The MP3 changed the way we consume music, from Walkmans in the 90s, to iPods and smartphones in the 21st century. Originally, the format was heralded as revolutionary by allowing digital audio files to be compressed without significantly impacting the quality of the sound. However, the MP3 has now been officially written off as “dead” by its creators.
The MP3 has been officially written off as “dead” by its creators who recently terminated licensing programs for new patents and software. Long live the MP3.
As NPR report, The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits – a German research institution that was at the vanguard of the MP3’s development in the late 1980s – recently announced that licensing programs for certain MP3 related patents and software has been terminated.
The move has been widely interpreted by tech experts as the format’s “official death warrant”.
As an indication of its demise, iTunes – who are credited with bringing the MP3 to life back in the late 90s – now favours AAC files, which the Fraunhofer Institute also helped to create. According to Fraunhofer MP3 guru, Bernhard Grill, AAC is “more efficient than MP3 and offers a lot more functionality.”
Formats like AAC, which offer more efficient compression, are now the standard across the board.
“Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, MP3 is still very popular amongst consumers,” the Fraunhofer Institute said in a statement.
“However, most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs, such as the AAC [Advanced Audio Coding] family or in the future MPEG-H. Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to MP3.”
To ease your mourning, you can read all about the history of the format here.
Long live the MP3.
Listen to Youtube the way it was meant to be here.