Apple CEO Steve Jobs has thrown light on the company's ongoing negotiations with MPEG-LA, the body tasked with developing the revenue stream for the MPEG-4 standard.

Jobs confirms that these negotiations continue, with Apple close to making a pact with the body. He told Cnet: “The licensing stuff is getting worked out.”

Jobs likened the current state of online video as “a tower of Babel,” justifying the industry’s need for an accepted standard for the process.

Widespread adoption “Everybody’s jumping on the MPEG-4 bandwagon. We’ve announced that we’re going to switch over. Real has said they’re going to. All the cell-phone companies are going to be using it; it’s the standard for third-generation cell-phone video-streaming,” Jobs claimed, predicting that its adoption will launch a whole “new industry.”

Jobs discussed Apple’s strategic move toward an open-standards-based, rather than a proprietary approach, to developing IT solutions for the digital age. Since his return to Apple, the company has adopted open standards – from Darwin, to PDF, OpenGL, and more. This has helped to double the number of developers working on the platform, Apple claims.

He also talked about the decision to sell the new eMac to Apple’s entire user base; the company’s educational sales strategy; and Dell’s competition in that space.

Asked about new iMac sales, the CEO replied that sales are “doing just fine.”