Dolby adds High-Efficiency AAC to MPEG 4 patent pool
Tech easier, cheaper to license
Dolby's licensing division is to make it easier for manufacturers to licence the more advanced form of the Apple iPod-friendly audio format, AAC.
Via Licensing yesterday said it had partnered with the MPEG 4 Audio Licensing Committee to simplify access to key intellectual property behind High-Efficiency AAC - aka AAC Plus. HE AAC-related patents will be added to the broader MPEG 4 audio patent pool to provide one-off licensing.
The move, they claim, will make it easier and - crucially - cheaper for companies to ship products that support HE AAC.
That's not an indication of the iPod-led popularity of AAC. Rather it's the result of the DVD Forum's decision to mandate the use of HE AAC as the audio format for DVD 'ROM zones' - a new area that can be added to DVDs that provides computer-compatible content. HE AAC is also being deployed as the basis for audio streaming across 3G mobile phone networks.
By contrast, Apple uses Low-Complexity AAC files. And in any case, its proprietary FairPlay DRM technology is not (yet) available for licensing, so the Via/MPEG 4 ALC's move isn't going to open the floodgates to true iPod clones.
HE AAC uses a technique called Spectral Band Replication (SBR), which essentially provides room for higher levels of compression without losing sound quality. HE AAC encodes high-frequency sounds with SBR and low frequencies with regular AAC. HE AAC was developed by Dolby, Coding Technologies, AT&T, Sony, Philips, NEC and the Fraunhofer Institute, one of the co-developers of MP3. ®
Macrovision and SunnComm court Apple for a seachange in CDs
Digital home group touts convergence spec
HMV iPods not compatible with store's music downloads
DVD Forum backs CD/DVD hybrid
Forum approves Apple music format for DVD Audio
DVD Forum denies AAC for DVD Audio approval
DVD Forum chooses Apple music format for DVD Audio
Apple DMCA sends iTunes DRM decryptor offshore
New workaround for Apple DRM
Sponsored: What next after Netezza?