End of an era: MP3 format officially dead

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPod played a big role in popularizing the MP3.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The MP3, the iconic music compressions format partly
popularized by the iPod, has been declared dead by its

Licensing of the
technology has been the responsibility of German company the
Fraunhofer Institute. In a statement, the institute revealed
that it is terminating licensing patents and software related
to MP3. It’s the end of an era!

MP3 was
invented back in the 1980s, long before the majority of people
were able to connect to the internet. But with the arrival
of the internet, it became the de-facto music format. Anyone
over the age of 25 will probably remember the grindingly slow
days of dial-up, in which downloading a song could consume the
best part of an hour.

The format has since given over to
Advanced Audio Codec family (AAC). However, it’s still an
historic occasion to wave goodbye to probably the most famous
file format in history, particularly if you were to poll the
general public.

a statement, the Fraunhofer Institute
wrote that

“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.”

What was
the first MP3 you ever downloaded? Leave your comments below.

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