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Reggie tells us why the Nintendo DSi doesn't have mp3 support

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+Audioboxer    2,876
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has said that the reason the Nintendo DSi supports the AAC music format instead of MP3 is so that "you can control the speed of the playback". This is apparently the only reason.
VB: If you were going after Apple, I would have expected you to add MP3 music playback to the DSi (which only uses the AAC music format).

RF-A: We?re going for a sound experience where you can control the speed of the playback. That?s why we used that.

Full Q&A: http://venturebeat.com/2008/10/06/qa-with-...ry-competition/

Pretty damn stupid not supporting :/3 :/

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Rudy    457

aka we didn't want to pay the licensing fee so we'll make up an excuse that sounds better

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clx    0

why on earth would a standard user need to change the speed of playback ??

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Lingwo    490

Also why is playback speed considered AAC specific, when it isn't?

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Andrew    2,861

They did this with the Wii too did they not? hardly surprising news.

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+Audioboxer    2,876
aka we didn't want to pay the licensing fee so we'll make up an excuse that sounds better

Wouldn't they need to pay a licensing fee for AAC as well? :/

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The Teej    203

That's weird, Windows Media Player has been letting my MP3s play faster for years :p Nintendo should have kept their mouth shut on this one. We all know it's Nintendo being tight fisted with their cash, which is ridiculous. Oh well, when the DSi gets hacked and I can run my own apps on it, I'm sure some fellow will make an MP3 player (or most likely, the apps already available for DS will be compatible).

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PiracyX    11
aka we didn't want to pay the licensing fee so we'll make up an excuse that sounds better

+1

The very same reason why they didn't consider DVD playback because of licensing fees.

Nintendo really are cheap arses (N)

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Ricardo Gil    0

Two things I take from this:

(Y) AAC is much better than MP3, allowing high quality audio at low bitrates.

(N) DRM

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The Teej    203
Two things I take from this:

(Y) AAC is much better than MP3, allowing high quality audio at low bitrates.

(N) DRM

I don't see how DRM is an issue when Nintendo isn't selling these things, only letting you playback any AAC file you like? :unsure:

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+Human.Online    8,906

Moonshell to be ported?

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The Teej    203
Moonshell to be ported?

I really hope current flashcards work on the DSi, I've been playing a lot of homebrew recently and it'd be a shame to have to wait for the DSi to get hacked in order to run homebrew. I also hope we don't run into this "Custom Firmware" nonsense the PSP is dealing with at the moment. I'm hoping it's a solution like the Wii's HBC channel, or the current method of using flashcards.

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Ricardo Gil    0
I don't see how DRM is an issue when Nintendo isn't selling these things, only letting you playback any AAC file you like? :unsure:

Come on, don't be so shortsighted, they're obviously creating a business opportunity here.

Wii Music Store, download to DSi, listen on the go... see where this is going?

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Julius Caro    55

That basically confirms that there IS a license fee on decoders.

An MPEG-4 Audio patent license is needed by manufacturers or developers of end user encoder and/or decoder products.

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zach_    0

Wow, I can't believe users won't be able to play MP3s :| Homebrew doesn't reach the masses :(

VB: You brought up our article on the Xbox 360 defects. How has Nintendo managed to escape the defect problem that Microsoft ran into?

RF-AKE: We stuck with last-gen technology so we could escape defect problems and higher hardware costs.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

The AAC decoder costs less than the MP3 decoder (licensing wise), and AAC is much better than MP3 so there's no real reason to spend more for lower quality.

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monkey13    75
That basically confirms that there IS a license fee on decoders.

Sorry should have been clearer. There is a one off fee per decoder but no fee for distribution of AAC.

With MP3 there is a fee for decoder and distribution.

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Julius Caro    55
Sorry should have been clearer. There is a one off fee per decoder but no fee for distribution of AAC.

With MP3 there is a fee for decoder and distribution.

Coolio, but I dont see how that differs from getting an mp3 decoder license unless nintendo plans to distribute the music themselves, but in that case I think that the fee is paid entirely by the copyright holder.

Anyway, yeah, AAC is better but almost everything is in mp3.

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The Teej    203
Come on, don't be so shortsighted, they're obviously creating a business opportunity here.

Wii Music Store, download to DSi, listen on the go... see where this is going?

Perhaps in the future, but that's a territory Nintendo isn't really used to, and one already dominated by Apple, MS and Sony. I could perhaps see them oferring some sort of Video Game Music Service, though, where you can download game OSTs for a small fee. That's a market unexplored that Nintendo could go for.

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FiB3R    1,663

I've never used my DS for music anyway. My phone, and my iPod (obviously) are much betted suited to the job. So as crap as I think this is (and I think it's very crap) It won't affect me.

How many of you use your DS for music?

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+Audioboxer    2,876
The AAC decoder costs less than the MP3 decoder (licensing wise), and AAC is much better than MP3 so there's no real reason to spend more for lower quality.

No real reason?

How about MP3 being the most popular format for audio.

What is everyone with an MP3 collection suppose to do?

Transcode all their audio to get it to work on their DS? No thanks (N)

Cheap cheap move, even most cheap ?30 DVD players support MP3 nowadays.

It's the element about making consumers happy with popular formats that counts here, instead of restricting or forcing people to change to other formats. They ditched DVD playback in the Wii as well, citing what? We want to save money and offer you a cheap product? Uhh last time I checked the DVD playing 360 Arcade is like ?99.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

It's easy to transcode MP3 to AAC.

Nintendo had a few options, pay for MP3 and take the hit, pay for MP3 and raise the cost of the product, or use a better codec that's cheaper.

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+Audioboxer    2,876
It's easy to transcode MP3 to AAC.

Nintendo had a few options, pay for MP3 and take the hit, pay for MP3 and raise the cost of the product, or use a better codec that's cheaper.

Uhh you do realise that going from a compressed format to another compressed format degrades quality? I'm no audiophile as such (although I do strive for decently encoded music), however you won't catch me transcoding my music library and losing quality.

The key drawback of transcoding is decreased quality.

Compression artifacts are cumulative; therefore transcoding between lossy codecs causes a progressive loss of quality with each successive generation (this is known as digital generation loss). For this reason, it is generally discouraged unless unavoidable. For instance, if an individual owns a digital audio player that does not support a particular format (e.g., Apple iPod and Ogg Vorbis), then the only way for the owner to use content encoded in that format is to transcode it to a supported format.

Pay for MP3 and take a hit, I don't see why when others make it normal procedure to support the most common formats, Nintendo need to bail out.

Especially coupled with the amount of $$$ they're making on Wii/DS hardware.

They ain't a charity, they're a business, but for the consumer there has to be a line drawn somewhere on skimping out on pretty "normal" features/support.

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monkey13    75
Cheap cheap move, even most cheap ?30 DVD players support MP3 nowadays.

It's the element about making consumers happy with popular formats that counts here, instead of restricting or forcing people to change to other formats. They ditched DVD playback in the Wii as well, citing what? We want to save money and offer you a cheap product? Uhh last time I checked the DVD playing 360 Arcade is like ?99.

I agree that Nintendo are overzealous with their profit margins. That's why they keep leaving stuff like DVD and MP3 out. However Nintendo have made money on the Wii since day one.

Would they have sold any more units is they had included DVD in the Wii? I doubt it, so they didn't bother. It might have been nice but I can live without it.

Also I don't believe that Microsoft make a profit, per unit, on the ?99 360.

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