QDesign Music Codec

The QDesign Music Codec was originally LBpack, by Dmitry Shmunk. QDesign corporation bought the codec and hired the developer to create what would become the official audio compression in Apple's QuickTime v3.

The codec's official name is "RaveSound", according to this press release, but is commonly called QDesign Codec. It is one of the most agressive codecs known - meaning it compresses quite well at very low bitrates, but its aggressiveness introduces too many artifacts at higher bitrates.

The personal version comes with QuickTime Pro and allows encoding at bitrates up to 48kbps. The professional version allows bitrates up to 128kbps.

Hosted here are a Demo professional plugin for QuickTime Pro that works for 15 days, and MVP - QDesign's attempt to enter the audio library manager market - that has unlimited encoding of QDMC up to 128kbps. It can also encode MP3 but the encoder quality is terrible.
I'm also offering here an analysis document created by Benjamin Larsson, describing the first steps in the reverse engineering of the codec.

Apple has steered away from proprietary codecs like Sorenson Video and QDesign, and focused on standards (MPEG4). That probably explains why QDesign disappeared in the late 2000s.

A mirror of the QDesign website can still be checked at

Date: 2000-08
Version: 1.2.51
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Win32
Download: mvppc12.exe - 2083Kb

Date: 1998
Version: 2.0
Interface: Graphical (QuickTime component)
Platform: Win32
Download: QDMC2_Pro_Demo.exe - 1327Kb

Date: 2004-01-14
Version: 1.2
Interface: PDF document
Platform: -
Download: qdmc2.pdf - 309Kb

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