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CNET News.com: Programmers prepare new, free MP3 format

Jun 16, 2000, 20:40 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

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"Worried about steadily rising royalty fees for online MP3 music companies, a group of open-source developers has created a new music format they say will be free and will equal or better MP3's quality."

"Dubbed "Vorbis," the open-source project is being led by programmers at CMGI's iCast. It is scheduled be unveiled in beta form at next week's MP3.com summit in San Diego. It will be released to the Web without intellectual property restrictions, which means software companies, Internet radio firms and music sellers can use the format without paying patent holders a dime."

"That's different from MP3 itself, the most popular type of downloadable music files on the Web. In the technology?s early days, no royalty payments were collected. But the German research institute that helped created the format is beginning to collect its dues, charging companies that create MP3 software and hardware or sell MP3 downloads. Next year it will begin charging Webcasters, it says."

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