Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Java Programming

Java Media Framework Drops MP3 186

Posted by chrisd
from the more-ammo-for-ogg dept.
realinvalidname writes "Sun had stopped downloads of its Java Media Framework about a week ago due to an undisclosed 'licensing issue.' Now we know what it is, as they've removed MP3 encoding and decoding from the JMF that's downloadable now. Of course, this isn't surprising given recent news about new MP3 licensing terms."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Java Media Framework Drops MP3

Comments Filter:
  • not the reason?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01, 2002 @10:50PM (#4182424)
    Maybe someone should check out this article first:

    "Thomson has never charged a per unit royalty for freely distributed software decoders. For commercially sold decoders - primarily hardware mp3 players - the per-unit royalty has always been in place since the beginning of the program," a spokesman said"

    "A Thomson spokesman told NewsForge's Robin Miller that it was a ruse by Ogg Vorbis advocates to get publicity.® "

    http://www.theregus.com/content/4/26153.html
  • Javalayer MP3 Player (Score:5, Informative)

    by jpavel (129734) <jpavel@al u m . m it.edu> on Sunday September 01, 2002 @10:54PM (#4182441)
    Fortunately, there is an open source Java MP3 decoder, JavaLayer [javazoom.net] that I've found to work quite nicely.
  • Re:not the reason?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnoshi (314933) on Sunday September 01, 2002 @11:05PM (#4182473)
    As one would expect Thomson to say. What kind of poor-grade PR machines would they have to come up with anything less.

    Disclaimer: I am not a Java dev...
    That aside, there is a project to develop a Vorbis Java SPI [javazoom.net], which (from the impression I get) makes Java decoding of vorbis easy, and fits a standard interface. Or something.

    gnoshi
  • Re: Java Bug 4499904 (Score:5, Informative)

    by bunratty (545641) on Sunday September 01, 2002 @11:06PM (#4182477)
    Adding support for Ogg Vorbis and Tarkin is bug 4499904 [sun.com] in the Bug Parade. This seems like a good time to vote for the bug and add your comments.
  • by hotgazpacho (573639) on Sunday September 01, 2002 @11:17PM (#4182506) Homepage Journal
    Some quick Googling [google.com] turned up, among other things, JOrbis [jcraft.com], an LGPL Ogg Vorbis Decoder in Java that decodes to PCM.
  • Re:If not mp3... (Score:4, Informative)

    by j3110 (193209) <samterrell@gHORS ... minus herbivore> on Sunday September 01, 2002 @11:21PM (#4182515) Homepage
    It's a media framework. That means it's not SUN's job to make it work with everything :) You can add your own plugin audio codecs. Think of it as a portable version of the Windows Media Codec registry. I'm sure there will be sites that you can download MP3 plugins for the JMF. I'm pretty sure Ogg already exists, but I'm not sure about that. ( JavaZoom [javazoom.net] claims they have some kind of a version)

    Expect to see lots of codec's for JMF provided by third parties, the way it should be. Should be because SUN's programmers don't have the time nor inclination (nor obligation) to learn every little detail about every little file format. It'll be better in the end to have a more dedicated support for each codec whilst keeping the portability and API static for all codecs.
  • Mod Parent Up! (Score:3, Informative)

    by cscx (541332) on Sunday September 01, 2002 @11:35PM (#4182548) Homepage
    The licensing fee DOES NOT apply to software decoders, only hardware decoders.

    From the Register article:

    A Thomson spokesman told NewsForge's Robin Miller that it was a ruse by Ogg Vorbis advocates to get publicity.®

    Hmmph.
  • Re:not the reason?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Trogre (513942) on Sunday September 01, 2002 @11:40PM (#4182555) Homepage
    This only applies to DECODERS. If you're using an ENCODER you're screwed.

    What they're basically saying is, "Don't make any mp3's but it's okay if you play them."

  • Tarkin? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Monday September 02, 2002 @12:06AM (#4182600)
    They'd be hard-pressed to add support for Tarkin, since it's barely even started, and not currently under active development (the Xiph coders are currently working on Theora, which is a project to integrate the VP3 codec -- which was originally closed-source and patented but has been donated to the Ogg project by the owners -- into the Ogg file format). Tarkin is still on the roadmap, but it's a long-term "what we'll do when we're done with everything else" goal with no timetable to completion.
  • Re:not the reason?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ftobin (48814) on Monday September 02, 2002 @12:10AM (#4182610) Homepage

    You're getting your information from a PR person. I'm getting mine from the licensing page [mp3licensing.com]. I see no such exception for free decoders.

  • by tanveer1979 (530624) on Monday September 02, 2002 @12:10AM (#4182611) Homepage Journal
    This link [theregister.co.uk] is carrying the story. Apparantly thomson has also said that they never said that this was applicable to software mp3 players! They blame it on rumours by vorbis group. At newsforge [newsforge.com] thomson has said that ogg is trying to get publicity and attention etc., they actually never had any restrictive terms for software mp3 playeres... no royalties for those.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2002 @12:21AM (#4182626)
    And you believe the hype the PR department is spewing out? They did in FACT change their licensing agreement to disclude mp3 decoders. Their PR department can state that they will never charge licensing for mp3 players till their face turns blue, but what is in the license is what matters. There is NO exclusion in the revised license that allows free mp3 decoders. The fears layed out by ogg vorbis may be extending a bit, but they are still true.

    I can think of another company that claimed that they would do one thing, but changed their mind when it suited them since their license stated otherwise.
  • Re:not the reason?? (Score:2, Informative)

    by StArSkY (128453) on Monday September 02, 2002 @12:57AM (#4182676) Homepage
    I agree. They are saying they have never charged for it. This is a statement of fact.... BUT now that it is removed from their licence, as menitioned by ftobin, they technically can, whenever they choose, pursue you for not adhering to the licence.

    For example, Sun could be sued in 5 years time and have to make a retrospective licence payment. Thompson are making sure they keep a few cards up their sleeve.

    The PR stunt in saying nothing has change is true for today, but not necessarily tomorrow.
  • by hayden (9724) on Monday September 02, 2002 @01:40AM (#4182738)
    From the article you posted:
    [In reference to charging licence fees] For commercially sold decoders - primarily hardware mp3 players
    Keyword, "primarily" meaning mostly but not only hardware decoders. Also:
    Therefore, there is no change in our licensing policy
    Keyword, "policy" meaning yes the licence has changed but our intent currently remains the same.

    Basically Thompson have said they currently don't plan to sue anyone making a software decoder but they don't grant you the right to use their patent either. Nobody selling or planning on selling software can use their patent without risk of infringement (and compensation pays triple if you knowingly infringe a patent) and being sued by Thompson in the future.

    What some PR flack said doesn't change that. It's only what's in the licence that counts.

    Next time, when you post a story that's clearly going to cause paranoia and misunderstanding, try to be a bit more adult about it.
    Next time when you are clearing posting to spread misinformation and crap, try posting as you so you can get modded down for it.
  • Re:not the reason?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cyberdyne (104305) on Monday September 02, 2002 @02:05AM (#4182785) Journal
    You're getting your information from a PR person. I'm getting mine from the licensing page [mp3licensing.com]. I see no such exception for free decoders.

    The page you linked to states explicitly that MP3 decoders are not necessarily subject to per-unit royalties: either pay a per-unit fee ($0.75) or a one-time royalty of $50 000. Pay the latter, and you're covered for any number of decoders shipped. For any software company (Nullsoft/Winamp, Apple, whoever) this is small change - less than the cost of one man-year of coding.

    Granted, this is an issue if you're trying to run a non-commercial project on the cheap, and a big issue if you want to distribute free encoder software (no flat-rate option there - $2.50 per unit), but this shouldn't rip the MP3 players out of RedHat or Mandrake's distros any time soon. I imagine it's the encoder issue which caused this move?

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Monday September 02, 2002 @02:54AM (#4182921)


    The licensing fee DOES NOT apply to software decoders, only hardware decoders.


    Really now? You might want to take a look at the link [mp3licensing.com] provided in that very same article you lifted the "publicity" quote. The licensing specifically lists prices for "PC Software Applications" as well as "Hardware Products".
  • by Spazzz (577014) on Monday September 02, 2002 @07:42AM (#4183408)
    Statement from Thomson Multimedia, mp3 Licensing
    In a posting appearing Tuesday August 27, 2002 on the Web site 'slashdot.org,' an individual cited a change in the mp3 license fee structure of Thomson and Fraunhofer. The writer of the post apparently misread the mp3 licensing conditions, as Thomson's mp3 licensing policy has not experienced any change.

    To clarify, since the beginning of our mp3 licensing program in 1995, Thomson has never charged a per unit royalty for freely distributed software decoders. For commercially sold decoders - primarily hardware mp3 players - the per-unit royalty has always been in place since the beginning of the program.

    Therefore, there is no change in our licensing policy and we continue to believe that the royalty fees of .75 cents per mp3 player (on average selling over $200 dollars) has no measurable impact on the consumer experience.

    Stefan Geyersberger
    Business Manager - Audio & Multimedia
    So why the hell is everybody freaking out? I agree, just like GIFs, the MP3 format is encumbered by patents, and it's probably a good idea to start transitioning to a format that doesn't have this problem. However, the sky hasn't fallen yet.

    -J
  • Get the old one here (Score:2, Informative)

    by Danta (2241) on Monday September 02, 2002 @08:01AM (#4183487) Homepage
    Here are different sites that offer the old files. For those of us who are willing to pay the license fees only, of course.

    1 [uni-paderborn.de]
    2 [tu-darmstadt.de]

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

Working...