Apple’s annual QuickTime Live conference wrapped up for another year last night, ending five days of sessions, keynote speeches and panel discussions on the company’s QuickTime technology.
Apple had several key announcements at the show this week including QuickTime 6.0, QuickTime Streaming Server and QuickTime Broadcaster; the company also announced a strategic alliance for Sun and Ericsson.
The new version of QuickTime supports MPEG-4, the emerging standard for streaming high quality content to computers and other digital devices. Although the software is ready for the public, Apple didn’t release it due to licensing issues with MPEG LA, the governing body for the MPEG-4 format.
Unfortunately, Apple’s newest member of the QuickTime family, QuickTime Broadcaster, saw the same fate — the product was announced but not released because of licensing issues MPEG LA.
MPEG LA has just released its proposed licensing structure for companies to use the file format. The problem is not with the amount that Apple would have to pay, totaling approximately US$2 million, but the amount of proposed content royalties MPEG LA wants to charge providers — they are proposing a $0.02 per hour, per stream charge for providers of the QuickTime stream — if they are remunerated.
If you would like to offer your thoughts to MPEG LA on the proposed licensing structure and to help get QuickTime 6 in your hands, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That aside, attendees and exhibitors felt the show was a success. “Everything from MPEG-4 to interactivity to VR is here, it’s been great,” Sal DiPaolo, Director of Sales and Marketing, Kaidan Inc., told MacCentral. “Kaidan has been at every QuickTime Live; we’ll be back.”
The success of a highly specialized show like QuickTime Live comes down to the message the product team can get out to its developers. The QuickTime product team is more like a family than other team I have met. Whether you speak to an engineer about QuickTime Streaming Server and its advantages or you talk to Jeff Lowe, Apple’s QuickTime Evangelist, they are all excited about getting the QuickTime message out to the developers and users.
One of the most enthusiastic members of the QuickTime team is Frank Casanova, Apple’s director of QuickTime product marketing. Any company that wants to learn how to properly market a technology should take lessons from this man. Frank not only talks about the product, he believes in the product, and it shows.
Frank is full of enthusiasm and he takes the time to make sure you understand the technology and what it is Apple is trying to do with it. He wants everybody around him to be as excited as he is about QuickTime — the fact people cheer and chant his name when he walks on stage is testament to the fact he is doing his job.
Besides the announcements from Apple and MPEG-4, I am walking away from this show with something I’ll remember for a little while — a QuickTime tattoo on my arm. (For my wife: it’s a Henna tattoo, so it should come off in a couple of weeks).