Feeds

Media standard backers attempt Apple-less solo run

'We don't need no stinkin' iTunes'

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Computer and entertainment companies have announced a plan to standardise video and music files so that they play on any device. The ambitious plan has not been backed by the dominant force in digital downloads, Apple.

Through its iTunes software and online shop, Apple is the largest distributor of legal music online, and is responsible for more than 70 per cent of downloads. It has not agreed to be part of the consortium, called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).

"To open up the market for digital distribution, we are developing a specification that connects a wide variety of services and devices," said Mitch Singer, the consortium's president. "DECE is taking the lessons learned from the successful 'buy once, play anywhere' experience that we enjoy with CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray today, and using a similar approach in developing the next generation digital media experience."

The group's members include Microsoft, Sony, Toshiba, Warner Brothers and NBC Universal as well as computer equipment makers Cisco, HP and Intel.

It said that it will publish a specification in the future which the makers or distributors of music or video can use to ensure their material will be playable on machines built to that specification. It will create a logo which devices and services that are built according to that specification will display.

While file formats such as MP3 and MP4 themselves have become industry standards that are usable by almost all services and devices, digital rights management (DRM) systems have not been standardised.

It is Apple's DRM system which ties some material acquired through iTunes to devices that it manufactures. If it stays outside of DECE then iTunes material is likely to remain incompatible with players subscribing to the DECE specification.

Singer told the Financial Times newspaper that he did not believe that Apple's absence will damage the proposed standard.

“I’m not sure that the absence of Apple is a negative to what we’re trying to achieve,” he said. “Apple is a very good ecosystem that will continue to sell content. What we’re focusing on is a different type of consumer that really wants more choice.”

Copyright © 2008, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.