You may know it or not but MP3 is not a free format. It is patented by Thomson and Fraunhofer (it has always been) but recently they change the licensing policy. Usage of MP3 is no longer free in a low volume software.
On the other hand this is hardly surprising, Fraunhofer was always saying that mp3 is patented, it just people assumed that they will never charge royalties.
While the royalties per unit are between $0.75-$1.50 (which is hardly anything) Thomson added also a Minimal royalties per year which are quite above ten thousand. (Minimal royalties is a sum developer has to pay per year even if he sells just 1 unit). This is hardly bearable for smaller developers.
We fully understand Thomson and Franhoffer that they need to protect their intellectual investment so the only solution to cover minimal royalties for us is to actually higher the price of the final product.
After many hours of thinking we decided that we will charge only the users who needs MP3 support hoping that it will cover the minimal royalties and we will make all the effort to bring other alternative audio formats into MMB for example OGG or WMA.
Ogg Vobis is a great alternative to MP3 and in fact test shows that it is superior to the MP3. For more info about MP3 licensing controversy read Open Letter to Thomson written by CEO of OGG foundation.
When ordering MMB you will be able to choose:
- MMB without MP3 support (Basic MMB price)
- MMB with MP3 support (Basic MMB price + $15 for MP3 support)
- Only MP3 support for existing users $15
I hope you understand this. We are not very happy to charge users additional money especially if this can't be used to further enhance the product, but there is no choice. Once people choose a patented format over a free one, soon or later somebody has to pay.