Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

It might be OVER for MP3....

Author:Lindon Parker
Posted:5/17/1999; 6:26:48 PM
Topic:It might be OVER for MP3....
Msg #:6377
Prev/Next:6376 / 6378

There seems to be a level of interest in MP3 here, so I thought I might share a recent discovery and discuss some issues we've been dealing with.

First our issues: we run an on-line-only record company. We compress audio(songs, plays, stories) from signed artists(bands, actors, writers) and sell them for around $0.80 per item. We've been having issues with micro-payment systems, but I'll leave these issues for another time(if you want to know our experiences e-mail me).

Our biggest problem is the size of the MP3 files, yep that's after we compress them. We only want to sell very-high-quality work (near CD quality) this means we have to compress at 128bits or use AudioCatalysts' varable bit rate. This renders an average 4.5 minute pop song down from 35MB+ to a 4-5MB MP3 file.

This is (of course) great. BUT. When we take in to account the time it takes to download the file to the average user 33K modem and the price they are paying for "Internet-air-time" the total price our users are paying for the product gets close to or beyond what it would cost them in a store. We need a better CD-quality compression scheme to make this model work. Of course there are other models that are just as interesting (like music as shareware etc.), but we're trying to see if this one works.

Enter VQF. Take a look at We haven't tried this out yet but if we get a 30% file size reduction for the same quality we(and every other internet music vendor) have a MUCH more attractive proposition on our hands...Given we get a proliferation of players, and as there's a VQF plug-in for WinAmp, a player for the Mac(thankyou thankyou thankyou), and Yamaha & NTT involved in the development of encoders, I think we might have an opportunity here.

What do we all think?

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:50:14 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.