Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It
MP3, the digital audio coding format, changed the way we listen to music and drove the adoption of countless new devices over the last couple of decades. And now, it’s dead. The developer of the format announced this week that it has officially terminated its licensing program.
The end of licensing agreement does not dictate that the MP3 format will no longer be available, it is more of a symbolic decision that represents a change similar to a transition from floppy drives to CD-ROMS and from CDs to tiny USB sticks. The newer formats like the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), developed partially by the Fraunhofer Institute will become a standard, but some developers may still continue to provide support for the MP3 format.
The actual ownership history of the various patent rights involved in MP3 technology is complicated and messy. But the Fraunhofer Institute has claimed the right to license certain MP3 patents to software developers who want to “distribute and/or sell decoders and/or encoders” for it. The announcement that the company will end its licensing program was accompanied by a statement .