The Father Of Digital Music is Dead. R.I.P. MP3

The Father Of Digital Music is Dead. R.I.P. MP3


The music format that started the digital revolution is declared officially dead by its creators.

MPEG 1 Layer III or the MP3 file as it is more commonly known, has been laid to rest by its creators, The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits.

Originally, the file format was created to send audio over phone lines with limited data bandwidth but this didn’t really work out.

In order to make the research worthwhile, Fraunhofer needed to license the technology in order to make money from it.

One of the researchers even tried to file a patent for a streaming music service but it was refused by the German government as technically absurd. That guy was genuinely way ahead of his time.

By 1995, only the NHL had licensed the use of the technology for use in hockey stadiums.

Realising their software audio compression technique was a failure, Fraunhofer declared the format dead.

The software tools were released onto the internet to allow home users to convert their compact discs into digital files.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fraunhofer released a statement declaring the official death of the format,

“On April 23, 2017, Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.

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.”

Whilst the MP3 format remains very popular, Fraunhofer goes on to say that we should move on to use formats like AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) which is now the default standard for digital music used in such software as Apple’s iTunes.

AAC is technically more efficient at compressing audio with less degradation in audio quality than with the MP3 codec.

R.I.P. MP3.




John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.