First bite of Apple's Quicktime 6

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Apple Computer Inc. is previewing its next-generation "QuickTime" technology, version 6, which will support MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Expert Group) material, according to Apple.

The company said QuickTime 6 -- along with Apple's new "QuickTime Streaming
Server 4" and new "QuickTime Broadcaster" software -- is the first complete
MPEG-4-based streaming-media system.

Other features of QuickTime 6 include support for advanced audio coding and CELP (code excited linear prediction), the MPEG-4 speech codec for reproducing natural speech. It also has
MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 playback capability and a new user interface.

The preview comes with a caveat: Apple is delaying its release until MPEG-4
licensing terms improve.

The current proposed licensing terms include royalty payments from companies
that ship MPEG-4 codecs and content providers that use MPEG-4. According to
Apple, the problem is with asking content providers for payments.

The Streaming Server 4 also incorporates MPEG-4 support, but because it does
not require a license, it is available immediately. Streaming Server 4 can be
downloaded free at www.apple.com/quicktime/products/qtss.

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