Apple Previews QuickTime 6 with MPEG-4

Reprinted from an Apple press release:

QUICKTIME LIVE, LOS ANGELESFebruary 12, 2002Apple today previewed QuickTime 6, featuring full support for MPEG-4, the emerging standard for streaming high quality content to computers and other digital devices. QuickTime 6, along with Apple’s new QuickTime Streaming Server 4 and the new QuickTime Broadcaster enables the first complete MPEG-4 based streaming media solution.

Although the QuickTime 6 software is complete and ready for release, Apple is delaying its release until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved. The MPEG-4 licensing terms proposed by MPEG-LA (the largest group of MPEG-4 patent holders) includes royalty payments from companies, like Apple, who ship MPEG-4 codecs, as well as royalties from content providers who use MPEG-4 to stream video. Apple agrees with paying a reasonable royalty for including MPEG-4 codecs in QuickTime, but does not believe that MPEG-4 can be successful in the marketplace if content owners must also pay royalties in order to deliver their content using MPEG-4.

MPEG-4 is the best format for streaming media on the web, and QuickTime 6 is the first complete MPEG-4 solution, said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. MPEG-4 is poised for great success once the licensing terms are modified to allow content providers to stream their content royalty-free.

QuickTime 6 provides a fully scalable, ISO compliant MPEG-4 solution for streaming media to the widest range of devices. Key features of QuickTime 6 include:
– Apple-developed video codec for encoding and decoding MPEG-4 video content;
– support for Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), the next generation audio format;
– support for CELP, the MPEG-4 speech codec for reproduction of natural speech;
– adherence to the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) 1.0 specification;
– MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 playback, ideal for content creators who wish to preview and share work throughout the production process;
– Flash 5 support;
– DVC Pro (PAL) support;

– updated user interface with a new, easy-to-use Favorites interface and easier access to QuickTime content; and
– skip protection enhancements.

QuickTime is Apple’s industry-leading, standards-based software for developing, producing and delivering high quality audio and video over IP, wireless and broadband networks. Last year, 80 million users downloaded QuickTime Player via the Internet while tens of millions more copies were distributed via digital cameras, software titles and enhanced music CDs.

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