[Icecast] Frauenhofer signing off on mp3, ogg stream player for Macs?

Robert Jeffares jeffares.robert at gmail.com
Wed May 17 00:03:09 UTC 2017

I must say this is a very confusing issue.

I generate AAC+ on an open source system which downloaded some code 
during installation from the 3GPP source.

It appears the encoding software is being freely distributed, and 
hardware which decodes the stream pays a licence fee at point of 

We have such hardware. In a number of locations. One brand has AAC+ 
only, not AAC.

I note VLC also plays the encoded stream.

Encoding and decoding uses sound cards, which have hard coded processors 
on board, whose manufacturers presumably have paid various patent 
holders for the appropriate rights.

I am reasonably confident the patent holders would not have allowed me 
to download the code without fee if they haven't already taken care of 
their right to reward.

Key point for me is that we are not making products for sale, we are 
employing the technology to provide a stream for licenced products to 


 From http://www.via-corp.com/us/en/licensing/aac/faq.html

Are there use fees for AAC?

No. License fees are due on the sale of encoders and/or decoders only. 
There are no patent license fees due on the distribution of bit-stream 
encoded in AAC, whether such bit-streams are broadcast, streamed over a 
network, or provided on physical media.


"In House" use appears not to be of interest to the patent holders. 
They, correctly, want to collect from products manufactured and sold at 
a profit. It is in their interest for there to be source material.

This is my opinion, based on my reading of the published information 
from the patent holders.

Now answering the original question: Icecast2 will carry a number of 
streams both audio and video which are not all documented. 
Icecast>Icecast links over less then optimal WAN are generally robust, 
provided you keep within the limits of the connecting platform. The 
software is essentially a delivery system. Setting the buffer to allow 
for network delays gets over a fair percentage of the problems. Yes you 
may have quite some delay. Usually it does not matter.  In one case I 
found a faulty server in the path between our originating site and 
transmission site was causing transmission delays we could not buffer. 
[Emailing everyone on the whois information produced a result!]  I have 
trialled a number of audio formats in various bitrates. MP3 turned out 
to be most reliable and we deliver mp3 to various distribution services. 
I set up an AAC+ system because it could give me a low profile backhaul 
off air monitor over a limited capacity ADSL circuit. It worked so well 
I have slowly incorporated AAC+ feeds into other places with good 
results. AAC+ out performs mp3. I prefer Darkice as an encoder, others 
use liquidsoap. I also use glasscoder which works well.

AAC+ contains it's own header information so you don't have to use a 
suffix like .mp4  It seems to work in various smartphones, which I 
assume have paid the royalty.


Robert Jeffares

On 16/05/17 20:51, Marvin Scholz wrote:
> First: I am not a lawyer, this is no legal advice!
> On 16 May 2017, at 0:25, Robert Jeffares wrote:
>> Jack,
>> I am using AAC+ encoded by Darkice and distributed on Icecast2 on a 
>> Ubuntu server. I had to install a number of open source libraries and 
>> compile darkice from source. No licence.
> This sounds like it would violate the license, given that the FAQ on 
> http://www.via-corp.com/us/en/licensing/aac/faq.html states:
>> An AAC patent license is needed by manufacturers or developers of 
>> end-user encoder and/or decoder products.
> Additionally on the authors website for libaacplus it clearly says:
>> These tarballs don't provide any 3GPP source code. It is downloaded 
>> from 3GPP during compilation. To use package compiled by this code, 
>> you may need a license from 3GPP.
>> AAC+ codecs incorporate several patents, held by Philips, Dolby, 
>> Ericsson and Nokia. Companies holding patents for HE AAC v1 (SBR) 
>> have formed a patent pool under Via Licensing to provide a single 
>> point of license for product makers. Patents owned by Dolby and 
>> Philips covering the Parametric Stereo used in HE AAC v2 (SBR+PS) are 
>> not included in the Via Licensing pool and are licensed separately by 
>> Dolby. Depending on law in your country, manufacturers and developers 
>> may need to get a license. Because it is a shared library, you may 
>> need special contract for each one application, which links against 
>> this library, directly or indirectly.
>> Please also note, that downloaded .doc file has a very restrictive 
>> license: No part may be reproduced except as authorized by written 
>> permission. The copyright and the foregoing restriction extend to 
>> reproduction in all media.
> This is certainly not something I would like to see recommended to be 
> used, on this mailing list.
> _______________________________________________
> Icecast mailing list
> Icecast at xiph.org
> http://lists.xiph.org/mailman/listinfo/icecast

More information about the Icecast mailing list