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MP3s with DRM

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 02 Mar 2004 14:54 User comments (5)

Thomson, the French company who sells MP3 technology licenses on behalf of German Fraunhofer (who developed the format in 1993), is planning to use the format's widely-recognized name in order to create a copy protected audio format that would carry the same name as the original format, MP3.
The DRM-equipped MP3 format is Thomson's try to gather a chunk of the rapidly-growing legal music download business. But as great as the idea of "legal MP3 store" might sound, the reality is rather different. The new format, despite the same name, wouldn't work with existing MP3 players -- whether they are car stereos, portable audio players or software players.

Its not even clear whether the format actually uses the same compression method as the original MP3 does -- it is actually highly unlikely, as the competing formats, such as AAC (that Apple uses in its iTunes and iPod) and WMA (Microsoft's audio format that virtually all -- apart from iTunes -- legal music stores use), achieve better compression rates than MP3 does (after all, the format is over 10 years old).

Biggest obstacle in Thomson's plans is absolutely the compatibility issue, as it has to persuade hardware vendors to implement support for its format in their devices before it can have even slightest change of gaining any market share in online music biz.

Source: TechNewsWorld

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5 user comments

12.3.2004 15:07

Yet another contender for the "Dumbest Idea Of The Year" awards. This is a blatant attempt to capitalize on a household term just like the new Napster - it totally desecrates the spirit of the original.

22.3.2004 16:19

Now they then want to get rights to have OUR mp3, I mean our because it's kind of ours, the people's. How do they get their money is that they say they have rights to this and this song, or product. And that way they can sell it to us. I understant this, I really do, heh, of course they can do it. Well, for while they thought, that they got everything ok with business. But then our mp3 came and started to give music like Robin Hood to people who wanted try it the songs, and who wanted to make easier backups, using less size. They couldn't take it, and now they want it from us, what shall we do for it. They have all ready so many outrageous things to keep the business very very succesful, maybe even unnormal successful. Is it right that they can patent their products, and make money with itm But we cant do it and not even make money? Anyway after all this jadajada that I wrote, I just want to say that mp3 should put under products that couldn't use wrong, I mean for business, but it would just stay as Icon of freeware music, and for all Opensource... Usually greed gets his reward one or other way, and I havent yet seen any working programs, what these big corporations are trying to use for erase freeware. Let's see what world brings us...

33.3.2004 7:13

Lets call a spade a spade here. Thompson Electronics is in fact our old buddies the Recording Company of America, A.K.A. RCA. Let's hope this one flies about as well as MP3pro has. Never heard of it? That's just how it should be. For those who have, you know what a smashing success it's been... dRD, quote "AAC...WMA...achieve better compression rates than MP3 does..." I still have not seen (heard?) a listening test that pitted the best (LAME) VBR MP3 encoder(s) (used in the mode they have been optimized for) against WMA, AAC. I'm not saying I know LAME would win, actually I don't think it would, but I don't feel like it would fair nearly as badly as you think. I use LAME a lot and have played around with the Nero AAC encoder. Using "alt preset standard" and "better" settings respectivly, my ears could not tell the source from the compressed files in either case and the file sizes were almost identical. The AAC file size was 5% or so smaller. Just my 2 cents.

43.3.2004 7:24

I have a question regarding the MP3 DRM scheme. Does this mean my current MP3 files will not play on hardware designed for DRM infected MP3 files? That WOULD be dumb. Okay, I'm done (for now).

53.3.2004 13:01

I have read some double blind listening tests and while it is true that the other formats beat out mp3 in the low quality 128 bit tests, once you get to 192 bits and above it is very difficult for the average human to discerne the difference between formats. And when Lame 2.91 256VBR was used even audiofiles were unable to successfully spot the difference between mp3 and the original CD.

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