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QuickTime 6 Public Beta Available 448

krugdm writes "Apple has announced that a public beta of QuickTime 6 is now available. MPEG-4 support is there, as well as support for other technologies, such as JPEG2000, and Flash 5. The beta expires in October. An interesting in the FAQ's says that, '... because QuickTime 6 will include royalty-bearing technologies, a new QuickTime Pro key will be required to unlock pro functionality in the final release.'" It is available for Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Windows, and supports AAC audio too. I also wonder why MPEG-4 is ".mp4". ".mp3" isn't for MPEG-3, after all. Flummery!
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QuickTime 6 Public Beta Available

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  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Clue4All ( 580842 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:31AM (#3637924) Homepage
    It's out for MacOS, MacOS X (BSD), and Windows. Remind me again why we can't have a native Linux version of it?
    • Remind me again why we can't have a native Linux version of it?
      because nobody cares writing it?

      It isn't necessarily Apple's job to port their software to every platform known to exist. Rightfully, Linux would be an interesting one, but Apple's first and primary platform if Mac OS X. The Windows port of QT is simply to help QT gain market share.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:41AM (#3638009) Journal
      It's out for MacOS, MacOS X (BSD), and Windows. Remind me again why we can't have a native Linux version of it?

      Same reason you can't have Photoshop for Linux, or Microsoft Office for Linux: because the vendor wouldn't make any money off of a version of their software for Linux.

      The Windows port of QuickTime is important primarily because of licensing: Apple licenses the technology to companies like Adobe so they can use it in apps like Premiere, which are more popular on Windows than they are on the Mac.

      But Apple knows that Linux users, as a rule, don't buy software. No third party would license QuickTime for Linux, because they couldn't make any money on their product. So there's zero motivation for Apple to port QuickTime to Linux.
      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @11:01AM (#3638129)
        The Windows port of QuickTime is important primarily because of licensing: Apple licenses the technology to companies like Adobe so they can use it in apps like Premiere, which are more popular on Windows than they are on the Mac.

        Wrong, the QuickTime port is primarily important on Windows because otherwise it'd be a niche technology with no media available in the format. Apple have to pay for most of the cool stuff to be encoded (exclusively) in it anyway.

        But Apple knows that Linux users, as a rule, don't buy software. No third party would license QuickTime for Linux, because they couldn't make any money on their product. So there's zero motivation for Apple to port QuickTime to Linux.

        Apple don't make huge amounts of money from it anyway, why do you think they charge for the player, something unheard of in other media formats. Also I get sick and tired of this Linux users don't pay for anything mantra, this is not true. Many if not most serious Linux users actually pay for their distro, from that point onwards it's pretty cheap because you don't NEED to buy software, not because we won't. As it happens, I wouldn't but QuickTime even if I could (and I could, because I also use Windows), because it's basically just a media player. Why should I buy a copy of Pro when I won't need its features?

        All most people use QuickTime for is playing movie trailors and the occasional "enhanced" CD. To me, that isn't worth any money, especially as the alternatives work just as well for nothing.

        • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Dephex Twin ( 416238 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @11:14AM (#3638204) Homepage
          why do you think they charge for the player, something unheard of in other media formats.

          That's funny, I didn't pay for mine. Yes, there is an upgrade to the pro version, which gives you video editing skills, importing features and the ability to watch the exclusive previews of Episode III when they come out.

          Real has a pro version also that you would pay for, so... unheard of? I think not.
          Why should I buy a copy of Pro when I won't need its features?

          I don't know. Who is making you?

          mark
        • Re:So... (Score:3, Informative)

          by stripes ( 3681 )
          Apple don't make huge amounts of money from it anyway, why do you think they charge for the player, something unheard of in other media formats

          You only pay for the "pro" version of the player which is heard of in other formats ("Real" for example). Apple doesn't charge an arm and a leg for the streaming server (they may not charge for it at all in many cases!).

          As far as I can tell they made the most money off of QT by buying stock in Akami :-) one would assume that unless they sold that stock though they ended up not making out so well...

          All most people use QuickTime for is playing movie trailors and the occasional "enhanced" CD. To me, that isn't worth any money, especially as the alternatives work just as well for nothing.

          The only content that I have seen that needs the "for pay" QT is the larger movie trailers. Everything else has been available with the free one. Heck, with a little work you can force feed iMovie the streams and not only play but edit them....

          I have seen QT used for other things though, on the Mac it is pretty easy to put QT stuff in your own programs, so animated elements are frequently QT working for you. Even stills sometimes...

      • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jonabbey ( 2498 )

        But Apple knows that Linux users, as a rule, don't buy software. No third party would license QuickTime for Linux, because they couldn't make any money on their product. So there's zero motivation for Apple to port QuickTime to Linux.

        Could we please let this trope die? The fact is, Linux users, as a rule, don't _have_ to buy software, because there is such a vast library of free software out there. Speaking personally, however, I do buy quite a bit of software that is only available commercially, and happily do so.

        If companies want to sell software to Linux users, they should try, um, selling software to Linux users. If they want to make money at it, the software should ideally be substantially different/better than the free software available for the platform. This isn't necessarily easy to do.. no one is going to be able to come out with a basic web server that is so compellingly better than Apache to get large sales on Linux. QuickTime, however, could work, due to the large body of QuickTime-specific content out there.

        It may be that if Apple released QuickTime for Linux, they might not make the porting costs on it, true. But there are more Linux users this year than there were last year, and from all the news reports about new institutional commitments to Linux, I firmly expect there will be more Linux users next year than this year. At some point some brave company will discover that they can make a decent living at selling software on Linux.

        They won't make it, though, if they believe that Linux users are constitutionally allergic to commercial software, when many Linux users are simply allergic to paying more for a piece of software than they have to for the competition, which is just as true in the Windows and Macintosh world.

        • Remember folks, although the QuickTime player does not run on Linux, Apple is still pushing very very hard for the adoption of ISO-compliant MPEG 4 media (and other types of cross platfrom media). This means you will not have to worry about which media player you have residing on your desktop. Once these royalty issues clear up (which they may have), most media players should be supporting mpeg4 by the year's end.

          So, seriously, who cares if this media player can't run on Linux. Ya I guess being able to have the sorenson codec would be nice, but I think a lot of web developers are going to favor content which plays any place on anything. I know I will. It'll be nice not to save content in multiple formats or write dumb java scripts which check media players.
        • Unfortunately at this point in time, history seems to support the fact that Linux users by and large will not pay for software. The best receant examples are Quake 3 and Loki. Loki was dedicated to bringing games to Linux, and they couldn't make enough money to survive. Quake 3 had a simeltanious 3 platform release adn the Linux relerase did abysmal.

          Now there are other factors involved here, however to an exec who is making money based decisions, this strongly indicates taht Linux users are not willing to pay for thier software.
        • Re: I recommend.... (Score:2, Informative)

          by Ahaldra ( 534852 )
          Hi,

          Apple will never port QuickTime to Linux in the near future, for pure political reasons. Luckily Quicktime is a fairly open standard so to everyone interested in an open and free implementation of QuickTime I strongly recommend to visit the OpenQuickTime [sf.net] Site on SourceForge. There are more links available there.

          So, no need to buy anything :)

      • So apple, deciding they cannot make money on it, does not realease anything for Linux. Then codeweavers releases the crossover plugin and does :). Anybody who says money can't be made selling to Linux users should take a look at how they are going about it.

        I'll admit to the fact that one of the reasons I use Linux is because I dont have to pay for it. Having said that, I have paid for a copy of the crossover plugin, and I have also paid for RedHat's little subscription up2date service. The thing that's nice about Linux, is that to get into the game, you can do it for free. If you are willing to pay you can get enhancements, increased convenience, etc. I'm not forced into it like I would be if I ran Windows.
        • So apple, deciding they cannot make money on it, does not realease anything for Linux. Then codeweavers releases the crossover plugin and does :).

          I guess you missed the part in the middle, about third-party licensees. Apple doesn't consider QuickTime Pro licenses to be a significant revenue source. The revenue from QuickTime comes from third parties, which license QuickTime for use in their own commercial products.

          Since nobody is asking to license QuickTime for Linux for commercial use, Apple has no motivation to port QuickTime to Linux.

          Ta-da.
    • I agree. I'd like QuickTime for Linux or FreeBSD too! Curse all those Sorenson movie trailers that mplayer can't support! It's one of the few things that still annoy me in daily Unix desktop use. I understand this is zealotry, but I simply want it. To me, this announcement means nothing but 'shit, it's still not there' :(
      • Re:So... (Score:3, Funny)

        by bsartist ( 550317 )
        It's one of the few things that still annoy me in daily Unix desktop use.

        I use UNIX every single day on my desktop. In addition to all the usual stuff like Apache, Perl, and so on, the UNIX I use also runs Photoshop, MS Office, and a number of other "industry standard" applications. And it plays back QuickTime movies just fine - Sorenson included.

        Perhaps if you had a better UNIX [apple.com], you wouldn't be so annoyed.
    • by benwaggoner ( 513209 ) <ben,waggoner&microsoft,com> on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @12:14PM (#3638590) Homepage
      The fact QuickTime runs on MacOS X doesn't really help the possibility of a Linux port. QuickTime uses the Carbon libraries which don't exist outside of MacOS 9/X.

      Porting QuickTime to Linux would really involve porting a significant portion of MacOS X to Linux. Seriously, we're talking dozens of engineers full-time for a couple of years. QuickTIme is deep and huge, and has a lot of dependencies on real-time synchronization with sound clocks and video refreshing, etcetera.

      Do bear in mind that QuickTime Streaming Server exists as the open-source Darwin Streaming Server and it runs fine on Linux. Since it's a server app, it doesn't have any of those dependencies (and it won't even run on MacOS 9).
  • Upgrading... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:36AM (#3637966) Homepage Journal
    a new QuickTime Pro key will be required to unlock pro functionality in the final release

    This is why I've put off upgrading to QT Pro for so long - I paid for the Pro upgrade under QT3, then when I got QT4 my key worked to keep it unlocked. QT5 was a separate version with a new key required.

    I've been thinking about upgrading for a long time, but I decided to wait until the upgrade policy was in place for QT6. I'm glad I did, based on this.

    So for now, I figure I'll try and play with the preview, and see if it works with my 3rd party codecs and such. But I'll hold off buying Pro until QT6 is packaged with Jaguar, then I'll buy it with that upgrade.

    Unless, of course, Apple announces that upgrades to the released version of QT6 will be free for QT 5 Pro buyers after a certain date. But I haven't seen anything of that nature from them thus far.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, good thing you waited that 2 year span to save 30 bucks. W00T!
    • Re:Upgrading... (Score:4, Informative)

      by marcsiry ( 38594 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @11:14AM (#3638206) Homepage
      Well, there's a bit of a carrot and stick to Apple's upgrade policy.

      It sucks that they're starting to restrict previously free content- some movie trailers on their site, for example- to those who have upgraded to QT Pro. The naggy messages you get when you first launch QT are annoying as well.

      Then again, considering that the $30 Pro key gives you a video utility that can export and import dozens of formats, and even do simple video editing via copy n' paste, it's really not all that expensive.

      I've paid for a new key with every available iteration- $30 is far enough below my impulse buy point to make it worth dismissing the nag notices and unlocking the extra potential.

      I presume Apple bets most Mac users are like me...
  • I think.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chardish ( 529780 )
    The reason we need QT6 is that QT5 completely sucked. I'm sure I'm not the only person who got extraordinarily frustrated that QT5 refused to let me watch some movies without upgrading to Pro.

    -Evan

    (but it's not like they're not going to try the Pro thing again with 6)
  • I recently bought QT5 Pro. Will i be able to get a QT6 Pro key for free or cheaper?

  • No-Wait Streaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shmert ( 258705 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:38AM (#3637980) Homepage
    One of the coolest things they demoed for Quicktime 6 was no-wait streaming, where there's no pause while the frames get buffered. You can even scrub back and forth over the timeline, streaming. Combined with an Xserve dishing out >500 simultaneous DVD-quality quicktime streams, Quicktime is looking pretty sweet. Now why don't more sites start using it?
    • Combined with an Xserve dishing out >500 simultaneous DVD-quality quicktime streams....

      You can't be serious. I've never even seen a DVD-quality stream-- 5-8 megabits per second, that is.

      Surely you mean something around or less than 1 megabit per second.
    • One of the coolest things they demoed for Quicktime 6 was no-wait streaming, where there's no pause while the frames get buffered.

      Huh? All streaming players support this to some extent, you just switch the buffering time to be very low, or zero. Are you sure you're not getting confused with very fast streaming, over a LAN? That would look like no wait.

      Combined with an Xserve dishing out >500 simultaneous DVD-quality quicktime streams, Quicktime is looking pretty sweet. Now why don't more sites start using it?

      That situation would require approximately 5 gigabits of outgoing bandwidth (a DVD uses about 10mbit/s of bandwidth). Are you insane? Nobody apart from people in large corporations or universities could watch that. QuickTime doesn't really have any major advantages over other technologies as far as I can tell, other than it being made by Apple and therefore given lots of marketing. Why should I choose QuickTime over Real, or Windows Media, or hell even standard MPEG?

      • mpeg-4 (Score:2, Interesting)

        by simpl3x ( 238301 )
        i believe that this is in reference to the compression quality of mpeg-4. the licensing issues have made apple quite frustrated, since qt6 will be the first mpeg-4 capable media player available. i am not sure of the number of "dvd quality" streams that qt6 can handle, but the rumors are that it will be a great media server. we'll all believe 500 streams when we see it though.
        • Fast start is actually a result of better managing the buffer between the streaming server and the client. What it does is tell the player to start playing as soon as the first frame has been transmitted, instead of waiting for the usual few seconds of buffering. This only works if you have significantly more bandwidth available than the stream requires, so it won't help with modem stuff much. It works with any codec, not just MPEG-4.

          Also, RealONE already supports the Envivio plug-in for MPEG-4 playback. PacketVideo and Philips also have MPEG-4 players available.

          QuickTime 6 does represents the first mass-market MPEG-4 authoring, distribution, and playback system. This is a Good Thing.
      • Re:No-Wait Streaming (Score:2, Interesting)

        by schwatoo ( 521485 )

        Huh? All streaming players support this to some extent, you just switch the buffering time to be very low, or zero. Are you sure you're not getting confused with very fast streaming, over a LAN?

        No. I've been playing around with QT6's "Instant On" streaming all morning. It's very impressive. It isn't just a case of having a low buffer time. Try it [apple.com], you might be impressed too.

      • by e271828 ( 89234 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @12:16PM (#3638599)
        All streaming players support this to some extent, you just switch the buffering time to be very low, or zero.

        "Instant-on" is not quite the same thing as setting your buffer size to zero. Typically, setting the buffer size to zero in a player means that there is no buffering for the entire duration of the program. This means that if you want to watch without interruptions, the available bandwidth between the server and you must exceed the bit rate of the stream at all times; since the encoding is at a variable bit rate, you will often see peaks in the bit rate which need really high bandwidth to sustain the stream.

        However with "instant-on", the playback begins immediately, but the buffer continues to build. This means that you need a fairly high bandwidth initially in order to start the playback and build up the buffer, but--after that initial period--the buffer prevents interruptions which would otherwise have been caused by the peak rate of the stream going beyond the available bandwidth. So "instant-on" is not the same as setting your buffer to a fixed size of zero. Now this isn't really revolutionary; to researchers in the field the question is why everyone hasn't been doing this all along.

        As an aside, the "skip protection" feature of Quicktime streaming is simply over-buffering; i.e. using the available bandwidth to build up the client buffer as much as possible instead of maintaining a fixed size buffer.

        QuickTime doesn't really have any major advantages over other technologies as far as I can tell, other than it being made by Apple and therefore given lots of marketing. Why should I choose QuickTime over Real, or Windows Media, or hell even standard MPEG?

        Quicktime streaming has an advantage to broadcasters: the server is open-source and free as in beer. You can download the latest snapshot via CVS, and contributions to the source from the public are welcome. The streaming protocols are all standards based (RTP/RTSP). Of course, you could always encode the data with a proprietary codec, but if you used an open codec, then the streams could be played back by any standards compliant player, not just Quicktime Player.

        Finally, although ideas like "skip-protection" and "instant-on" are fairly obvious to anyone who spends some time thinking about these issues, the fact remains that only Apple seems to be taking the initiative to incorporate these into its servers and clients. What new features (from a streaming perspective) have Real and Microsoft offered in the new releases of their products? While Apple does have a big marketing push, that does not take away from the fact that there is solid work going on behind the scenes.

  • by danro ( 544913 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:38AM (#3637989) Homepage
    I also wonder why MPEG-4 is ".mp4". ".mp3" isn't for MPEG-3, after all. Flummory!

    Obviously they are trying to get MPEG-4 off the ground by riding on the popularity of the widly known ".mp3" file extention.
    They are using a familiar "brand name" name, and mp3 is the "Coca Cola" of computers.
    Just another marketing trick...
    ...not supposed to make any sense, just to give people that warm fuzzy feeling inside and get the royalties flowin.
    • Actually .mp3 is the one that is not really fully logical. MP3 is MPEG-2 layer 3. It should be .mp2, or something. MPEG-4 -> .mp4 makes total and complete sense.

      mark
      • by Anonymous Coward
        No no no! mp3 is MPEG 1 Layer 3 (audio).
      • Actually, MP3 is MPEG-1 Layer III. Ironically, MP3 was never used for MPEG-1 files because of the licensing issues that later affected MP3.

        I expect the big reason for ".mp4" instead of ".mpeg4" is for compatibility with 8.3 filename filesystems. Bear in mind that the MPEG-4 process was started BEFORE Windows 95 shipped.

    • Quoting the MPEG site,on MPEG-4 at http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/standards/mpeg-4/ mpeg-4.htm

      "MPEG-4, with formal as its ISO/IEC designation 'ISO/IEC 14496', was finalized in October 1998 and became an International Standard in the first months of 1999. The fully backward compatible extensions under the title of MPEG-4 Version 2 were frozen at the end of 1999, to acquire the formal International Standard Status early in 2000."

      So MPEG is trying to capitalize on themselves?
  • by Steve Cowan ( 525271 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:38AM (#3637990) Journal
    In my opinion even more exciting: check out QuickTime Broadcaster at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/preview/broadcaster / [apple.com] (only for Mac OS X)...

    Quote from the site:

    Welcome to the Public Preview of QuickTime Broadcaster, Apple's live encoding software that lets you produce professional-quality live events for online delivery--quickly, easily and affordably.

    QuickTime Broadcaster takes full advantage of QuickTime, the most powerful digital media technology on the Internet. The combination QuickTime Broadcaster, QuickTime Streaming Server 4 and QuickTime 6 provides the industry's first end-to-end MPEG-4-based Internet broadcasting system. Whether you are a novice or a professional, QuickTime Broadcaster is designed to meet your needs.

    Wow, Apple's coming out with some cool stuff lately! :)

    - Steve

  • by frankie ( 91710 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:42AM (#3638014) Journal
    Quoted blatantly from Apple's site:
    MPEG-4 File Format (.mp4): Since the QuickTime file format is at the foundation of MPEG-4, QuickTime 6 supports .mp4 files as first-class citizens. So with QuickTime 6, you can author professional-quality, ISO-compliant MPEG-4 audio and video files that can be played back not only by QuickTime 6, but by any other MPEG-4-compliant player.


    In other words, this has the ability to kill all the crap about "you need FOO player to see this video".
    • Unless of course the video is in Real or WiMP format.
    • In other words, this has the ability to kill all the crap about "you need FOO player to see this video".

      Would that this were so, but the only thing that MPEG-4 took from Quicktime is the media wrapper, IIRC. The extremely low-bit-rate, high compression codec wasn't Apple's.

      The fact that Apple's QuickTime 6 tools can produce MPEG-4 files doesn't mean that Apple is going to put its proprietary Sorenson codecs to bed, and as long as those codecs are used, the files won't be viewable on Linux without some sort of emulator or convertor.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      In other words, this has the ability to kill all the crap about "you need FOO player to see this video".

      Sure it does. And pigs will fly over the skies, and hell freezes over.

      The MPEG-4 file format is just a wrapper. The video and audio is still encoded by some codec. In the case of Apple, it is the Sorenson codec that has no player for UNIX architectures (you can have some luck with WINE, although flawless performance seems only to come by paying for Crossover).

      The problem with playability NEVER came from file formats - it ALWAYS came from patent protected codecs. The patents in question have over a decade before expiration, so it seems likely there will never be a UNIX player for Quicktime movies made with the Sorenson codec.

      The ball is entirely in Apple's court too - they have exclusive licensing rights over the patents in question.
      • just a wrapper. The video and audio is still encoded by some codec. In the case of Apple, it is the Sorenson codec

        That would be correct, except for this little tidbit [apple.com]:

        Apple developed its own ISO-compliant MPEG-4 video codec to provide the highest quality results across a wide spectrum of data rates - from narrowband to broadband and beyond. This revolutionary codec offers compression times and video quality that rival those of the best proprietary codecs available, yet it provides true interoperability with other MPEG-4 players and devices.

        Yes, *nix players will still be locked out if content producers choose to use Sorenson. But now Apple is saying that there's a decent alternative.

        Has anyone done side-by-side tests of Sorenson/Apple MP4/Divx/etc?

      • Hrm. Maybe someone in the Open Source community ought to take a cue from this kind of thing and propose a new kind of media playback method. Codec-included video. Considering video files are just friggin' huge, it wouldn't hurt at all to embed 1-200K of codec information at the beginning of every file. Maybe this is the kind of standard that needs to be brought into existence in order to help avoid problems with backwards compatibility in the future as well.

        The way I figure it, design a player system that loads codecs from the data file/stream, as well as having the basics included in it. This way you get the flexibility of the player you need, Open Sourced and you can still have proprietary decoding mechanisms that'll play on any system with the player.

        Encode it with commercial software, or Open Source if you want, and it'll play on anything.

        Sounds logical to me.
      • Er? Not even close.

        MPEG-4 uses a Profile@Level structure, which strictly defines what codecs and parameters a given file can use. For example, QuickTime can export a compliant ISMA Profile 1 MPEG-1 file. This mandates the MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Video codec, either ACELP or AAC audio, maximum 352x288 resolution, and certain data rate limits.

        ANY MPEG-4 player which claims to be ISMA compliant needs to be able to play this file, and QuickTime needs to be able to play an ISMA compatible MPEG-4 file created by a different vendor.

        The whole point of MPEG-4 is interoperability - if that doesn't work, than the technology won't either.

        For the Linux crowd, this means a MPEG-4 file will be as easy to play as a MPEG-1 is today, but with much, much improved quality at a given data rate, and support for real-time streaming. You can stop yelling at Apple about porting QuickTime, since you'll just use someone else's MPEG-4 player with their content, and it'll just work.

        The risk is that support for Profile@Level combinations will vary. Certainly, a lot of cell phones use ISMA Profile 0, which means 176x144 maximum resolution, the Simple instead of Advanced Simple codec, etcetera. And there are more advanced codecs coming down the pike that improve quality, but won't work with today's ISMA profiles.

        But hey, nothing that folks who deal with RPMs all day don't know about.

  • It's simple, really. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:43AM (#3638018) Journal
    I also wonder why MPEG-4 is ".mp4". ".mp3" isn't for MPEG-3, after all.

    That's because geeks at some hoighty-toighty European institute created the MPEG-2 Layer 3 format and file extension, while Steve Jobs wrote Quicktime 6 and it's file extension, all by himself, "out of one, solid block of wood."

    Or it could be because .mp4 for MPEG-4 makes much more sense than .mp3 for MPEG-2 Layer 3, in hindsight. (How many .mp2 files do you have laying around?)
    • I have have plenty of .mp2 files lying around, downloaded from the paleolithic music web site Addicted to Noise, back before MP3 took off. .mp2 files are normally MPEG-1 Layer II audio, like used in most MPEG-1 files.

      I've also seen some MPEG-2 video files using that extension as well.

      Three characters really aren't enough for meaningful extensions, eh?

  • by QuonsetTheHut ( 234807 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:44AM (#3638024)
    [Extremely relevant multimedia reply - Requires Slashdot Pro to read. Please submit your Visa number....]
  • by stud9920 ( 236753 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:49AM (#3638056)
    Now Qt 6 is released, the KDE team can start working on KDE 6 !
  • mp4 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yawnmoth ( 534382 )
    I also wonder why MPEG-4 is ".mp4". ".mp3" isn't for MPEG-3, after all.

    this is nothing new. The people over at DivXNetworks [divx.com] have been using the mp4 extionsion for mpeg-4 for just about as long as they've been around. it has less restrictions than the avi file format does.

    I just wonder if they are as "ISO compliant" as Apple's gonna be, heh.
  • by Pauly ( 382 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @10:57AM (#3638106)

    Flummory!

    Hey Pudge, did you mean flummery [google.com]?

    flummery (flm-r) n. pl. flummeries

    1. Meaningless or deceptive language; humbug.
      1. Any of several soft, sweet, bland foods, such as custard.
      2. A sweet gelatinous pudding made by straining boiled oatmeal or flour.
      3. A soft dessert of stewed, thickened fruit, often mixed with a grain such as rice.

    I'm pretty sure you did...

  • CrossOver (Score:5, Informative)

    by xanadu-xtroot.com ( 450073 ) <xanadu@inorb3.14159it.com minus pi> on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @11:04AM (#3638151) Homepage Journal
    Hey! It appears to work fine with CodeWeaver's CrossOver Plugin [codeweavers.com] for Linux.

    I just installed and ran it.
  • by DarkVein ( 5418 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @11:05AM (#3638155) Journal

    This is great. Quicktime should now be able to play XviD and DivX video. XviD especially. That's nice.

    I was really hoping Apple would move more towards Free formats, however. AAC has good quality, but it's a nightmare of licensing restrictions. It looks like I'll still have to go to the QuickTime Components Project [sourceforge.net] for Ogg Vorbis and exa-mozilla MNG support. All of my music is in Vorbis, and my movies convereted to OGM [everwicked.com] from AVI and MOV containers. OGM is a really nice container. No sync or seek problems at all. You can embed XML streams, for whatever purpose you'd like.

    Even more importantly, QuickTime still doesn't have a lossless audio compression codec. Some FLAC [sourceforge.net] would be nice. It really looks like FLAC might be moving closer to the Ogg project.

    I mean, hey, unless Apple is going to make a car stereo system, this [phatnoise.com] is probably the best component to plug into an OS X "digital hub." It does FLAC, with the new firmware.

    Still, the ability to play XviD (valid MPEG-4 video) is a great step in the right direction. Kudos.

  • so I figured that I would try to see if we could get Divx 5 to work in QuickTime now, as both claim to be ISO compliant.

    well, first I had to use virtual dub to remove the audio from my Shawshank rip (Divx 5's avi->mp4 convertor doesn't seem to like files with audio) then I was able to convert it to mp4. However, when "run" in quicktime it gets the timing correct, but doesn't display anything (much like audio playing) it doesn't even display a blank window of correct size like it does with avi's it doesn't know the codec for.

    oh well.
    • I've been trying like hell this weekend to get some of my divx files to play on my new iBook. By and large the most prevalent problem is seeing a correctly timed video stream, but having the audio cut off a few seconds in. I think this is because the audio stream is encoded using veriable bit rate MP3, which QT can't handle. The best solution I've found is to run the divx files through DivX Doctor (available at VersionTracker [versiontracker.com]) and using the 3ivx codec (also available at VersionTracker) to play them. You can set up DivX doctor to be the default application for running, say, .divx or .avi files and have it automatically play them in QuickTime when it's done doing it's magic. Works pretty well, other than the 30 second processing time up front.
    • get Divx 5 to work in QuickTime now, as both claim to be ISO compliant.

      Yet Another Quote from Apple [apple.com]:

      Other technologies that report to be MPEG-4 compliant, yet are not contained in an .mp4 file, will not interoperate with QuickTime 6 or other MPEG-4 players. Divx and MPEG-4 from Microsoft are common examples.

      Divx might be a valid MPEG-4 codec, but they apparently don't use the MPEG-4 file format.

  • From Apple's site [apple.com]:
    While other formats and versions come and go, MPEG-4 will safeguard multimedia content for a secure future.

    My first reaction to this is, MPEG-4 will probably also come and go, unless it is the holy grail of video compression - we'll be able to improve it in the future. Secondly, it looks like they're quietly mentioning some DRM stuff being thrown in, which may or may not be a good thing.

    The Internet Media Streaming Alliance [www.isma.tv], which is apparently located in Tuvalu, has a decent, fairly trustworthy collection of "Sponsor Members," including Apple, Cisco, IBM, Philips, and Sun Microsystems. I'd much rather trust DRM technology to these companies than Microsoft, Real, the RIAA, the MPAA, Fritz Hollings, or AOL-Time-Warner-Netscape-HBO-CNN (even though that last one is a "Participant Member"). It looks as if this latest scheme will focus on quality, while quietly adding in DRM - which is the only way it's going to work in the current climate. And I think it would be acceptable to the public: If you put out a product that is superior enough in quality, consumers are willing to sacrifice some of their time-shifting and space-shifting rights. If the balance isn't quite right, then the technology will have to be adjusted. The same thing happened with DVDs and the DivX format (the Circuit City thing) - Quality was higher, and even though the average user couldn't record DVDs and retain the same quality, consumers are increasily accepting the new techology. DivX didn't balance our fair use rights properly and failed.

    I hope MPEG4 gets the balance right, so we can finally get a popularly-accepted standard for digital video. It's nice to have free video files available on P2P networks but the quality isn't there, and most of us would be willing to pay the right price to get a high-quality video file. If not, there's still regular old TV.

  • by greygent ( 523713 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @12:12PM (#3638577) Homepage
    While this is great news, also note that a Public Preview of Quicktime Broadcaster is out.
    This allows you to encode video (for free) for delivery to a streaming server.

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/preview/broadcast er
  • by Jacek Poplawski ( 223457 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @02:25PM (#3639619)
    It's not open source (DivX _is_ - libavcodec). There is no Linux version. Why should I care?
    • by greygent ( 523713 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @03:59PM (#3640340) Homepage
      Are you supposed to care?

      Do you have to care?

      Are we supposed to care?

      Does every single Slashdot reader love and run Linux?

      Should Slashdot abolish any noteworthy topics, and just post about Linux?

      I know, it's moronic of me, this being posted on APPLE.slashdot.org and all!

      Grow up, and go outside, it's almost summer time for fuck's sake. Time to tear down that RMS poster, and toss the Tux penguin you sleep with every night...

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