Proteron has acquired @Soft’s digital audio-encoder Mpecker - the pioneering MP3 encoder for Macs.

MPecker is the only Mac encoder that supports MPEG Layer II (MP2). The purchase means Proteron is set to market MPecker internationally. To date, the product has suffered from patent restrictions on MP3 technology.

The purchase also reinforces Proteron’s lead as a primary developer of MP3 technology for the Mac platform. Proteron president Sam Caughron said: "With this agreement, Proteron adds to its assets a wealth of development experience with MP3 as well as solid technology for the improvement of its flagship product, N2MP3."

Proteron will rename MPecker as MPegger. MPegger will support the encoding of AIFF, Sound Designer II and PCM audio files into both MP2 and MP3 files.

Proteron hopes to merge both N2MP3 and MPegger into a single, powerful MP3 solution. The new product should be available in the first quarter of 2000, and will also feature real-time audio recording/encoding.