Re: MP4

Subject: Re: MP4
From: Richard Wentk (
Date: Mon Aug 29 2005 - 11:14:54 EDT

At 08:26 29/08/2005, you wrote:
>in that case my thoughts are - good quality, better than mp3, but not
>great. and, more importantly, not an open standard. Same problem as the
>Frauenhoffer Codec.
>as regards DRM itself... well, you can read my essays on O'Reilly's
> (published under my maiden name Rainsford).
>there are lossless systems which are 'free', and would form a much better
>standard, as well as allowing open modifications and improvements. none of
>these as yet have been agreed upon - that I would suggest should be a
>focus for the free/open source/creative commons community.
>FLAC, as Richard mentioned, is one of these.

The issue with FLAC, SHN and the other lossless codecs is that compression
ratios aren't usually better than 2:1, as opposed to the 10:1 or so of
128kbps MP3. There's a theoretical limit from information theory, and it's
not something that's ever going to be improved on - at least not without a
very different approach to music creation and distribution.

In any case compression ratios will mean that lossless encoding won't be
practical for many people until 10mbps broadband becomes standard. For
lossless 24/96 multichannel distribution 100MB/s would be more plausible.

DRM is a separate issue. Not many people realise that DRM is more about
selling DRM systems than in locking down audio. I'd guess that one way or
another, anyone on this list should be able to bypass just about any
existing DRM system without any trouble at all.


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