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Topic: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

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  1. #1
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    Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    As many of you may have heard, Microsoft was recently nailed for $1.52 billion in MP3 patent dispute.

    Although Microsoft held a license from Fraunhofer/Thomson, it did not prevent the immense judgement for Alcatel-Lucent.

    With hundreds of companies who hold Fraunhofer/Thomson licenses to the MP3 audio format, many must be asking themselves whether a similar fate will befall them in the future. Although Microsoft will undoubtedly appeal, this could still have far reaching effects on other compressed formats such as Ogg, AAC, and other others.

    I wonder the impact this will have. Could this mean that the need to compress music files will disappear so we'll have CD-quality sound instead of the compressed versions? Saving space is less of a consideration with ever increasing storage and broadband.

    Maybe this may mark the beginning of the end of the age of the MP3. Do you think that would be a good thing?

  2. #2

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    I haven't read the decision, so I'm not sure how the Fraunhofer/Thomson and Alcatel-Lucent technologies relate to each other.

    Still, with storage getting as cheap as as it is... perhaps FLAC is our new friend...???

    .
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  3. #3

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Why didn't they ask for a license fee at the same time Fraunhofer/Thomson did?
    Why wait so long and why was the judgement so big and only against Microsoft?
    Sounds like extortion to me and should be thrown out. I like mp3s but the sound could always be better. I don't think anyone wants a 4mb Mp3 to be replaced with a 40mb wav file for web use.

  4. #4

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    With $1.5B at stake, Microsoft will fight to the bitter end, and be well armed.

    Hundreds of companies licensed the Fraunhofer/Thomson technologies in good faith. In this case, I really hope MS wins. I don't believe that MS or others were trying to cheat.

    BTW, the amount is so big because of the volume of MS Media Player software shipped.

    The case has taken about five years so far. Don't expect the epilogue to be written for a while...

    BTW, I remember hearing about a similar thing with MPEG video coding. One of the companies (a large one - but I might be misremembering the name, so I won't write it) was involved in standardization, kept their mouths shut about their patents during standardization, and now are saying "oh, by the way..."

    I agree that these delayed patent tactics trying to maximize the windfall should be seen as piracy. But I don't know that the law sees it that way.

  5. #5
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    Talking Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Maybe this may mark the beginning of the end of the age of the MP3. Do you think that would be a good thing?
    Very bad. I often write scores long distance, so when I need to upload a new cue for a director, MP3 saves some time, which with the deadlines I get is incredibly important. Not to mention storing all my CDs so that if they get scratched or break (it has happened), I don't loose the music, and with my collection I NEED them to be compressed. Then you have the problems of storage space for websites, and the problem that even with broadband no one wants to wait that long to listen to some music, ESPECIALLY potential clients (downloading time for .wav files).

    But I strongly doubt this is really going to affect anything. So what if WMP will not support them anymore, I hardly use WMP anyway (winamp baby).

    James (Boycot Vista!!!)
    "PRODUCER TO ARTIST: I don't care if that grace note on the snare hit in bar 9085 works! This is dub 'n bass acid house penis, not ~~~~ing house dub 'n acid bass penis with a twist!" - Nick Batzdorf

  6. #6

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Yeah but will Lucent go after everyone else if the Microsoft case is thrown out?
    I guess if the case got thrown out they wouldn't be able to go after anyone else. But where was Lucent/Alcatel/AT&T or whoever owns this "patent" when Microsoft paid $16 million to Fraunhofer/Thomson?

    As James said even though MS media player comes with all copies of windows that doesn't mean everyone uses it. I have always used Winamp for mp3 files as well.

  7. #7

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Well... ogg is better in most senses either way So... And of course winamp is better as well...

    boy... what would you do if you had 1.58 B $? I would donate half to the 3rd world or something and live with he other 700,000,000$... sounds like enough money... :P

  8. #8
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    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by alanb
    I haven't read the decision, so I'm not sure how the Fraunhofer/Thomson and Alcatel-Lucent technologies relate to each other.

    Still, with storage getting as cheap as as it is... perhaps FLAC is our new friend...???

    .
    I'm not sure but from what I read it seems there was a flaw in the way that MP3 technology was being licensed. Alcatel-Lucent should have been been given a cut of the licensing revenue from the beginning.

    Microsoft's licensing bill for Thomson/Fraunhofer was only $16 million, a mere drop in the bucket of what has been awared to Alcatel-Lucent. Other companies who offer MP3 encoders and/or players could face a similar judgments and it may be an attractive time for some to look to alternatives.

    Gary Garritan

  9. #9

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    boy... what would you do if you had 1.58 B $? I would donate half to the 3rd world or something and live with he other 700,000,000$... sounds like enough money... :P
    Anything over a few million isn't about living well. It's about power...

    For instance, you would have the power to relieve much of the debt of the 3rd world. Excellent!

  10. #10

    Re: Are MP3s Dead After the Microsoft Decision?

    Well the idea is to live off the bank. By having 700 m in the bank, you can live by the 5% you would be getting.

    Either way, indeed, mp3 is a dying species really. Why bother, when you can download 40 Mb in 4 minutes tops with current *medium* speeds. Not that UI dont' understand the, need something fast, let me send them an mp3, but still, as RAM grows larger, so will internet speeds eventually...

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