Mp3 support now coming to Fedora Workstation 25

So, in Fedora Workstation 24 we added H264 support through OpenH264. In Fedora Workstation 25 I am happy to tell you all that we are taking another step in improving our codec support by adding support for mp3 playback. I know this has been a big wishlist item for a long time for a lot of people so I am really happy that we are finally in a position to fulfil that wish. You should be able to download the mp3 plugin on day 1 through GNOME Software or through the missing codec installer in various GStreamer applications. For Fedora Workstation 26 I would not be surprised if we decide to ship it on the install media.

Fo the technically inclined out there, our initial enablement is through the mpeg123 library and corresponding GStreamer plugin. The main reason we choose this library over all the others available out there was a combination of using the same license as GStreamer (lgpl v2) and being a well established library used by a lot of different applications already. There might be other mp3 decoders added in the future depending on interest in and effort by the community. So get ready to install Fedora Workstation 25 when its released soon and play some tunes :)

P.S. To be 110% clear we will not be adding encoding support at this time.

12 comments ↓

#1 Greg K Nicholson on 11.11.16 at 11:16

Pragmatically, I think disallowing MP3 in Fedora didn’t work to reduce the usage of MP3 and increase the usage of better alternatives; and it was only harming the numbers of people using Fedora. So I welcome this change!

I understand this was previously disallowed due to legal reasons, and I’m interested in why this has changed now. Has there been a change in the legal situation; or has a lawyer re-reviewed the existing situation and come to a different conclusion; or has Fedora’s policy changed; or something else? :)

#2 Egor Zakharov on 11.11.16 at 18:44

>has a lawyer re-reviewed the existing situation and come to a different conclusion;
SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

But it’s more like a rumor.

#3 Joshua Cogliati on 11.11.16 at 20:00

Well, based on my calculations, the last MP3 decoding patent expired on September 2015, and it took awhile to get thru the legal department :)

#4 me on 11.14.16 at 13:43

To my knowledge, the relevant patents have recently expired.

#5 Markus S on 11.11.16 at 12:50

What about MPEG-1 video playback? Its patents should have been expired as well.

#6 Joshua Cogliati on 11.11.16 at 15:59

I agree, MPEG-1 video and MPEG-1 Layer I and Layer II audio should have all the patents expired as well.
http://www.osnews.com/story/24954/US_Patent_Expiration_for_MP3_MPEG-2_H_264

#7 uraeus on 11.11.16 at 17:34

Good questions, I will look into it and hopefully we can enable those too.

#8 Zedd on 11.14.16 at 04:39

Greg: Why it’s changed now is that the patents have expired (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3).

While they were still valid a licence would’ve needed to be paid for each copy.

#9 miasma on 11.17.16 at 04:12

From the wikipedia article:
“Except for three patents, the US patents administered by Sisvel[74] had all expired in 2015, however (the exceptions are: U.S. Patent 5,878,080, expires February 2017, U.S. Patent 5,850,456, expires February 2017 and U.S. Patent 5,960,037, expires 9. April 2017.[75]”

The article claims those two patents are still valid until 2017.

#10 uraeus on 11.18.16 at 13:17

Wikipedia is not our lawyer, in fact it is nobodys lawyer :)

#11 LF on 11.23.16 at 15:51

Thanks for your post.

1. In general, why not libmad (Lic: GPL2, http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/)?

2. Are there any code of gst-plugins-ugly’s mpg123 extension
that is compatible to RHEL 6.x’s gstreamer-0.10 version?

3. Can we expect something similar for EPEL?

#12 uraeus on 01.03.17 at 15:03

1. We wanted something that used the same license as GStreamer (LGPL v2), but there is no reason there can not be multiple mp3 decoder packaged and offered.
2. Not sure
3. Yes, there is a plan to enable this for RHEL too