Is MP3 Format Really Dead?

Anyone who grew up in the 1990s or even in the early 2000s would most likely remember downloading an MP3 file and building up their music collection. You would most likely burn up to almost ten times of these unto audio discs than you would with traditional CD tracks.

Well, as sad as this may be, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a German agency that invented the audio format we all came to love, as well as having licensed some patents for it, has officially declared that MP3 is dead. They have terminated its licensing program for good.

In their statement, they talked about the development of the MP3 in the 1980s at Fraunhofer IIS, and its success in the 1990s up until the early 2000s. Even though there are advanced codecs that are available today, they confirmed that some consumers would still prefer MP3 over AAC.

Below statement is part of what the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits said in regards to MP3 formats.

“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 technologies that have been developed with major contributions from Fraunhofer IIS can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3.”

However, this does not necessarily mean that the MP3 stored in your audio device will no longer be working. Just don’t expect to see any devices which will support the MP3 format from here on out.

For audiophiles, MP3 holds a deeper meaning than simply an audio format. Growing up in the 1990s, music wasn’t as accessible as you think it was. For a kid, MP3 audio formats were what he searched for on the internet whenever there are new rock releases or genre-defining metal albums.

With the internet, we were all able to explore a sea of music from every corner of the planet. We get to discover different artists never before heard on the radio or TV, and develop an ear for high-quality songs.

Each person managed to build his own music collection through the act of downloading MP3 audio files; they get to share the same preference with like-minded people and bond over the shared love for specific musical artists.

In a statement made by the German institute, they noted that while the MP3 format is still considered as relevant for some consumers, it is without a doubt that newer formats such as the AAC can deliver more features all the while ensuring a higher quality at much lower bitrates.

If we’re going to face the facts, AAC is indeed better, especially when you’re streaming and carrying more data than MP3s ever could; however, one may say that people can get emotionally attached to a particular audio file. Maybe it’s the memory they associate with MP3s, or maybe they don’t want to waste their MP3 music collection they have put up in the 1990s – whatever the reason may be, MP3 audio formats will eventually collapse.


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