To accompany the preview of QuickTime 6 today, Apple also previewed QuickTime Broadcaster, a new product aimed at making streaming live events over the Internet easy. The new technology requires QuickTime 6, which, though ready, is not being released as Apple works to overcome licensing royalties with MPEG-4 it says will inhibit the acceptance of the technology in the market place. From Apple:
Apple® today previewed QuickTime® Broadcaster, a new addition to the QuickTime product family that allows live broadcasting of events over the Internet. The new QuickTime Broadcaster, which when released will be distributed as a free download, will capture and encode QuickTime content, including MPEG-4, for live streaming via the web. When used in combination with Appleis existing suite of QuickTime products -- QuickTime Pro, QuickTime Streaming Server and QuickTime Player -- QuickTime Broadcaster provides customers with an inexpensive, end-to-end solution for producing live events.
QuickTime Broadcaster supports the broadcast of MPEG-4, but as with QuickTime 6, the distribution of QuickTime Broadcaster is being delayed until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved. The MPEG-4 licensing terms proposed by MPEG-LA (the largest group of MPEG-4 patent holders) includes royalty payments from companies, like Apple, who ship MPEG-4 codecs, as well as royalties from content providers who use MPEG-4 to stream video. Apple agrees with paying a reasonable royalty for including MPEG-4 codecs in QuickTime, but does not believe that MPEG-4 can be successful in the marketplace if content owners must also pay royalties in order to deliver their content using MPEG-4.
"QuickTime Broadcaster will make it incredibly easy and affordable for businesses, educational institutions or individuals to produce high-quality, live Internet or Intranet broadcasts," said Philip Schiller, Appleis senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "When combined with a free QuickTime Player and a free QuickTime Streaming Server, QuickTime Broadcaster is the most cost-effective Internet broadcasting solution offered anywhere."
Live internet broadcasting is an increasingly popular and cost-effective way to reach large numbers of viewers for corporate meetings, online courses, keynote addresses, entertainment and other special events. Standards-based QuickTime products are an ideal solution for creating, distributing and viewing content without the limitations of proprietary formats. Additionally, when the QuickTime Broadcaster and QuickTime Streaming Server are running on Appleis PowerBook® G4 or iBook® laptop computers, the combination provides a uniquely flexible, mobile broadcast solution.
Features of QuickTime Broadcaster include:
- live encoding with real time preview;
- the ability to record and hint in real time to the computeris hard disk for quick video-on-demand posting;
- support for all QuickTime codecs;
- AppleScript(R) support;
- the ability to create custom settings;
- support for reliable communication via TCP between Broadcaster and Server; and
- auto configuration of connection between Broadcaster and Server.
QuickTime Broadcaster will be distributed as a free download and requires QuickTime 6, Mac® OS X (v10.1 and later), Mac OS X Server, QuickTime Streaming Server and compatible servers.
Apple has not yet added information on this preview product to its Web site.