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Shy 16 April 2008 01:30 pm

MP3 and AAC licensing fees
Although it may be old news to some, it was new to me when I recently ran across the MPEG-4 AAC licensing fees info page and was amused to find that the industry giants have found a hilarious and somewhat ingenious way to squeeze money out of people implementing support for AAC audio in their products. You pay per channel. Think of the possibilities.
Also, in a feat of immense generosity: "If greater than two channels, total per-product fees not to exceed 3% of end-user price, but not less than $50 per product or more than $2,000 per product."
Up to 3% licensing fee per product! That is an absolutely astronomical figure. As for the rest, no need to comment as it's obviously very sensible.

They will have people believe that you, the end user, don't have to pay a thing because distribution, streaming and broadcasting require no fees, and tout that this is what makes it so much better than the supposedly lesser evil, MP3. Only those who implement decoder and/or encoder support in their products have to pay licensing fees. But guess what, the one who actually pays those fees is you. Not a single company implementing AAC support in its products, be it DSP chips, software players or professional products, is dumb enough to absorb that fee for your pleasure (and if they do in one of their products, they make up for that in another product or version).

It really doesn't take much brain power to understand who gets screwed the most eventually, the end user and small companies.

As for MP3 licensing fees, they're as funny as ever.

It's all in fact more sad than funny. You get higher priced products in every sector, with a huge percentage indirectly paid by you to the MPEG-4 companies. Even if you never use AAC or MP3, and get a portable player to play your Musepack, Vorbis or other royalty free files, you're screwed by the MPEG companies.

B7k 31 March 2010 08:44 am

It awlays seemes the end user is awlays screwed but in the end i'm running rockbox and useing SV8 musepack forever have no will to use mp3 or aac.

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