QT Live: QuickTime 6, Free QuickTime Broadcaster Await Licensing Terms

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 13th, 2002, 00:29
Category: Archive

One of Apple’s innovative QuickTime 6 software is the breadth of formats it supports and its basis on standards. But it seems those very qualities have bogged down QuickTime 6’s release. Here’s the somewhat complex explanation from Apple: “Although the QuickTime 6 software is complete and ready for release, Apple is delaying its release until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved. The MPEG-4 licensing terms proposed by MPEG-LA (the largest group of MPEG-4 patent holders) includes royalty payments from companies, like Apple, who ship MPEG-4 codecs, as well as royalties from content providers who use MPEG-4 to stream video. Apple agrees with paying a reasonable royalty for including MPEG-4 codecs in QuickTime, but does not believe that MPEG-4 can be successful in the marketplace if content owners must also pay royalties in order to deliver their content using MPEG-4.”


One of the greatest strengths of Apple’s innovative QuickTime 6 software is the breadth of formats it supports and its basis on standards. But it seems those very qualities have bogged down QuickTime 6’s release. Here’s the somewhat complex explanation from Apple: “Although the QuickTime 6 software is complete and ready for release, Apple is delaying its release until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved. The MPEG-4 licensing terms proposed by MPEG-LA (the largest group of MPEG-4 patent holders) includes royalty payments from companies, like Apple, who ship MPEG-4 codecs, as well as royalties from content providers who use MPEG-4 to stream video. Apple agrees with paying a reasonable royalty for including MPEG-4 codecs in QuickTime, but does not believe that MPEG-4 can be successful in the marketplace if content owners must also pay royalties in order to deliver their content using MPEG-4.”

Content providers paying royalties, too? Sounds like an excellent way to kill a strong format, so here’s rooting for Apple to stand up for justice. Steve Jobs has proved in the past he can drive a hard bargain, and Apple’s management team is hardly a group of pushovers.

As Apple wrangles with the MPEG-LA, what can you look forward to when QuickTime 6 does ship? Aside from MPEG-4, QT6 will support the next-generation Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec, CELP for MPEG-4 natural speech, support for the ISMA spec (of which Apple is a founding member), long-awaited MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 playback, Flash 5 support, DVC Pro (PAL) support, a new user interface and skip protection.

Also delayed is the companion QuickTime Broadcaster software. Like QuickTime Streaming Server 4, Broadcaster will be a free download. The difference between the Server and Broadcaster products is primarily MPEG-4 encoding. QT Broadcaster features live encoding with real time preview, recording live in real time to the hard disk for insanely fast on-demand posting, full QuickTime codec support, AppleScript support, custom settings, and automatic configuration and communication with QuickTime Streaming Server. It supports OS X 10.1 and OS X Server. Did I mention this product was free?

Stay tuned for news of how Apple’s licensing battles pan out. The products sound like they’ll be worth the wait — and worth the better licensing deal.

Recent Posts

Comments are closed.