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No, the MP3 is not ” dead “… but what is it really ?

The MP3 isn’t dead yet… of Course, its designer has terminated its licensing program, but this is because the codec is now free of copyright. This could, on the contrary, the anchor a little more.

The official logo of the MP3

“The MP3 is dead, long live the AAC ! “ This is what headlined many media outlets these days. They bounce on the publication may 11, interview, the successor of itself in a communiqué issued on 3 may.

The network NPR, the american equivalent of Radio France, was actually published last week reports one of the designers of the MP3. But at no time this last does not represent the death of the MP3, it is only the interpretation of the author of the article.

AAC, the successor to the MP3

Bernhard Grill, director of the division of Fraunhofer to which we owe the development of the MP3, actually simply said that the AAC — which his organization has also contributed — was now ” the de facto standard for downloading music and video on mobile phones “.

Fraunhofer promotes the AAC, ” as more efficient than MP3 and offers much more features “, following the publication of a press release in which the organization announces that it has terminated the April 27, 2017 to the program of licenses on certain patents related to the MP3.

iTunes includes an MP3 encoder

The MP3 now free of rights

You can see a dropout, but we can also particularly see a release. The expiration of the last patents covering the MP3 mean that MP3 is now fully free rights. The decoding was already in the world. The encoding was also in Europe, since the software are not patentable, but it was not in some regions such as the United States.

This legislation thus enabled software like VLC to include a MP3 encoder without paying the fee. It excluded, however, from some App Stores that are governed by u.s. law. A few large companies such as Apple were paying for security. The latest news, Fraunhofer counted 100 million euros in 2005. The organization was also tolerant with small businesses.

The Linux distribution Fedora will integrate now-in support of MP3

What are the implications ?

In practical terms, the impact of the release of the MP3 will be limited to consumers, but not null. Some software companies riding on the patent may as well include a MP3 encoder. This is for example the case of the Linux distribution Fedora, on which it had until then proceed with a manual installation.

Finally, contrary to what is claimed by the representative of Fraunhofer, if the AAC is the reference codecs lossy, it is not yet the standard. The standard remains the MP3, and now that it is free of rights, it might slow down the democratization of the AAC. Except Apple Music (AAC) and Spotify (OGG), which are certainly two of the main, the majority of online music services still use the MP3, for streaming as for download (Deezer, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz…). And contrary to what you may read, these services will not cease to distribute music in MP3 format !

And now royalty-free, the MP3, and it’s probably still beautiful days before him…

Read on FrAndroid : music Streaming : which service to choose (Spotify, Deezer, Play Music, Qobuz…) ?

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