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
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 archive.org.
Download: mvppc12.exe - 2083Kb
Interface: Graphical (QuickTime component)
Download: QDMC2_Pro_Demo.exe - 1327Kb
Interface: PDF document
Download: qdmc2.pdf - 309Kb
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