ffmpeg mp3 decoding support

Thomas Zander riggs at freebsd.org
Tue May 30 07:30:58 UTC 2017


On 30 May 2017 at 09:07, Andrew Davis <andydavis0 at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Now that mp3 patents have expired is there any way LAME can be enabled by default in ffmpeg or are there still other legal issues?

I see two different topics here:

1) Why do you need mp3 _de_coding support via lame in ffmpeg? The
magic with lossy formats is within the encoder. The ffmpeg package
with default options is decoding mp3 happily. If someone expected the
perceived quality of mp3 decoding to improve drastically by using lame
instead of ffmpeg's own decoder, she would be disappointed.

2) Technically, we can't enable lame by default because then the
official ffmpeg binary package would depend on another binary package
(lame) which is not available. Have a look at
where an explanation is given:
# http://www.mp3licensing.com/ only talks about the FhG and
Technicolor patent portfolio
# but there are also portfolios from Sisvel (from Philips) and
# Nokia (from AT&T -> Lucent -> Alcatel).
# Some "old" patents are now expired, but there are more recent MP3
patents. Some
# of the more recent ones are multi-channel related, which is not
implemented in LAME.
# There was no investigation (in the LAME project) about which patent
exists, which
# one is implemented in LAME, and which one is not (yet) expired. As
such it is not
# known if LAME could now be distributed as a binary package or not.
# Linux distributions seem to go the "let's see if get sued" way,
FreeBSD doesn't
# follow this

Maybe let's focus on point 1) for. Do you really need lame for mp3 decoding?

Best regards

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