a liability).

Dan
 

Wry Cooter

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2002
418
0
I'd say most of the "baggage" deals with people wanting to usurp a standard to their own purpose, it isn't inherent in the technology... it is put in there by those that would want to own it, or squash their competition.


What do you consider the baggage with WiFi type G? That it is backward compatible with type B? Some sort of marketing politics? At least it is relatively smooth waters as compared to, lets say using the cell phone of your choice with the carrier of your choice.
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,856
165
London, UK
Quicktime supports many other videocodecs that are just as good as MPEG4, Sorinson 3 for example. However MPEG4 is not the best codec out there, it is only a little better than DIVX and I often find that I Real Video 9 and MS's latest format are just as good if not better than Apple's MPEG4.
 

Wardofsky

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2002
1,194
0
Well, if .Mac charges me for Quicktime usage fees, I'll skip it.
MPEG-4 is good in0terms of file size which is smaller than ordinary .mov files.
 

Vroem

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2002
56
4
Brussels, Belgium, Europe
However MPEG4 is not the best codec out there, it is only a little better than DIVX and I often find that I Real Video 9 and MS's latest format are just as good if not better than Apple's MPEG4.

  1. MPEG-4 is NOT a codec it's a specification for a container format and various video, audio, sprite, text, hint and other track formats that can all be contained in the container
  2. DivX a codec that provides MPEG-4 video streams (Simple Profile or Advanced Simple Profile), so saying "DivX is better than MPEG-4" is ridiculous
  3. Also don't say MPEG-4 is better than QuickTime .mov, because any audio or video stream that fits into a .mp4 file can be put in a .mov file (BTW the MPEG-4 containter format is based on QuickTime)
  4. I consider MPEG-4 already as a setteled standard :). The so called "DivX rips" that everyone is downloading are MPEG-4 video streams with an MPEG-1 layer III audio stream (mp3) together in a hacked Microsoft Audio Video Interleave container (avi).
    [/list=1]

    As for the vorbis discution, I don't give a sh*t for that format. And don't say: "but it's open source..." I think that one good thing about the open source world is that there is most of the time only ONE solution for a given problem, and mostly a good one. (In contrast with a 100 windows shareware solutions that are all bad.) To achieve the one good solution, the open source community based many projects on open standards.
    I think the problem here is that most MPEG standars are not totally open, but everyone is free to make it open.
    A good example of a project that "opened" a part of MPEG-4 is XviD, wich will be going in 1.0 in the weeks ahead.
    A bad example of something that opened nothing and that has nothing to do with official standards is vorbis, and ogg.

    BTW, anyone who wants to see the possibilities of MPEG-4 beyond audio and video can download the IBM Toolkit for MPEG-4.

    And if somebody wants to check out H.264 (aka H.26L, JVT, MPEG-4 part 10, AVC) download these Windows directShow filters wich can be used with Virtual dub and all the other crappy windows video editing tools.
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,856
165
London, UK
Originally posted by Vroem

[*]DivX a codec that provides MPEG-4 video streams (Simple Profile or Advanced Simple Profile), so saying "DivX is better than MPEG-4" is ridiculous
[*]Also don't say MPEG-4 is better than QuickTime .mov, because any audio or video stream that fits into a .mp4 file can be put in a .mov file (BTW the MPEG-4 containter format is based on QuickTime)

I think you mis read what I put, I said Apples MPEG4 is a bit better than DIVX, I work with compressing video for distribution over networks and the internet and have lots of experience with the different video formats. All codecs/compression techniques do things differently and some are better than others. What I am saying is that the Apple Mpeg4 video/aac audio codecs are not the best codecs out there in terms of quality for compressing audio/video. Real's version 9 codec compresses things better at lower bitrates. Ogg is also a better audio codec than AAC in terms of quality.

Also I never said MPEG4 is better than Quicktimes .mov. The .mov is just a quickime file format and can contain a variety of different codecs, just like MS's AVI format.

Also when I talk about MPEG4, I am talking about the audio/video part of it. The MPEG4 video codec and the AAC audio codec.
 

DeepDish

macrumors newbie
Jan 5, 2002
26
0
Isn't M$ on the MPEG-LA board

Correct if I am wrong.

But I thought M$ was part of the MPEG-LA groug because they bought out some original company that was part of of it.

Thus M$ is one of the members of the MPEG-LA group that decides prices for company to use MPEG-4.

So, M$ could be making MPEG-4 too hard to use from the inside, while pushing thier M$ MW format on the world on the outside.

Thier are sitting pretty!
 

Vlade

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2003
959
0
Meadville, PA
From what I understand DivX is MPEG-4 Video + some format of audio (mp3, wma, aac, ogg). So therefore the quality depends on the encoder and the source video, not whether its saved as .mov or .avi . Am i correct?
 

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
Originally posted by Wry Cooter
When will people realize that 'standard' means a protocol a platform that all agree upon for the sharing of info, not a proprietary format which can produce income like a toll road. Standard and Proprietary are practically antonyms, a bit like someone thinking the verb "Innovate" means stealing or bullying or buying someone elses intellectual work and calling it your own.

If MPEG LA is serious about "formulating a standard", they need to realize they are about to cut off their nose to spite their face with their efforts to create a proprietary license with intent to gouge.

"Standards" and "Proprietary" are NOT Antonyms. Office could be considered a standard but it's still a Proprietary in nature because of it's private file formats.

The truth is, as I see it, Standards are formats(proprietary or not) that have reached a Critical Mass us use. Making them standard.

If MPEG LA is serious about "formulating a standard", they need to realize they are about to cut off their nose to spite their face with their efforts to create a proprietary license with intent to gouge

Now doubt Wry....totally silly! Greed Greed Greed

I often find that I Real Video 9 and MS's latest format are just as good if not better than Apple's MPEG4.

Exactly and WM9 licensing is Half the cost of MPEG4. Let's hope H.264 offers sane licensing.
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,856
165
London, UK
Originally posted by Vlade
From what I understand DivX is MPEG-4 Video + some format of audio (mp3, wma, aac, ogg). So therefore the quality depends on the encoder and the source video, not whether its saved as .mov or .avi . Am i correct?

You are basically correct except DIVX is different than Apples MPEG 4, although they are both based on MPEG4. They are more like the differences between Apple Works and MS Office, they both do the same thing but one is better than the other. The quality to some degree can also depend on the encoder, open source encoders are not always as good as their professional counterparts.
 

Vroem

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2002
56
4
Brussels, Belgium, Europe
Originally posted by Vlade
From what I understand DivX is MPEG-4 Video + some format of audio (mp3, wma, aac, ogg). So therefore the quality depends on the encoder and the source video, not whether its saved as .mov or .avi . Am i correct?
Correct about the .mov/.avi thing. But there is a little misunderstanding here. When people are referrng to "DivX files" they actually mean "avi container with DivX video and MP3 audio".

So the DivX video stream in these files is in most cases 100% MPEG-4 compliant. While the file itself is totally not MPEG-4 compliant.

Originally posted by hvfsl
You are basically correct except DIVX is different than Apples MPEG 4, although they are both based on MPEG4. They are more like the differences between Apple Works and MS Office, they both do the same thing but one is better than the other. The quality to some degree can also depend on the encoder, open source encoders are not always as good as their professional counterparts.
  1. DivX's and Apple's MPEG-4 are not "based on MPEG-4", they are MPEG-4 compliant
  2. DivX's and Apple's MPEG-4 are not doing the same thing.
    QuickTime is aimed to provide full MPEG-4 capablities. First we had Simple Profile video and AAC audio, now with the new 3GPP it has also AMR audio and text capabilites.
    DivX is ONLY about the video part of MPEG-4.
  3. A little note about mp4 vs. avi. Avi supports only 1 constant bit rate audio track and 1 video track. So everythnig beyond that is a hack. The MPEG-4 container format was based on QuickTime and supports a very rich variety of track formats. You can for example make a QT or MP4 "movie" look like a web page with hyperlinks and images that reside on other sites, or an interactive 3D game, or a movie with embedded subtitles.
    Some of these things you can see on: http://www.research.ibm.com/mpeg4/indexjs.htm
    [/list=1]
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,856
165
London, UK
Originally posted by Vroem

  1. DivX's and Apple's MPEG-4 are not "based on MPEG-4", they are MPEG-4 compliant
  2. DivX's and Apple's MPEG-4 are not doing the same thing.
    QuickTime is aimed to provide full MPEG-4 capablities. First we had Simple Profile video and AAC audio, now with the new 3GPP it has also AMR audio and text capabilites.
    DivX is ONLY about the video part of MPEG-4.
  3. A little note about mp4 vs. avi. Avi supports only 1 constant bit rate audio track and 1 video track. So everythnig beyond that is a hack. The MPEG-4 container format was based on QuickTime and supports a very rich variety of track formats. You can for example make a QT or MP4 "movie" look like a web page with hyperlinks and images that reside on other sites, or an interactive 3D game, or a movie with embedded subtitles.
    Some of these things you can see on: http://www.research.ibm.com/mpeg4/indexjs.htm
    [/list=1]


  1. I am only comparing Apples MPEG4 video codec with DIVX and others saying that Apples MPEG4 is not as good as others at low bitrates. I am not talking about the added 3G features etc. Also WM and real9 also supports embeded games, webpages etc. The is not always a good thing since I got a virsus of a WM file I got from the net.

    Also DIVX even the video bit is not MPEG4 compliant unless you tell it to be when you encode.
 

visor

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2003
341
0
in bed
for once - japan is to slow on mobile devel.

All just making noise for nothing. Mpeg4 and the 3gp codec is very real on advanced phones.
already here in europe a lot of content is creared and sold in the format - in japan for as much as I know - they haven't even reached prototype status yet.

But on the other hand - Japan is a big enough market to try and estblish a standard of its own.

Oh well - they know they need to stick to simple and close to industrial standard terms, so mpg4 will succeed.
 

tychay

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2002
221
30
San Francisco, CA
Re: for once - japan is to slow on mobile devel.

Originally posted by visor
All just making noise for nothing. Mpeg4 and the 3gp codec is very real on advanced phones.
already here in europe a lot of content is creared and sold in the format - in japan for as much as I know - they haven't even reached prototype status yet.

But on the other hand - Japan is a big enough market to try and estblish a standard of its own.

I'll grant that I come from the most backward of the wireless nations (United States), so I probably have a whole bunch of errors here.

However, this post smacks of a sort of superiority that causes certain thoughtless people to make such "old Europe" gaffes. Since we are talking about a country (Japan) that was flitting with cHTML/iMode when the rest of the world was using SMS. I have my doubt that it is Japan that is that far behind Europe, especially when you are talking about a tiny island (easy to upgrade network) who has the most digitally-conscious consumers in the world (easy to get them to buy upgraded cell phones) with outrageous land-line based phone rates (almost no competition to wireless).

I was under the impression that NTT DoCoMo (Japan) was the first and only 3GPP-3G provider in the world, having only just lauched it in January of this year.

Not to say that there isn't 3G content or video in Europe. It's just that most of the 3G content is in the form of MMS of football goals (sort of like Japanese character downloads in the late 90's) which can easily produced using animated GIF or SMIL synchronized JPEGs (I don't know what they actually use). There are video services also, but I think they involve Java or Symbian OS downloads using a proprietary codec, not 3GPP (MPEG4 or H.264). I was under the impression you would get an SMS connecting you to a WML page that would WAP you down the download of a special player for your phone model (Java or Symbian) so you could play back the video. In some cases (Vodaphone?), such proprietary systems may be pre-loaded onto the phone.

Now I'm probably a bit in error since I live in a country that thinks customized mobile ringtones are all the rage. If someone can enlighten me on how various phones handle streaming video MMS or the like, I'd be very interested to know. It was a such a shock doing a test for the Nokia 3650 (the most popular 2.5/3G phone in Europe to my knowledge) and finding out it won't play SMIL/JPEGs.

Take care,

terry
 
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