The MP3 is Dead. Long Live The MP3

The king of all audio file formats, the MP3 format, appears to be dead as the people who gave birth to this hugely popular file format, Fraunhofer IIS, is set to stop support and updates to the licensing program. The MP3 file format, any tech enthusiast who is even slightly familiar with the digital revolution which hit the world in the late ’90s will know, was first introduced in 1988. So popular has the format been that it has, in effect, been the de facto codec for the past two decades.

MP3 support ends

More modern and size-efficient codecs are set to replace the MP3 format. It is expected that the AAC file format will be the successor to the MP3. The AAC format stands for Advanced Audio Coding and this specific file format has multiple advantages over the prevailing king of audio file formats, the MP3. The AAC is able to retain the same quality as the digital original while maintaining a smaller size, whereas the rule of the thumb for the MP3 format is the bigger the size, the greater and more clear the quality of the file.

The vast majority of all file formats as far as music is concerned downloaded today is the MP3 format. While this might not be the case in the near future, it is expected that the transition to the AAC format will not take too much effort. The AAC format is also seen to be more secure and is capable of providing better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.

blog post by the developers states that most state-of-the-art media services including streaming services or TV and radio broadcasting nowadays use the most modern ISO-MPEG codecs including the AAC family or MPEG-H format in the future. These file formats are designed to deliver a better audio quality at much lower bitrates when compared to the MP3 format. It is in this light that Fraunhofer has decided to discontinue the MP3 format and switch to the AAC format, which is also partially developed by Fraunhofer.

Technologically speaking, the MP3 compression assists the compression of massive amounts of audio data into smaller file sizes both on computers, other portable devices, and other devices in daily use. The compression of the data also has a major disadvantage; it erases the majority of the data from the tracks and leads to poorer quality. AAC or Advanced Audio Coding is the current standard in the world of digital audio as it tries to retain the original quality while reducing digital file sizes and it also incorporates higher bitrates into smaller file sizes.

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