Feeds

MPEG-4 progress prompts Apple, Real collaboration

But streaming media still needs its Apache

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

With a blizzard of recent activity around the open MPEG-4 standard, Apple and Real took the stage at the Streaming Media East show in New York to announce closer co-operation.

Right now Real Networks, Apple and Microsoft are slugging it out with their own proprietary formats, with Real claiming the lion's share of the Internet's streaming content. But although it's been a long time coming, MPEG-4 version 1, which ratified by the ISO earlier this year, will soon begin to commoditise the streaming video business.

With version 1 in the can, and MPEG-4 version 2 - which adds IP protection and specifies a disk file format, amongst other things - in the works, the format is finally reaching silicon level. Toshiba, amongst others, is pushing hard to supplant H.323 with MPEG-4, and it's almost mandatory to include it in wireless multimedia specs.

In New York, Glaser announced that Real would include support for QuickTime in its server product. There was no suggestion that Real would support QuickTime at the client, or vice-versa, whether Apple's player would support Real format. So the partnership is largely symbolic.

From what we gather, Redmond is remarkably relaxed about this, and with good reason. Like Apple, Microsoft commercially has as much to gain as it has to lose. Obviously, Apple can start to begin selling powerful Mac OS X SMP boxes for MPEG-4, so it's got a potential hardware revenue er - stream to look forward to. But Microsoft can start to sell more kit.

No doubt, claiming better value for money on commodity Wintel kit, it can begin to nibble away at the creation markets which have been the preserve of SGI or Apple. Even more ominously for Real, the MPEG-4 format has hooks for all kinds of things that might make punters pay a premium for smart proprietary extensions, like indexing and content management.

Given the advent of an Apache for MPEG-4 - a ubiquitous, open source streaming media server - it's hard to think of a niche in which Real Networks could hide. Perhaps they'd like to tell us? ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.