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DVD Forum denies ‘AAC for DVD Audio’ approval

Choice is a 'done deal', say Working Group sources

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The DVD Forum yesterday denied that its members had approved the use of the Apple iTunes Music Store-backed AAC audio format as a future DVD Audio technology.

But the web site that originally reported that the Forum had indeed made such an approval was last night sticking to its guns: the choice may not have been approved, but it soon will be.

According to the minutes of the Forum's 25th Steering Committee Meeting, posted on the organisation's web site, Motion 15, calling for the "Adoption of the mandatory audio codec 'MPEG-4 HE AAC' for the Optional Specifications for DVD-Audio (ROM zone)", was "not approved".

However, as we reported yesterday, High Fidelity Review, a site that focuses on the high-end audio world, reported that "the DVD Forum has chosen AAC for the DVD-ROM zone of DVD-Audio discs".

A close look at the Forum's web site reveals that the minutes page had been corrected, and a search on the web shows other sites than HFR had reported on the AAC approval.

A DVD Forum spokesman admitted that a mistake had been made. "Unfortunately, the article on the Forum website was incorrect when first posted in the early morning. It was corrected in the evening of 28 February," he told The Register.

"We apologise to all related parties for our mistake," he said.

He also said that the use of AAC had not been approved by at the 25th Steering Committee Meeting.

Not that HFR actually said it had been. It reported that the appropriate Forum Working Group had selected the format in preference to MP3, Windows Media 9 and Sony's ATRAC. The reason: "it sounds better", an unnamed Forum member told the site.

And just because AAC's use was not approved at the most recent meeting doesn't mean that the motion has been rejected entirely.

HFR told The Register that its information was sourced from "a number of contacts within the Working Group and DVD Forum who were happy to supply information regarding the selection of AAC".

It is believed that the use of AAC was not approved at the Steering Committee Meeting because negotiations between license holders, developers and the Forum are still underway. Such talks are said to continue until a "favorable outcome" is achieved.

HFR said its sources believe the selection of AAC to be "a done deal" - the time taken to reach a licensing agreement will not affect the decision to use AAC.

In short, expect the adoption of AAC to be approved by the Steering Committee in due course.

The DVD Audio's DVD-ROM zone is an optional area on the disc that content creators can use to store compressed audio files that can be played back on a computer, to prevent the main DVD Audio content from being ripped. A number of CDs on the market today use a similar technique in a bid to foil piracy. AAC was selected ahead of rival technologies for its ability to support DRM and multi-channel sound, as well as its superior sound quality. ®

Related Story

DVD Forum chooses Apple music format for DVD Audio

Related Link

High Fidelity Review: AAC Chosen for DVD-ROM Zone of DVD-Audio Discs

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