WE MISSED IT, BUT THE GERMAN Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, has dropped the licensing program for the MP3 audio codec causing people to lose their minds and proclaim that MP3 is dead.
MP3 has led the audio codec game for two decades so people are shocked by the Institute's announcement and have taken it really bad. It is probably quite significant, but it ain't the end of the world.
"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," says a statement from the Fraunhofer Institute.
"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."
It's just given up then, thrown in the towel and stuck two fingers up to the MP3 collection that you took so long building up, and may have had some historical interest to anyone studying what Napster was. Well maybe not
After all the Institute has "terminated" the patents around it, which is probably a good thing and is not the same as killing a format.
mp3 isn't dead. Fraunhofer has terminated its licensing of patents, so (AFAICT), it's now open, which should ensure its longevity.— Bruce Lawson (@brucel) May 15, 2017
To be fair not everyone uses the MP3 format, even though it has become the most common name for the formats in general. Apple prefers to default to AAC but iTunes will accept MP3, MP4, WAV, and AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format).
Users have their own preferences and they mostly come down to the quality of recordings. MP3 is known to be lacking here, and other formats, such as WAV files are preferred by some audiophiles.
Apparently people are still buying cassette tapes anyway, so who cares about MP3. µ
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Mind game or mind f***?