Apple is set to raise its status in a long-standing dispute with Web researchers over the popularity of its QuickTime multimedia technology.

QuickTime helped to bring multimedia to personal computers in the early 1990s, and has been a popular digital-authoring tool ever since. However, the multimedia standard has battled with a perception problem based on Apple’s small share of the PC market.

The technology is viewed as an also-ran in a race dominated by rivals Microsoft and RealNetworks, according to Cnet reports.

July 1 will see Web statistics giant Nielsen/NetRatings release data based on new counting methods. It will demonstrate an increase in QuickTime’s market share, compared to earlier reports.

Another Web measurement firm, Media Metrix, also plans to re-evaluate how it measures market-share in the future – which could also increase Apple’ status.

According to one source privy to an early draft of the Nielsen/NetRatings study, QuickTime’s home usage jumped four-fold in April 2002 under the new methodology, compared to the last time the company published similar research in December 2001.