The MP3 format is officially dead : Founders officially terminated its licensing Program

If you grew up in 90s and early 2000s, you probably still remember downloading MP3 files to build your music collection, and burn up to 10 times as many of these onto audio discs than you could with traditional CD tracks.

The Fraunhofer Institute will stop licensing MP3 related patents to companies, doesn’t mean MP3 will cease to exist right away. It will be a slow transition, especially in some parts of the world where MP3 files are still prominent. But the idea is to eventually phase out MP3 altogether in favor of AAC.

This doesn’t mean that MP3s stored on your hard drive will stop working, but don’t expect to see many new devices professing support for the format from here on out.

“Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, MP3 is still very popular amongst consumers,” the statement reads.

“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.”it added.

Of course, though MP3 may be dead, it’s left an inarguable impact on the tech world, and we couldn’t help but feel nostalgic at the news.

After it first came out 24 years ago, in 1993, it slowly gained popularity in the later half of that decade. By 1997, with the launch of the Winamp audio player, people were regularly downloading MP3s from various websites offering the service (mostly illegally).

And yet, we have to say thank you, MP3. Thanks for helping form our early music tastes, for allowing us to share the tunes we cared about with our friends, and for letting us make that first cherished CD with more than a measly 12-15 tracks. It’s been fun, and we owe you so much.

Farewell, dear MP3, and thanks for the memories.


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