The time has come to say Goodbye to the most popular digital audio codec “.mp3”. The developer of the mp3 codec announced this week that it has ended its licensing agreement, ceding to more versatile formats as the new standard for audio files.
The mp3 format was the revolutionary digital audio codec. It has changed the way we listen to the music today. It drove the adoption of countless new devices over the last couple of decades like iPod.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, that created the format, announced this week that it had terminated licensing for certain MP3-related patents. In simple words, they didn’t want to keep it on life support, because there are better ways to store music in the year 2017.
According to the official statement:
On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated. We thank all of our licensees for their great support in making mp3 the defacto audio codec in the world, during the past two decades.
The development of mp3 started in the late 80s at Fraunhofer IIS, based on previous development results at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, mp3 is still very popular amongst consumers. 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 family or in the future MPEG-H. Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3.
The statement suggested that AAC provides better quality and features than the mp3 format. AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), which was partly developed by the Fraunhofer Institute is today’s new audio standard for most streaming and distribution.
We ca not deny that effect of mp3 codec on the digital landscape is profound. It enabled easier downloading of audio files during the broadband days of the internet and drove technical newcomers to join the cyber age.
Rest in Peace MP3.