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NewsForge: Finding Voice Codecs for Free Software

Oct 17, 2005, 08:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

"In a recent article about VoIP softphones, I touched on the problem of proprietary, patent-encumbered codecs. To recap, the point was that a triumph of open protocols, like Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Inter-Asterisk EXchange (IAX), is hollow if the marketplace standardizes on closed, proprietary codecs for delivering the voice data itself. But how do you find the good free codecs? Here are some options.

"If softphone vendors adopt only proprietary codecs, Linux distributors and software vendors will be forced to either pay royalties and license fees to the patent owners, or remove support for the popular standards, leaving their users in a VoIP ghetto--much like the situation today with many distros and MP3.

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