Sorenson Media said at Macworld San Francisco that a beta version of Sorenson MPEG-4 is on the way. MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) is a family of standards used for coding audio-visual information (such as movies, video, and music) in a digital compressed format. MPEG-4 is an audio and video compression format that has been adopted by the International Standards Organization. Supposedly, Apple is currently evaluating it for use in a forthcoming version of QuickTime.
Sorenson MPEG-4 will offer full compliance with the ISO MPEG-4 simple profile codec definition and be capable of decoding H.263 (short-header MPEG-4). The folks at Sorenson say it will offer “great” video quality and high performance; automatic scene change detection; block refresh for packet loss correction; support for two-pass VBR compression; compression time packetization for error resiliency to packet loss; media key support through secure encryption (available only on QuickTime); and encoders optimized for G4/Altivec, PIII/MMX, PIII/SSE.
The current development platforms for encoding and playback include Power Macs running Mac OS 7.6 or greater and Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000. In addition to the beta release of Sorenson MPEG-4, the company also announced the upcoming release of Sorenson Video 3. Sorenson Video 3 and its previous versions are the premier codec technologies inside QuickTime. Sorenson Media said it plans to ship Sorenson Video 3 in conjunction with Apple’s upcoming release of QuickTime 5.
Last month Apple, Cisco Systems Inc., Kasenna Inc., Philips and Sun Microsystems Inc. launched the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA), in an effort to create open standards for streaming media over Internet Protocol networks.