updated 10:15 am EST, Wed March 27, 2002
An Internet streaming group on Tuesday endorsed a licensing plan for MPEG-4 audio compression in an effort to compete against other audio standards such as MP3, Microsoft's Windows Media and RealNetworks' RealAudio formats. Licensees who use MPEG-4 audio encoders or decoders in consumer products would pay up to 50 cents for each "channel," or path, used to stream music, while those using the products for professional purposes would pay $2 per channel. Fees would be capped at $250,000 annually for encoders and $25,000 for decoders. However, the controversial MPEG-4 video licensing terms, which included per-minute streaming royalties (and has held back the release of QuickTime 6), have yet to be resolved.