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Thread: The MXP4 Format: Trust Will Decide it's Fate

  1. #1
    SonsOfLiberty's Avatar The Lonely Wanderer
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    Dec 2008
    Capital Wasteland

    The MP3 codec is a relatively old one; a digital format created in the 1980's when a PC used dual-boot floppy bays to load the operating system. By the turn of this decade we had a myriad of more modern and efficient codecs to choose from, including ACC, OGG Vorbis, and WMA just to name a few. OGG took off with the gaming community, because the open source codec is free, while ACC was propelled by iTunes.

    Despite the gains made by these formats and others the MP3 format reigns supreme. Part of this is because the MP3 format was the first ubiquitous codec and many users are heavily invested in it. Another part of it's success comes from the fact that it did not support digital rights management (DRM). The latter comment may be key to why consumer adoption of other codecs has been mixed. You could always rely on the MP3 codec to work, but DRM abuse heaved unto consumers by overzealous record labels left many paying music buyers with a less than pleasurable experience.

    Of all the music download services only iTunes has managed to secure significant trust among users. This fact raises the barrier to entry to newcomers. One newcomer is a company, fresh with venture capital, that hopes to successfully introduce a nascent audio/video format called MXP4.

    MXP4 raised $2.7 million from Sofinnova Partners and Ventech Capital for its eponymous codec, which extends the capabilities of a simple music file. The MXP4 format handles both audio and video, contains multiple tracks and allows the user to mix music. Such a feature set could fit in quite well with the mashup culture that has evolved this decade.

    A more flexible codec certainly offers competitive reason for consumers to adopt it. But those of us burned by the Sony rootkit scandal or by the dozen or so download services that perished might have a few concerns over what lies hidden underneath the hood of MXP4. Does this codec offer a new take on DRM or data mining that I should be cogniscent of?

    Former Vivendi Mobile Entertainment executive Albin Serviant has taken the reigns as CEO. His pedigree suggests that MXP4 inc. will strive to curry the favor of the major record labels and film studios as part of its adoption strategy. Unfortunately, the media conglomerates tend to push for terms on blessed technology that are less than consumer-friendly.

    Consumer unfriendly technology has led to the trust issue we presently have in the digital media arena. In today's climate trust issues can derail even the most worthy technology.

    For MXP4 to succeed it will need to address many issues. The question is do the company executives realize that consumer trust is one of them? If they don't it could condemn MXP4 to the trash heap with Liquid Audio, Real G2, WMA and, possibly soon, the Zune proprietary codec.

    Source: MXP4 Format Homepage: MXP4
    Last edited by SonsOfLiberty; 05-19-2009 at 02:20 AM.

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  3. News (Archive)   -   #2
    net.Gh0st's Avatar wandering:hermit
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    Feb 2007
    floating in cyber_sp@ce
    interesting ...

    thanks for posting

  4. News (Archive)   -   #3
    It's too late for yet another proprietary format.

    As far as containers are concerned, the free (open source) Matroska (.mkv) container has become the de-facto replacement for the old avi.

    Video codec wise, H.264 is the best and most efficient video codec by far, not just for HD material, and x264 is a free (open source) H.264 encoder, one of the very best, if not the best. Most Blurays have H.264 (AVC) video streams.

    Audio codec wise, mp3 will remain the dominant lossy compression, even Apple with all their dominance in the online music market could not change anything about that, and LAME is the best mp3 encoder, another free (open source) tool. FLAC, an open source lossless compression, is the de-facto lossless audio codec standard now, supported by a lot of audio hardware even. And as far as audio codecs for video are concerned, the already well established, 'native' Dolby Digital and DTS, including their new lossless HD versions, won't go anywhere either.

    Pirates make the standards, not companies.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #4
    SonsOfLiberty's Avatar The Lonely Wanderer
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    Yes, but what does the scene and most people use the most? x264 and XViD, FLAC, OGG, and LAME mp3, all free.

  6. News (Archive)   -   #5
    Yep, that was actually my point also. Not just free, but open source, hence proprietary codecs have no chance in hell now, unless they are considerably better than the established ones. Which they aren't.

  7. News (Archive)   -   #6
    lightshow's Avatar Asleep at the wheel
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    Mar 2003
    I agree, I feel that the only way to create widespread adoption is to have the scene start using the standard. The whole reason why the open source codecs have become supreme is that the scene groups had chosen those as the standards for their releases.

    Since leechers quite literally leeching off others you'll find that the success/popularity of any given codec option is driven media the scene has outputted using that particular codec.

    You may have a few leechers here and there that will rip their own content, but that is long after the widespread adoption of the particular format and the development of "one click" solutions for them to use.

    The best move for someone to force a new solution/codec into existance is not purely on technology but by quality output that is high in volume and has an mature distribution system (such as bittorent) that is already known by the masses.

    Marketing would come next, but as seen by M$'s recent weekly *leaks* of their Windows 7 build, making the customer feel like they are stealing and getting a free test run has proven to be quite effective for a marketing strategy
    Last edited by lightshow; 05-20-2009 at 01:56 AM.
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