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Real Pays For Legal MP3 Playback On Linux

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the stepping-up-to-the-plate dept.

Music 618

kforeman (aka Kevin Foreman, GM of Helix RealNetworks, Inc.) writes "As part of the free RealPlayer 10 for Linux, Real has paid Thomson for a legal MP3 playback license and then includes it at no cost as part of the newly released RealPlayer 10. As I speak to people, many are under the false impression that MP3 playback patent and royalty rights are free, since there are open source implementations of MP3 playback available. Not true. Nonetheless, we are glad to do our part of making the Linux desktop a first class citizen by legally providing MP3 playback to users via our new RealPlayer."

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hoe face (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454299)

hoe face

Re:hoe face (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454302)

Reals always been free...this is even better

Re:hoe face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454314)

Real has always been Crippleware. "Pay us and get uncrippled version".

Spyware on Linux (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454303)

Will this introduce spyware into Linux?

I notice the page signature reads "Shit Happens"

hmm...

buffered stuff.. (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454325)

Other than live streaming media, it doesn't bring anything new to Linux..

Re:buffered stuff.. (2, Informative)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454349)

RTFA, it brings legal MP3 playback to Linux.

Re:buffered stuff.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454363)

You sir have never installed Real Player on a Windows box.

Re:buffered stuff.. (4, Informative)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454400)

I repeat the grandparent's post: it doesn't bring anything to Linux.

Only if you are in the USA and are encoding/decoding MP3s for certain commercial purposes (as Thomson explicitly let you do it for personal use) does this patent apply to you.

Even then, you are highly unlikely to be sued by Thomson and can claim ignorance of their stupid (and possibly invalid) patent claims.

Re:buffered stuff.. (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454431)

Exactly, and meanwhile xmms satisfies my mp3 / ogg music needs. xine satisfies my Mpeg / DVD needs. There is MPlayer for others....
Realplayer should have brought this out about 5 years agon on Linux when I might have cared ...

Strange... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454304)

"making the Linux desktop a first class citizen"

Shouldn't that last bit read "corporate whore?"

Well damn (2, Funny)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454306)

Linux-based jukebox, anyone?

Re:Well damn (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454461)

Sure, just fire up XMMS.

Moll.

no surprise (2, Interesting)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454307)

Well, reading the standard, then implementing one's own decoder would be legal - naah, quite a dreamworld. Would be good if it were so, it even would be logical to quite an extent, unless you like waking up by smelling patent litigation papers.

Re:no surprise (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454354)

Um, the people who have the patents are the ones that made the standard. They didn't have to publish it at all if they didn't want to. If you don't like the fact that MP3 is patented, use OGG or other non-patented formats. The MP3 patent isn't like one-click where they patented something very obvious(such as a digital form for storing music), they patented their algorithm. Like I said, it's not the only algorithm available, and if you don't like the patent, don't use the stuff. Simple as that. Not everyone enjoys publishing their ideas just so free software can "borrow" them......

Re:no surprise (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454395)

Here is an alternative --- I can dislike the patent and use MP3's also. If you don't like people "borrowing" your stuff, keep it to yourself.

Re:no surprise (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454428)

And that makes you a Thief. Also, surely you will download The Incredibles because you liked the movie and you dislike Pixar and / or Disney. Is that a valid excuse?...

Re:no surprise (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454491)

Tell me exactly what it is that I've stolen.

Re:no surprise (4, Insightful)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454430)

If you don't like people "borrowing" your stuff, keep it to yourself.
Actually the whole point of a patent is that you invent something that takes time and effort and you tell everyone about it instead of keeping it a trade secret. As a reward for not keeping it to yourself, you are given a monopoly on it for a few years (stopping others from using your idea).

Of course, this patent is not really a valid patent as it is not on an invention (and didn't take time and effort and there's probably prior art and it would likely not have been kept a trade secret).

Re:no surprise (2, Interesting)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454476)

>Actually the whole point of a patent is that you invent something that takes time and effort and you tell everyone about it instead of keeping it a trade secret. As a reward for not keeping it to yourself, you are given a monopoly on it for a few years (stopping others from using your idea).

Yup, with you so far.

> Of course, this patent is not really a valid patent as it is not on an invention
Well, that's a point of contention. Obviously the Patent Office thought it was, and there's certainly plenty of other things that have been patented that are far less "invention" than this.

> and didn't take time and effort
But here you've completely lost me.

Are you saying it just manifest itself spontaneously in the lap of someone at Thomson and they thought "Bonus! Lets go patent it! Free Money!" right?

Re:no surprise (2, Insightful)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454482)

Bingo! Software copyrights are understandable. Software patents are ridiculous.

I'm very choosy about which laws I break.

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454413)

It's a two way process. If they hadn't published the standard, it wouldn't be popular, and so they wouldn't be getting many royalties.

Re:no surprise (4, Interesting)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454445)

How did it become a standard, though? It became a standard because free mp3 players or advertising revenue based mp3 players didn't have to pay a fee. Then the company changed that policy.

In other words, because they weren't enforcing their IP rights, people figured they were up for grabs. Otherwise, nobody would have used mp3 at all. It's not like its the only encoding technique of its kind; every step in mp3 was actually invented by someone else, and each step is freely available.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you give away an intellectual property right, isn't taking it back legally questionable?

Re:no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454444)

No it wouldn't. You CANNOT implement a patented process without the permission of the patent holder. Patents cover ideas, unlike copyright. That's one reason why they last for a much shorter timespan.

Distributions? (4, Insightful)

dorward (129628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454310)

I wonder if Real are positioning themselves to get their client distributed with distributions. We might finally see Fedora (et al) with an mp3 player.

I wonder what the license says about redistributing the client? Would Fedora et al be able to distribute it?

In the meantime, I'll stick to Gentoo since they are happy to provide source code for all sorts of mp3 players.

Re:Distributions? (5, Insightful)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454328)

"We" should be careful with bundling proprietary applications that are free to use. You end up using all the proprietary applications, and freedom will vanish. It will also slow down Linux adoption on other platforms if the applications people use are proprietary.

Re:Distributions? (2, Informative)

eraserewind (446891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454399)

Well, Helix is available under an (OSI certified) open source licence. Only the Real Audio/Video codecs are binary only. Parts of it are also available under the GPL. See https://helixcommunity.org/content/licenses [helixcommunity.org]

Re:Distributions? (2, Informative)

nileshbansal (665019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454370)

The licence file says
Helix DNA Technology Binary Research Use License
REDISTRIBUTION NOT PERMITTED

Rad Complete license [helixcommunity.org] .

Re:Distributions? (1)

dorward (129628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454387)

Of course, individual distros could negotiate a different license. (Debian couldn't though, they're guidelines don't allow "special exception for Debain" licenses).

MP3 Playback IS Free... (1)

cspaz (799390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454311)

When you think about it, how can anyone really license the playback for a specific format? Even if someone really tried to enforce it, somebody even smarter would figure out a way to play it back and post such findings on the net anyway.

Re:MP3 Playback IS Free... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454322)

There's a sizeable difference between being able to do it and being able to do it legally.

Legit (1)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454331)

While what you say is true, this is great because it is a clean legal way to do it. If Linux is going to ever REALLY become successful on the desktop more things like this need to happen.

In the long run open formats would definately be the goal, but in the mean time this is a good move to encourage acceptance.

Re:Legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454339)

God, you are a retard who knows nothing about patent law.

Re:Legit (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454357)

Yes, it's a good deal in the way that Back to Africa Marcus Garvey made deals with the KKK to further his Black Empowerment goals.

In other words, this is more akin to a deal with the devil.

Re:MP3 Playback IS Free... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454356)

Say it: Software patents. These are not trivial patents and they're not on algorithms which existed before the patents either. They are the kind of software patents that politicians and many people in the industry really want. You can come up with your very own compression scheme, but if you happen to have the same ideas that somebody has patented, you're screwed anyway.

Re:MP3 Playback IS Free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454429)

However, what did we gain from the patent?

F-all.

In the EU, the patents aren't enforceable as they are in the US, but that hasn't stopped MP3 players being used, or Fraunhoffer being able to make the MP3Pro format.

In fact, the MP3 wasn't patented (or at least not enforced) until MP3 was widespread.

Since we learned of that, the MP3Pro format has not managed to move MP3 out of the picture AT ALL.

So, patents have a demonstrably detrimental effect. If we had known of the MP3 license requirements (as we do for MP3Pro), MP3's would not be used today. Fraunhoffer would be sitting on a worthless patent, there would be no iPod-killer markets, there would be no portable player market.

So, why the patent?

Re:MP3 Playback IS Free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454442)

But the problem is that algorithms = math = non-patentable.

huh? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454312)

huh? hasnt mp3 always been free?

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

dorward (129628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454317)

No, mp3 has always been patent encumbered.

Re:huh? (1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454334)

I would want to know who else is payeing already for the other mp3 players and decoders and encoders on the net. Are all these illegal software? is the debian free software guidelines and gnu being comprimised because there is non free patent encumbered players being distributed in them illegally????

Re:huh? (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454382)

It would be against the DFSG (and probably a GNU GPL `violation' by Debian) if Thomson told Debian about this patent of theirs (and Debian found it did cover MP3). ATM, Debian can claim ignorance. Maybe Debian should move MP3 decoders and encoders to non-US (given that this patent probably only covers the US and would be invalid in other countries).

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454390)

That is a good question, one that needs to be addressed.. especially with regards to Debian's policies. I think the fact that MP3 is patented alone is enough to encourage the use of free, fully open codecs such as OGG. MP3 works quite well, but the fact that it is subject to royalties and the fact that it is patented alone is enough to discourage it's use. Someone should make an effort to push this message, whether or not OGG is technologically superior to MP3, it is not subject to the patent issues that MP3 is.

Not true? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454313)

I live in Europe, asshole. MP3 playback is perfectly free and legal (yet).

Stay away from Linux (5, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454320)

Real, all these operating systems are yours, except Linux. Do not attempt any loadings onto Linux.

Re:Stay away from Linux (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454449)

While you've got your +5 Funny, Real has been making a concerted effort to put out some good software lately. They've have removed the components that gave them a bad rap, and have been trying to do some decent things.

I say it is probably time for people to give them a fair chance again. After all, before Microsoft it was IBM that was the bane of computer geeks everywhere... and look at them now. If IBM can change their spots, then maybe Real can too.

Real (5, Interesting)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454327)

Noble of them.. however we prefer to use non-proprietary stuff though.. So, ogg-vorbis is the way.. Now if Real were to use ogg in their commercial products so (and maybe challenge the ipod with ogg player hooked up to their online music store???) we wouldn't need proprietary licenses then we would all bow down and hail the penguin lova!

Re:Real (3, Interesting)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454344)

Well, I agree that proprietary software is not preferable, but if you'd bothered to RTFA, you would have seen that RealPlayer can (apparently) play back Ogg Vorbis files.

Re:Real (1)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454348)

Yep, 99% of my music collection is in Vorbis format (q=6). I plan on eventually re-ripping everything in FLAC when I can afford the disk space.

Re:Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454388)

If you can find time in your busy social life. Oh, wait...

"Hey babe, I have these Ogg Vorbis file on my frimfram and ... hey ... come back..."

Re:Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454452)

Compare and contrast with:

"Hey babe, do you wanna see my extensive MP3 collection...".

Face it, it is the music that we choose that is important, not the format.

Dissing Ogg Vorbis this way is a sure sign of anal retention.

Re:Real (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454378)

great please tell me how to get my audiotron to play ogg's, oh and my ipod.

STFU about ogg until you can play them on all the popular hardware.

Oh why does my car stereo not play ogg's? got a firmware upgrade for it?

no?

nobody and I mean NOBODY gives a shit about OGG.

until it is playable in all portable, car and home players it is as good as non-existant.

Re:Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454423)

I mean NOBODY gives a shit about OGG. until it is playable in all portable, car and home players

But I can't get my car into my computer anyway, so why would I want the format for playing music on the computer to be in my car?

And anyway, how is that different to MP3's, I can only put shiny round things into my car stereo, not something non-physical no matter if it's MP3 or OGG.

But, but... [lip shaking] (4, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454332)

Real are supposed to be evil! And it turns out they read slashdot! [eyes crossing. blackout]

Re:But, but... [lip shaking] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454421)

Real are supposed to be evil! And it turns out they read slashdot!

Yes, they must read all the publications that receive their press releases!

How many times do I have to license it? (4, Interesting)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454336)

I have a SB Live! card that has hardware mp3 decoding built-in, but the linux drivers support it. I assume I paid for a license as part of the purchase price of the card. I feel no qualms about using LAME, etc. and in fact they are doing a great service to those of us who already paid but are unable to use that capablility on our OS of choice...

Uh.... (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454345)

...The linux drivers -don't- support it...

Re:How many times do I have to license it? (2, Informative)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454366)

While you may have paid for decoding LAME is an encoder and will cost you more.

Re:How many times do I have to license it? (1)

pantherace (165052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454434)

That's interesting... because SB Live! cards do NOT do hardware mp3 decoding. Any of them. The Soundblaster Live! and the variants MP3+ & X-gamer are the exact same card... with different software bundles. At least the original ones. Later cards have some differences, but the only thing the MP3 & gamer ones had was different software bundles. If you believe(d) otherwise, and paid money for it... you've been had. (I'm unable to find a particular email describing the differences between the cards, from people actually writing drivers for them, at the moment.)

player not free, but ... (4, Interesting)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454341)

The patent holder for the mp3 codic has never gone after distributors of "free" mp3 players, so long as they were not being used in a for profit product. So download the source and build it for yourself..no worries. (Not true with mp3 ENCODERS, however you can still download bladeenc or lame sources). However because this limits your freedom you won't find an MP3 player in Debain main. Since Real won't give you the source, it isn't 'free' either, again Debain won't distribute it, even if Real says they can.

Re:player not free, but ... (1)

deutschemonte (764566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454353)

Obligatory Mr. Horse quote from Ren & Stimpy,

Real: Go ahead and use it we don't care.

Debian: No sir...I don't like it.

Don't need a license for personal use anyway (5, Informative)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454343)

From Thomson's MP3 Licensing FAQ [mp3licensing.com] :
no license is needed for private, non-commercial activities (e.g., home-entertainment, receiving broadcasts and creating a personal music library), not generating revenue or other consideration of any kind or for entities with an annual gross revenue less than US$ 100 000.00.
That applies to decoding and encoding.

Also, does anyone know were the patent on decoding is so we can check whether it is valid (in the USA--it is obviously invalid in the free (i.e.: non-US) world)?

And, if you don't want to be sued, use a free and better lossy format (e.g.: Ogg Vorbis for music or Ogg Speex for speech).

Re:Don't need a license for personal use anyway (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454407)

And, if you don't want to be sued, use a free and better lossy format (e.g.: Ogg Vorbis for music or Ogg Speex for speech).


you mean if you do not want to use your portable devices anymore use OGG.

I love ogg, but it is worthless to 90% of us that use mp3.

my car stereo does not support it, my home stereo's high end player does not support it and the 5 different portable players in the house does not support it.

therefore it is not a choice.

Until people pester the hell out of the player makers to support ogg, it will stay a special segment that very few use.

players like the audiotron and other home stero players can support it but the developers are being asses and refuse to add it. many portables certianly have the power to use it and again, the makers are intentionally refusing to use it.

until large numbers of people ask for OGG support and flood the support channels of the player makers it will never be supported.

I suggest that many here pice a few mp3 player makers and get at least 5 friends to mail the support email address asking for ogg support.

Until then, OGG is not the answer to anyone.

Use iRiver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454468)

It has Ogg vorbis support and a digital out, so you can use your high-end amp with the player as just another jukebox.

If your car stereo takes an Aux jack or digital feed, you're sorted.

Re:Don't need a license for personal use anyway (0)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454483)

A few players do support Vorbis (which is really the problem rather than Ogg support). Buy those players and the market will get the message.

And if you don't live in the USA or are not enocding/decoding for commercial purposes you can use MP3 so stop moaning.

Re:Don't need a license for personal use anyway (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454497)

Also, note that it is in the interests of the manfacturers of portable players to only support Ogg Vorbis (not MP3) as they don't have to pay the patent holders lots of $$$.

You could also, use a non-lossy encoding like PCM that is supported by your portable players.

Re:Don't need a license for personal use anyway (1)

teridon (139550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454495)

There are several patents related to MP3 listed here [mp3licensing.com] . MPEG.org has a FAQ [mpeg.org] about licensing.

Better and Free... (1, Offtopic)

shamowfski (808477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454346)

"Ogg Vorbis [vorbis.com] is a completely open, patent-free, professional audio encoding and streaming technology with all the benefits of Open Source." w00t for plagiarism.

Not ready yet (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454379)

""Ogg Vorbis is a completely open, patent-free, professional audio encoding and streaming technology with all the benefits of Open Source." w00t for plagiarism."

It's nice, except that (compared with MP3), few files are found in this format, and few digital music players play it.

Re:Not ready yet (1)

shamowfski (808477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454392)

Files not found in this format can be easily encoded in it...But I completely agree with you.

Re:Not ready yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454455)

"Found"? Where do you "find" music? You know, the stuff on Kazaa and similar places was not "found", it was copied from CDs that you are supposed to pay for, and encoded in MP3 by someone who doesn't care about copyright law, with his pirated MP3 encoder running on his pirated copy of windows.

If you are serious about getting a legal MP3 player, how about buying those CDs legally, and ripping them legally to OGG instead?

Re:Better and Free... (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454401)

Ogg is a marvelous format. I can rip CDs way better than when I was doing them into MP3 format. Too bad most MP3 players do not play them back though. I for one welcome our new OGG player overlords.

Clarification (1)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454469)

Ogg is a container format, while Vorbis is the actual codec.

A quick-and-dirty analogy: think of Vorbis as toothpaste, and Ogg as the tube it's stored inside.

Re:Better and Free... (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454408)

But there aren't any Ogg files on Kazaa... ;-)

oh well (5, Insightful)

indianropeburn (669243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454351)

This still doesn't make Real Player a good choice for media playback.

Props to them (3, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454360)

They've done a very good thing for linux here. I say ta very much to them.

And yet the slashbots will still find a way to make them appear evil. After all, they're competing with apple.

Re:Props to them (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454414)

I suggest you check the spyware they put in their Windows version. It's only a matter of time before alot of people use the Linux version (it's easier after all) and they slip something in that.

Re:Props to them (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454493)

There actually isn't any spyware in the most recent versions, and they've got a lot less bloated.

I'll be the first to admit Real used to be one of the worst companies around, but they really do seem to have improved recently.

and who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454362)

and I bet nobody give a rats ass about that.

lame and other rippers, and the tons of players that you can download as well as the "illegal" players for windows....

to hell with the company that "owns" mp3. I can see paying a royalty to create content, fuck em if they want to charge per player.

typical of a pompous german company.

GPL point 8... (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454372)

8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in
certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the
original copyright holder who places the Program under this License
may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding
those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among
countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates
the limitation as if written in the body of this License.

Re:GPL point 8... (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454507)

Good point. If LAME et al get threatened by Thomson they can just restrict distribution to the free (i.e.: non-US) world.

AT LAST!!! (3, Funny)

ducklord (770855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454373)

It was time! Up until now, you fired an mp3 player and you could hear all your MP3s with no problems whatsoever! Now, for the first time in Linux, you`ll be able to load an mp3 player (among other things) and, guess what, you'll be able to hear all your MP3s with no problems whatsoever! Ain`t it great? ...err....or something...

Doing Linux a Favor? (2, Funny)

concord (198387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454374)

I can hear outrage from RMS already! Licensing proprietary technology for use with GNU/Linux? Next people will start using the Flash plugin too! It's a slippery sloap.

Re:Doing Linux a Favor? (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454432)

I used Linux for a brief period and I used flash player. Here are the sites if you want it:

You may download the offical player (Flash Player 6) from here:
http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashpla yer/spe cial/beta/
^Slashdot Error, Remove Space

Alternatively you can download the unoffical one (Flash Player 7) from here:
http://macromedia.mplug.org/

Depends on where you are from (4, Informative)

shurdeek (571257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454377)

The MP3 "license" is of course for a software patent, and hence only enforceable in USA and Japan at the moment. Check out the previous news "EU Software Patents Delayed Again". If your are a developer living in EU, this doesn't apply to you.

Yours sincerely,
shurdeek

Re:Depends on where you are from (1)

Metteyya (790458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454454)

I live in Europe (in Poland - yes, once again I'm proud of that :)) but I'm still interested in patent issues.

Regardless of all /.ers' bitching - kudos to Real, now everyone can install RealPlayer, chmod 000 (if you're that paranoid about Real's spy/ad/mal-ware) all files inside its folder and legally play MP3 with their favourite decoder.

Question (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454386)

Does Real f#ck up Linux systems in the same way it f#cks up Windows systems?!

Re:Question (2, Interesting)

j.blechert (726395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454427)

Well, actually no. I installed the real player gold to be able to watch tagesschau.de streams and it works like a charm. Installation is a breeze and aside from the obligatory trouble with sound servers it works good aswell, it features a nice gtk+2 interface which is perfectly responsible in any means. If I would figure out how to play avi files etc. (it says that this is possible via plugins, however I didn't find any) it would be my favorite player.
Of course there are some features missing, for example choosing between different audio channels (multiple languages) in one file but for most users it would be perfectly suited.

on Linux? (0, Redundant)

dioscaido (541037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454397)

What's this talk of Real Player on Linux? I thought Linux didn't suffer from adware!

Does that mean... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454404)

...that it's legal to play the MP3's I've downloaded from KAZAA as long as I use Real?

Press releases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454410)

Christ, this one doesn't even pretend to be some reader sending in an interesting article. Since when are spam messages news?

legal MP3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454415)

"Nonetheless, we are glad to do our part of making the Linux desktop a first class citizen by legally providing MP3 playback to users via our new RealPlayer."

Im my blessed country, were the rivers are of milk and honey (sort of), the MP3 playback was ALWAYS legal (the mathematical ideas are not patentable = No SW patents!)

Sorry folks... (2, Interesting)

gandy909 (222251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454422)

...but there's nary a software package I despise nore than Real. Those clowns continually teeter so close the edge of being ad/spy/malware it isn't even funny. They don't play nice with others, and they definately qualify as bloatware as far as I am concerned...

Re:Sorry folks... (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454459)

You forgot to mention that it doesn't even work very well. The playing of media that is, the mal/adware chunk is probably the part they put most coding effort into.

Re:Sorry folks... (2, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454494)

There actually isn't any spyware in the most recent versions, and they've got a lot less bloated. I'll be the first to admit Real used to be one of the worst companies around, but they really do seem to have improved recently.

open source decoders? (1)

andi75 (84413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454425)

Speaking of open source decoders, is there a good decoder that's LGPL or BSD licensed? I found both smpeg and mpglib unable to playback correctly certain mp3 files that play just in Winamp or iTunes.

- Andreas

Interview (1)

EvilJohn (17821) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454447)

Sounds like Kevin Foreman would be a fun choice for a new /. interview.

Playing fair??? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454460)

does realplayer 10 play fair and allow the users other programs to access the codecs? or can we only use this codec with their player.

MP3 patent encumbered? (1)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454470)

Despite desperate attempts to change the EU's policy, software patents aren't recognised in the EU. Still, I use Vorbis anyway, so I don't care.

Who/What is Thomson? (1)

sanityspeech (823537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454474)

According to Wikipedia:

Thomson SA, formerly known as Thomson Multimedia is a multinational electronics manufacturer and media services provider headquartered in Boulogne, France.

Thomson is named after the electrical engineer Elihu Thomson who was born in Manchester, England, on March 26, 1853. Thomson moved to Philadelphia at the age of 5, with his family.


For more information, please see the Wikipedia article. [wikipedia.org]

The corporation's home page is available here [thomson.net]

Yo, Apple! (2, Interesting)

Cow007 (735705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11454475)

I think that its high time for Apple to release a version of iTunes in binary form for linux. They did it on Windows and they are making money from ITMS they could do the same on linux for sure.

Hardware Ogg Players (Off Topic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11454492)

Sorry about this being off topic. But does anyone know of any hardware Ogg players. My searches yield plenty of software Ogg players. But I'm looking for a player I can put in my pocket. And I don't mean load an Ogg player onto my PocketPC/Palm/Tungsten/etc.
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