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New MP3 License Terms Demand $0.75 Per Decoder

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the good-thing-ogg-is-up-to-speed dept.

Patents 1249

Götz writes "The licensing terms of Thomson and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, who are the owners of the mp3 patents, have changed. Now not only mp3 encoders but also mp3 decoders require a license. This page lists the fees -- it's $0.75 per decoder. As a consequence, Red Hat has already removed all mp3 players from the Rawhide development version."

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Thank god for ogg! (4, Insightful)

jon787 (512497) | more than 12 years ago | (#4150984)

Re:Thank god for ogg! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151051)

Thats right, they have just killed a standard and thanx god, we have our new standard available.
RIP MP3 and welcome Ogg Vorbis !!!!

Re:Thank god for ogg! (1, Flamebait)

llZENll (545605) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151058)

uh, glad i used wma since it better quality, just make sure you turn off the m$ secure digital contect 'feature'

Re:Thank god for ogg! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151091)

So, I guess you like MS having root privileges on your PC? That's what you agreed to when you install Windows Media Player!

Re:Thank god for ogg! (2, Insightful)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151134)

Yes I am one of those fools (see post below)

And now I ask, Is there an mp3-to-ogg converter?

Please post links :-)

Re:Thank god for ogg! (1)

Smertrios (550184) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151147)

If they enforce this stupid idea of charging for the standard, I'm switching everything to ogg.

It's simple OGG/Vorbis! (-1, Redundant)

scosol (127202) | more than 12 years ago | (#4150988)



Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151045)

FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4150990)

Looks like Ogg Vorbis is the way to go.

Time for Ogg. (-1, Redundant)

McDoobie (409584) | more than 12 years ago | (#4150992)

Need I say more?

first posts are free (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4150997)

thank god for freedom of speech

Alternate Title: OGG Becomes New Standard (1, Redundant)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 12 years ago | (#4150999)

I pity you fools that spent months encoding all of your music as MP3s.

Do they not realize the effect of this? (1, Troll)

uncleFester (29998) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151001)

I continually am amazed at firms that do this. Does not even the lowly geek admin at this place realize this will eventually kill mp3 as a used format, thus killing their source of revenue?

I swear, if people are learning this kinda crap at their respective busisness schools.. I guess it's no wonder things like Enron or WorldComm happen.


Re:Do they not realize the effect of this? (5, Insightful)

PunkXRock (512777) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151046)

This won't kill MP3. This has been in effect for years now, I have NO idea why /. thinks this is news, that page hasn't even changed. Research much? Anyway, Mp3 ius entrenched, and end users still aren't being hurt, unless they have to pay for their sw mp3 player, but there will always be a huge company like AOL (WinAmp) who is willing to foot the bill. FhG has had this rule in effect, they just haven't enforced it on tiny players.

Re:Do they not realize the effect of this? (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151068)

it's not the geek admins taht make those decisions, nor do they have any type of serious influence over these types of decisions. It's normally managers and other higher-ups in sudden need to revenue and cash flow that make these types of decisions.

yeah, you're correct, by pulling this type of stunt, mp3 is dying. Fame & non-fortune for the first "MP3 Is Dying!!" troll....

Re:Do they not realize the effect of this? (1)

scosol (127202) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151072)

Well right- but I think "eventually" is the key term there-

At some point, you decide that something has enough of a market presence that to switch away from it would be too painful- so you start trying to charge from it.

I dunno- mp3 is THE standard.
I would guess even more of a standard than IE as a browser...

But yah- I myself will be converting all my 80gb of mp3s to ogg/vorbis-
or... I *would* be- if silly ogg/vorbis would release an mp3-decode/ogg-encode utility...

(look at their website, they specifically are *not* going to do this- and they say exactly why)

Good bye, good bye... good bye (0, Offtopic)

perljon (530156) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151002)

Damn them!

They've got a good racket going... (3, Insightful)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151003)

i wonder how much money they're pulling in from mp3-related things? Anyone got a rough estimate?

And wouldn't this hurt the proliferation of mp3 encoders running around, thereby possibly limiting the amount of mp3s that are available to the general public? Maybe we just need to use .ogg? :)


opensource (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151008)

so opensource players for mp3 will have to pay a fee?

Don't forget expansions for Gogg and Magogg... (0, Offtopic)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151011)

I see... Yes, on the horizon, here it is... It's Ogg Vorbis, taking the lead as everybody bails on MP3! If only the name weren't so silly...


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151012)

Here come all the "Ogg Vorbis Rulez" trolls....

i wonder (2, Interesting)

waspleg (316038) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151013)

how they plan to go about enforcing this.. i wonder what AOL will think of this, I wonder if they will pull winamp or pay the one time $60,000 for decoder and $50,000 for encoder (winamp has both) fees..

and more importantly, what about all the people with multiple gb's of mp3's, i know i have ~10gb worth and i'm not alone

I think the back lash of angry users adn whatnot will squelch this quickly, surely they dont' think people will actually pay after it's been free for so many years

Re:i wonder (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151060)

I think the back lash of angry users adn whatnot will squelch this quickly, surely they dont' think people will actually pay after it's been free for so many years

Like it squelched gif?

Re:i wonder (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151141)

if they don't relent and force people to change formats their revenue stream from existing licensing (i'm sure that in-car mp3 players, hand helds and whatnot required licensing before this) will dry up as no one (the public) will be using their format anymore if they have to pay on an individual basis for it.. although i'm not looking forward to re-encoding all 240+ hours of mp3's i have into smoething else (ogg) i will do it if i have to and others will too

Cost not issue for AOL, perhaps for Kazaa (2)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151095)

110,000 Grand isn't that much for AOL/TimeWarner. They spend that much on a Cisco 12000 router or a DNS server...

I think this could stop Kazaa quicker than anything else. They have had how many million downloads? All with an mp3 player. Hmm. That's probably a few million they don't have....
Better start selling more ads Kazaa, and fast! (Just so we can download Kazaa Lite, and get around them!).

Re:i wonder (2, Funny)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151109)

I didn't realize immediately that winamp is affected by this. Hopefully Nullsoft's parent company (AOLTImeWarnerTurnerOmniCorpKellogMotorGeneralFord ChevyMicroSunSoftSystems Ltd. Inc.) will absorb the cost for them. Otherwise, mp3 proliferation will collapse. Or we'll start seeing alot more advertisements in Winamp. Sigh.


Ha! (2, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151014)

Let them come to me to cough-out 75 for my license. I hope they have plenty of fun!!!

Any disadvantages to Ogg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151017)

Are there any disadvantages to Ogg? Doesnt seem like Ogg caught on as quickly as it should. *shrug*

Re:Any disadvantages to Ogg? (2)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151116)

Here's one disadvantage to ogg (or any lossy format) - converting to and from it is lossy. Specifically, converting all the MP3 files you currently have to ogg would lose considerable quality. (probably moreso with VBR?) Anyway, point is that unless you still have, ahem, all your original CDs (you know, the ones you ripped to MP3 since they were so fragile and your Archos jukebox doesn't play oggs) you're in trouble.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151018)

Do we need further proof that capitalism just doesn't work?


TheWickedKingJeremy (578077) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151061)

What are you smoking? They start charging for something that people can get for cheaper/free elsewhere, and people will go elsewhere... How is that a failing of capitalism? If anything it is a good example of capitalism... freedom of choice.


dokutake (587467) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151122)

It's not a failure of capitalism in general, it's just a failure of their capitalism.


N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151140)

Hey sparky if it was not for capitalism mp3s would not exist in the first palce.

This is an aweful buisness decision though, they should just licence hardware manufactures who produce mp3 walkmans. People pay upwards of 150$ for them and if you tak on a 5$ license they are not going to stop buying hence you really do not harm the growth of MP3

But when you start charging for the software to produce mp3's thats another matter I listin to them in my computer, and Ill be damned if I am goung to pay when I can just use another format (never heard og .ogg until today but I will look into it).

I am assuming that this is not a retro active license...???... ne1?

Probable consequences? (2, Informative)

Negadin (261695) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151019)

RedHat has already removed its MP3 players. Most MP3 players are free to begin with, WinAmp, Sonique, Windows Media Player.. you'll start to see a lot less freeware players in the future.

Hopefully we'll see another format step up and produce the same quality / compression as .mp3. Ogg is close, but not quite there yet.

Re:Probable consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151093)

I think ogg is superior, but that's personal taste, nothing else...
but maybe "close" is close enough to change _now_, vorbis allows some tuning in the decoder without making old decoders obsolete, and I'm pretty sure the guys at xiph are eager to get examples where to perform better ;)

These prices were up last year. (-1, Informative)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151021)

These prices have always been around. It's just that they have never been enforced. If everyone had to pay for a player to listen to mp3's, mp3's would be nowhere near as popular as they are today.

This is just another case of /. editors making news out something that's been around for more than a year.

Re:These prices were up last year. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151079)

Reminds me of the Simpsons when they realize the laws state that they are still in prohibition, its just that no one has enforced it...

Rev. Lovejoy-
See, it says we should be in prohibition, right below the law that states that ducks should wear pants.
Mayor Quimby-
My god, it does. Ducks must wear pants!

Re:These prices were up last year. (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151092)

what were the old fees then? i've never heard about any fees associated with mp3's before, ever, and i've been using them since i could only fit 2 songs on a zip disk and read about the mp3 format as a theory in a magazine whiel on an airplane, i've never heard of fees associated with their use before ever and i've been accumulating mp3's for years as have many others, just because you claim that they hav ebeen around forever doesn't mean that /. editors or anyone else is a clairvoyant..

Re:These prices were up last year. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151118)

> This is just another case of /. editors making news out something that's been around for more than a year.

Umm, slashdot is not a news site, it's a link farm.
I haven't seen real news here in a long time.
They keep reposting the same geek-overreaction-fodder over and over, so it seems it's a pathetic troll site at best.

Re:These prices were up last year. (3, Insightful)

jonasj (538692) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151136)

I'm rather certain they used to only demand royalties for encoders, not decoders.

Kind of Dumb... (1)

debest (471937) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151023)

Isn't a little dumb of them to impose this fee *after* a royalty-free option (Ogg Vorbis) is made available just a couple of months ago as a "ready for prime time" audio codec?

I mean, jeez, at least have the brains to try to lock people in before they have a perfectly viable option!

Re:Kind of Dumb... (2, Insightful)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151113)

I don't see any Ogg hardware players out there, and how many DVD/CD/CD-R/ogg vorbis Multifunction players are out there?

Now is the perfect time to pull this stunt!

to the rescue (2, Interesting)

natefaerber (143261) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151024)

I guess it wan't just paranoia, but Ogg Vorbis [] to the rescue. Let's see how fast our Hardware vendors will support Ogg, now!

What are they going to do about it? (1)

Xeriar (456730) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151025)

Sue AOL?

At least by only requiring a license for the encoder, they could establish a mode of control, but it is far, far too late to charge everyone for a player.

Unless this is referring specific instances of a player, IE AOL pays .75 cents for Winamp, and everyone is covered, etc.

I would like to see someone do that, actually. Even if that isn't what their license requires, it's about what it is worth.

Re:What are they going to do about it? (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151053)

read the article, it's $.75 PER INSTANCE

winamp has millions of downloads, there is also teh option for a one time fee, AOL would have to pay both as i mentioned earlier as winamp includes both a decoder and an encoder ti would be $110,000, a small sum for AOL to be sure, but i would be suprised if they pay it

Decode this! (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151026)

!3m 3tid

Re:Decode this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151145)

bite yourself..

Greed Strikes Again (0, Troll)

bigmankelly1998 (228114) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151028)

Not sure I could have held out this long. But I see the eye's of the Green Monster....

What can MP3 do for me that Ogg Vorbis can't? (4, Interesting)

puckhead (241973) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151029)

I'm not trolling (this time). I really want to know.

Re:What can MP3 do for me that Ogg Vorbis can't? (5, Informative)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151070)

mp3 has hardware support. Ogg Vorbis does not.

Well this sucks =[ (GO AAC) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151030)

Ogg is NOT the equal of MP3, in terms of sound quality. However, AAC audio sounds better than MP3 and is much smaller. Basically, go AAC =]

Oggs great & all... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151031)

.... but what do you think will happen to WinAMP/Nullsoft?


Re:Oggs great & all... (1)

mobets (101759) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151111)

they sold out to AOL a while back, they should be fine. I hope they ignore it. I feel sorry for the bastard that goes up against AOL/TW in court.

Players (2)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151032)

So who's got a list of Ogg Vorbis or other Open Source alternatives to MP3 players?

Re:Players (2)

jon787 (512497) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151082)

Both WinAmp (except for the lite version) and XMMS support oggs already.

Software Patents out of US (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151036)

Time to make a non-american version of RedHat with mp3 players ? Or to switch to Mandrake, which shouldn't have to honor these fees ...

Portable Ogg-based players? (5, Interesting)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151037)

I'm hoping that this decision will result in (more?) portable Ogg-based players hitting the market! I would have purchased an iPod immediately had it supported Ogg; however, it didn't, and I was not about to convert my music back to MP3 just for it.

If anyone knows of any portable players that support Ogg Vorbis, please post below! Thank You!

Re:Portable Ogg-based players? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151074)

Sharp Zaurus PDA + tkcPlayer

Re:Portable Ogg-based players? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151103)

Sharp Zaurus + tkcPlayer

Re:Portable Ogg-based players? (5, Informative)

bear_phillips (165929) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151105)

You could always get a sharp zaurus and use it to play your ogg files.

The ultimate in business plans: (1)

perrin5 (38802) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151039)

1) gather huge user base
2) charge for making products for said user base
3) charge users on a per-site fee
4) disgrutled users move to other formats.
5) sell stock options and retire.

Re:The ultimate in business plans: (1)

Bobo_The_Boinger (306158) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151146)

I would suggest you revise your plan, I'd look closely at the possiblity of moving item 5 to occur before item 4. Otherwise, I doubt they could retire on the bit of spit they'd make selling their stock options AFTER all the user base left. :)

Biting the bullet (2)

koreth (409849) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151040)

I'm sure this will get at least 150 "Ha, I switched to Ogg Vorbis months ago, told you so!" responses. But the fact that MP3's price just went up doesn't cause my portable CD player to read .ogg files all of a sudden, so for now it's still MP3 for me.

If this spurs the release of Ogg-capable portables and car players, though, that's good news for everyone.

Ridiculous (1)

ShwAsasin (120187) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151041)

This is becoming ridiculous! Every format under the sun is going to become a greedy patent fest. I understand how an encoder must pay, however if you make decoders pay the royalty, that will really hurt the open-source movement.

These cash-grabs are hurting the end user, and the general software community. When will they learn.

Re:Ridiculous (2)

koreth (409849) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151085)

And they should care about the open-source movement and the general software community why, exactly? They aren't a charity.

Not that I like what they did, mind you, but hurting the open-source movement isn't a good argument against it from the point of view of an executive who doesn't care about open source.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151131)

How do you understand that an encoder should pay, but not the decoder? That makes no sense. That's like saying people should pay to create ASCII text files, but not to read them. Software is software, and software patents are stupid no matter how they are applied.

There outta be a law... (5, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151042)

I thought the whole idea of patent law was to get new ideas to market by providing a temporary monopoly to the creator.

It seems like we have the cart leading the horse. Inventors are now embedding their ideas into standards, waiting until adoption, and then enforcing their monopoly.

This is dirty pool, and I hope it doesn't last.

What about overseas distributions? (5, Insightful)

Karpe (1147) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151044)

I wonder if distributions made on countries that do not accept software patents can still include MP3 decoders. That would, of course, mean the end of sales of this distributions on the US, or the development of US versions and "patent infringing" versions of the distributions, the same way there was a strong and weak crypto version of RH. I live in a country where (until the US forces us to change our laws) we do not believe that software or algorithmic ideas can be patented, and we have our own distros. I wouldnt like these distros to change just because of US laws and the US market.

and so the hunt begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151047)

Well, it's now time for people to start looking for a news audio standard, since these guys obviously don't want to hold market share on theirs. The prime draw of mp3 was the fact that it's free, and I don't think that their share of the market is going to hold up if people have to pay to listen to their songs.

Remember the (netscape) navigator kids.

iPod, Archos Jukebox, Rio, etc. (1)

Incongruity (70416) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151048)

So it looks like it's time for a software/firmware update for a lot of specialized players in order to play ogg files...or is MP3 too entrenched for such options to be made widely available??

Great Business Plans Of Our Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151049)

1. Develop product
2. Allow product to become widely used for free
3. Attempt to levy charges for product installed on millions of computers in the face of free, widely available competition.
4. File for Chapter 11

Winamp download still available free (3, Informative)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151052)

Well, I guess NullSoft has decieded to pay the bill themselves. Because Winamp 3.0 [] is still available as of now for free download [] .

Thank goodness for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151055)

WMA! Go Microsoft!

Goodbye mr.mp3 (0, Redundant)

ZawZe (555032) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151056)

Goodbye to mr.mp3 and hello mister ogg.

non open source == drain on society (1, Troll)

Dave Burbank (203271) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151057)

Instances like this demonstrate why software that is not open source is worthless.

uh oh (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151063)

Well, looks like I'll have to hold on to my current mp3 player, cause it looks like I won't be able to download winamp for free any more :(

i'm lazy, spell it out please. (3, Interesting)

condour75 (452029) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151066)

here's where slashdot can really shine. I, like many of you out there, have scanned my album collection into mp3 format. Why? Because this was the most popular, ubiquitous format when I did it. I'd love to go to ogg. To do so, i need a simple way to recurse through about 36 gigs of mp3s and reencode them into ogg, and delete the originals. I know there's no reason why one shell command shouldn't suffice. I know if I were to do a decent search through freshmeat, i'd be able to find a command-line program to do it, and the proper args, etc. But i know someone here already knows it. ***PLEASE*** post instructions, and whatever software i need to get, and yours is the karma and everything in it.

Conversion from MP3 to OGG (2)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151067)

So, has anybody out there converted their MP3 archive to OGG? How badly did the quality suffer? Are there any other significant pitfalls to watch out for?

Excellent! (2)

glwtta (532858) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151069)

faster Ogg adoption - can't say this is anything but good news.

Sounds like... (2)

RareHeintz (244414) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151073)

...Winamp got Ogg Vorbis support into the product just in time.

- B

I'm confused (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151075)

Recently a format that could give them a run for there money has come out. Instead of trying to find ways to keep as many users as possiblem they decide to start charging more, thus running off many more than they would have lost before. Maybe its some top secret strategy or something that we can't comprehend.

Why ogg isn't quite the answer (1, Interesting)

stuyman (46850) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151076)

There's going to be quite a few posts (and there already are some) asking if Ogg is ready for use, why people don't use Ogg, etc. As of now, Ogg is certainly a good choice, because noone is claiming to have a patent on its technology. However, there is a problem.

US patent law doesn't require you to disclose your patent within any given period of time. You can wait until half the country is using Ogg decoders, then sue all those people. Because of this, there's no such thing as a known unpatented technology. You can only make a good attempt.

So, how do we create guaranteed patent-free formats? My theory has always been you create a non-profit, and then use the nonprofit to discover new technology for you encoder, which the nonprofit patents. Then it licenses the patent as free for everyone. It's not foolproof, but it's a pretty good bet that this would have less patent issues. Then again, for now, Ogg it is...


Does such a charge.... (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151078)

Affect programs which already have been created with Mp3 support, say WINAMP or even Media Player. I hope the payment is not retroactive. would MS have to remove MP3 support in mediaplayer or PAY?

Pass it on (4, Interesting)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151087)

Absolutely brilliant. Wait until it gets mass market acceptance, then start charging fees. Now that I've got a portable MP3 player, an MP3-compatible DVD player, and all 300+ CD's in my collection digitized in MP3 format, now bring out the fees. You win, guys, here's my $3.00 for the car, the DVD deck, and WinAmp on my laptop and desktop. Sure beats re-recording everything in Ogg, which wasn't mainstream enough when I first started ripping my CD's a couple of years back.

What? You don't agree? Well, my time's worth the $3. If they charged $10 per decoder, I'd still probably pay it - and in fact, that's the only mistake I think they're making, not charging enough. Because while I'd gladly pay $3 today, they should realize that going forward, I won't rip a single song in MP3 format. They'll make short-term revenues by screwing guys like me, but they're digging a hole in the long run.

murr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4151088)

Thank god for ogg! (Score:3, Insightful)
It's simple OGG/Vorbis! (Score:0, Redundant)
FP (Score:-1, Redundant)
Time for Ogg. (Score:1, Insightful)

Please pass the crack.

Hmm. Not bad. (4, Insightful)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151096)

You know, this is actually pretty cheap. I had no idea how inexpensive this was...I thought Fraunhaufer & Co were taking a percentage of your company's profits a la Unisys, or a per song cost. $.75 per player is nothing...I have a dozen players, hardware & software alike, and they all amount to under $10. Not bad, considering how great the technology behind MP3 is.

Sure, they're profiteering, but they're profiteering off of a format they helped produce and thought to patent. MP3 encoding isn't exactly no duh stuff like hyperlinks or LZW compression (which is essentially a really fast look up table). And sure, there's Ogg, but I don't like the sound as much and my consumer devices don't support it.

You can bitch and moan about how this will kill mp3, but I think it's obvious nothing will kill MP3 -- the technology is too widely supported. What it means, though, is that GPL'd and other free decoders are going to have to ammend the license to be sure Fraunhoffer gets its money. This is a perfect time to test whether or not the GPL can play nice in the IP pool.

Heh (5, Interesting)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151098)

Of course, this is going to start the slew of "Ogg Vorbis is going to be the new standard" posts, to which I say: yeah, right.

Personally, I'm wondering if the RIAA didn't pressure the owners of the patent into doing this, but that's beside the point. The point is, just because something that was free now costs money doesn't mean it's going to vanish overnight. Most people will download a single MP3 player and use that, and 75 cents is a negligible amount in the scheme of iPod pricing.

The way around this, of course, is for a company to write the update to their software, and release it as a program that will patch the executable file, rather than release a whole new file. The fee applies to decoders, not software that modifies the decoders.

Ogg Vorbis is great, it's free, and I hope they add support for it into the iPod and iTunes, but it's still going to be a long time before a format as deeply-entrenched as MP3 disappears.

(Reversing your logic would mean that MS Windoze would cease to be the standard simply because Linux is free.)

The ol' switcheroo (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151104)

Sounds like what used to happen up here with housing and land-leasing... actually I think it still happens.

Lease out some really nice land, at a decent price, for say 10-20 years. When the lease ran out, the new leasing fees were somewhere in the area of 400%+

Most of the leasers couldn't afford the new rates, some fought against it but the court costs were also huge. In short, a lot of people ended up giving up the land, and the landowners got some nice houses to go with us (exempting the smart ones, who bulldozed their places and made things as messy as possible).

The moral, beware of any contract with an ability to change or a time-limit...

looks like (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151107)

we can chalk another one up for ogg vorbis, but I really don't like it. I mean the only real difference I see between mp3 and vorbis is that mp3 isn't legally free. But I can still download winamp. I can download any version I want actually, it's called And i can still get radium, and lame. CDex is totally awesome. So for me to use ogg all it would do is force me to spend hours re-encoding all my files. What at a great way to spend a weekend!
They can't charge ME for something I've already got for free. They can't take it away from me either. So until that changes I couldnt' give two craps, can you?

No, it's NOT time for Ogg (1)

count_dooku (448992) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151110)

Before we start raising Ogg Vobis up the proverbial flagpole, let us remember that MP3 is heavily entrenched in the hardware decoder market. Will a $0.75 per unit increase change this? Probably not.

Not quite dead yet. (1)

infornogr (603568) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151115)

I'd say it's a safe bet to say the overwhelming majority of mp3s are pirated over the net. If free mp3 decoders dissapear, I'm sure most of these people won't lose sleep over pirating the players aswell. Sad that the only victims of this are law-biding mp3 users. Hopefully this will encourage a wide-spread migration to a more open format than mp3, but it's still going to hang around for a while more.

hmmm.. A few thoughts... (1)

wbav (223901) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151119)

For those who say, go to vorbis, might this focus the RIAA to not only attack vorbis but also opensource as a whole? It seems to me that it may open the door to some nasty issues.

I can see people converting stuff over to vorbis if it saves them money, (too bad I just bought a mp3 cd player though.)

People aren't going to like the idea of paying for a music player. But the clever thing about this, is, to convert from mp3 to vorbis, you have to have a decoder.

Too bad (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151120)

Too bad my portable MP3 player won't play OGG.

I already spent $150 on it, I'm not gonna spend another $.75 on it.

Now is it $.75 for every instance of every player? If so, then thats a ton of money! Hell, a Linux distro alone has how many MP3 players? :)

Winamp has been ready for this for a while... (2, Insightful)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151125)

And so they have theire butts covered: it means that the Winamp distribution will no longer come with the IN_MP3.DLL plugin. I expect future versions will have an (optional) 75 download charge for IN_MP3.DLL.

Of course, if you already have the plugin, no need to pay for it again -- and it could make use of the Windows Media Player MP3 codecs (paid for by your Windows XP license).

who needs the RIAA?? (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151126)

who needs the RIAA around when you have these guys to kill off the MP3?

Music Industry and MP3 (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151127)

IF I were the music industry, I would sue the owners of any and all patent holders of digitizing algorithyms like MP3 etc. Since most music was NOT distributed on MP3 etc. formats isn't it logical that you go after the owners of the TOOLS rather than those that use the tools?

Naaa, Never mind

stupid, stupid, stupid. (2)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151130)

This is stupid. All this move does is kill new development. How many free mp3 players have already been released? There's no taking them back now... considering WinAmp, RealPlayer, X11Amp, Noatune, etc, are already out there, there's no stopping them.

If they wanted to make money off of mp3 then they should have been charging decoder licenses from the start... it's too late to get cat back into the bag.

I might need to start wearing a tinfoil hat after suggesting this, but part of me wonders if maybe they were paid money by a certain Redmond Giant to do this, in order to kill off mp3 in favor of WMA. Hey, is that a black army cia helicopter on whisper mode? ;)

Either way, it looks like it's time to see if there's a good mp3 --> Ogg converter out there. Anyone know of any?

Let's kill the MP3 format (1)

decep (137319) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151132)

Quoting whoever made created this idea, "This announcement would be a whole lot easier if I did not have the RIAA's hand up my ass."

Wow.. (1)

niftyeric (467236) | more than 12 years ago | (#4151133)

They sure do know how to ruin a good thing (by making people pay for something that was has been free since day one). Napster knows this.

I'm just dreading trying to explain to my parents and friends that they should ditch their beloved MP3s and switch to Ogg Vorbis. Ugh.. ^_^
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