A German basis that owns the patent for the MP3 audio file format just lately announced that it could cease licensing it, which is about as shut because it will get to an official dying warrant within the tech world.
However obsolescence is a sluggish illness, and the MP3 will reside on for a while. It helped usher within the music-ripping subculture in center colleges and excessive colleges across the nation within the 1990s, and the huge collections of digital albums that many individuals amassed—and generally shared illegally on-line—aren’t going wherever.
However the choice of the Fraunhofer Institute for Built-in Circuits to finish its licensing program continues to be noteworthy as an acknowledgement that MP3s are—like most of the Pentium III processors that first encoded them—relics.
As of April 23, Fraunhofer is not issuing licenses for sure MP3-related patents, seemingly following a drop in demand due to the proliferation of different encoding codecs like Superior Audio Coding (AAC). Bernhard Grill, a Fraunhofer director and one of many principals within the growth of the MP3, told NPR that AAC is now the “de facto commonplace for music obtain and movies on cellphones.”
And it’s these cellphones (smartphones, to be precise) that arguably bear better duty for the MP3’s demise than its inferior audio quality. With the rise of Spotify, mobile phone plans with limitless information, and companies like T-Cell’s Binge On, many music listeners not care how their music is encoded as a result of they’ll stream just about any track they need for a set month-to-month price.
So it largely falls to audiophiles who have not but ripped their total CD assortment (or, for that matter, their vinyl assortment) to hold on the MP3 torch, and even they are not seemingly to decide on MP3s for future rips, given the proliferation of higher encoding choices.
To commemorate the tip of MP3’s reign with a little bit of nostalgia, try our Top 10 Buying Tips for MP3 & Digital Music Players and 10 Weirdest MP3 Players Ever.