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MP3 Isn't Dead Despite Being Officially Terminated By Its Developers

By Monica U Santos , May 16, 2017 08:06 AM EDT
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The decision is largely symbolic, but it’s kind of like when all manufacturers start installing CD-ROMs instead of floppy drives. There will be some stragglers who still support the MP3 but newer formats will be the standard. (Photo : darkstonecastle/YouTube)

Even if several sites, especially news sections, have surmised that MP3 is dead, it is not. The tech commercial enterprise says the failure of the licensing program for MP3s doesn't mean that the file format is already dead. The truth is MP3s are just being terminated since the developers believe that the digital audio encoding format has lost importance in a world of new technology.

Murfie's director of operations of online CD-ripping service, Nate Suo, said he didn't anticipate the end of MP3 licensing to have any impact on his company's business. Murfie is an online music community and marketplace which buys, sells, trades, downloads and streams new and used CDs. We will continue to use MP3s as we have in the past," he said.

Aside from that, Suo also believes that the expiring license won't directly affect the ability to transcode to the MP3 format. According to CNET, production research body Fraunhofer IIS recently said that the company had ended the "licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software" since April 23, 2016. Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS is one of the well-known application-oriented research companies for microelectronic and IT system, which began developing MP3 file formats in the late '80s.

Fraunhofer affirms that while the MP3 format is "still very popular amongst consumers," the association says other codecs offer are better, efficient and has great features. These great updates include MPEG-H, which the firm is also working on, according to CNBC.

Let us face it, MP3 is still dominant as a download format even though it is not common when it comes to music streaming. Alternatively, popular and in-demand services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal use file formats of OGG, AAC, and FLAC. "Our bread and butter is providing lossless streaming and downloads to our members anyways, so we deal more in the lossless codecs," Suo said.

With that said, it really proves that MP3 isn't dead. Yes, its license is being terminated, but it doesn't mean that the format is not alive anymore. In the meantime, we can still see MP3 formats but in fewer scenarios.

 

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