MP3 is no longer supported??

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It

I'm confused on this. Some folks are saying "MP3 is dead" others saying the patent expired?? and it's gone open source.

Trying to figure out if I need to re-encode (or rebuy) all my MP3s. Will this happen to jpg some day?

Should I just go back to printing all my photos and buying only vinyl?

and in related, here's the audio lost in MP3 compression. Ouch.

I asked about Bluetooth streaming in an earlier thread. MP3 streamed via bluetooth -- is there anything left? (or maybe MP3 is compressed enough that nothing is lost in BT streaming?)
 
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Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
You'll be able to listen to mp3 files for the rest of your life should you so choose. It's kind of like how you can still buy new parts for a Model T, despite the fact that Ford stopped support of them decades ago.

If there's enough of something in existence, there will always be support for it.

I can still order new phonograph needles for old 50s console hi-fi's.

Someone will always make some sort of interface for you to play mp3 files....even if one day they seem as obsolete as typewriters (I haven't looked, but I'm sure you can still buy ink ribbons for long-extinct typewriters).

Viva technology advancements....viva obsolete format support !
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
I think the source of the confusion is the Fraunhofer Institute of Germany, who were one of the main driving forces behind the development of the MP3 format and who benefitted from the various MP3 patents which have all now expired. It suits the FI for people to think that MP3 has been "killed" and that we should all move to the AAC format instead as the FI still has patents on AAC. Patent expiry could theoretically make MP3 even more of a standard since it is now free worldwide, but it has been overtaken in technology by AAC and others so it may die a slow and natural death anyway without help from the FI.

-R
 
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Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
I love music but I have cloth ears so most "improvements" are wasted on me. I'm sitting in my office now, just looking at my Granddad's Bush radio from the 1920s. Valves and rosewood, and it still produces a deep, rich sound (after five minutes of warming up). Are "advancements" in technology always better...?
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
MP3 was never intended to represent an improvement in sound quality. In fact MP3 is a step backwards from CD in terms of audio quality as its compression algorithm is based upon the irrevocable loss of some of the original data - about 90% of it in fact. This is extremely helpful in terms of storage requirements and file transfer rates, and the compromise to audio quality is a price worth paying for the enjoyment of music on the move, but otherwise lossy compression is bad news for the listening experience.

-R
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, Virginia
Steve
I love music but I have cloth ears so most "improvements" are wasted on me. I'm sitting in my office now, just looking at my Granddad's Bush radio from the 1920s. Valves and rosewood, and it still produces a deep, rich sound (after five minutes of warming up). Are "advancements" in technology always better...?
I bet it's hard to run with that baby. :D I have enjoyed MP3 as a portable medium. I also wonder how much more I would appreciate as my ears get older.
 

lenshacker

Veteran
Nov 21, 2014
Once all of the patents have expired, the standards will be published and open source code written to use it.

"Not a Problem"
 

Bruce McL

Regular
Dec 18, 2016
Developers of the MP3 Have Officially Killed It

I'm confused on this. Some folks are saying "MP3 is dead" others saying the patent expired?? and it's gone open source.

Trying to figure out if I need to re-encode (or rebuy) all my MP3s. Will this happen to jpg some day?
It happened to GIF years ago. Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook still support making and viewing GIF files. They will continue to support MP3, along with everyone else.

The headline should read, "Former patent holder of MP3 wants people to continue to send them money." That's what happens if people switch to AAC. The company that sent out the press release will continue to make money if people switch from MP3. The websites that read, believed, and published the deliberately misleading press release were taken in.

JPEG is a little different. It was created by a standards committee. One goal of the committee was to make a standard image format that did not require paying license fees.

Joint Photographic Experts Group - Wikipedia

As best I can tell, the patents expired in 2006. Various groups have claimed that they own the licensing rights to JPEG, but none have ben successful at capturing the rights yet.

JPEG - Wikipedia
 
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lenshacker

Veteran
Nov 21, 2014
You have baseline JPEG and some 28 versions of JPEG, including some versions that used 12-bits per element- but it has been a VERY long time since I read the standard. Most were proprietary, required a fee. That's one reason we were stuck with 8-bits/pixel long after cameras exceeded that limit some 23 years ago (DCS400 series, 12 bits/pixel).

DNG is nice, the standard is published. Wrote my own software in FORTRAN to process little-endian DNG images. I have not used Big-Endian since the 1990s.
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
The fact that I can carry hundreds of albums in a container no bigger than a pack of slim cigars is good enough for me. Discerning Photographer I may be, but Audiophile I am not. :)
 

Kevin

Code Monkey 🐒
Nov 3, 2018
Pennsylvania, USA
A bit of a 'bump' to an old thread but the subject matter caught my attention. At one time I was huge into my MP3 collection, carefully 'ripping' my CD collection using different settings & programs in the never ending search to get a higher quality portable collection. As portable devices got cheaper with bigger storage space I'd go back and re-rip the CDs at a higher rate and to clean up any bad copies.

But... flash forward some years and I've nearly totally embraced a streaming mentality. The 4G connection speeds of my phone, bundled with an unlimited data plan, allows me to listen to nearly any song I could want at any time, any place and without having to bother to synching the MP3 collection to the device. Paired with a set of bluetooth noise cancelling headphones and I'm pretty happy.

While the MP3 format itself will likely not die for many years to come, is the idea of curating an "MP3 collection" still as strong as it was? Have there been any advancements in the area that has kept it alive? And, dang it, I want a copy of WinAMP that will actually display correctly on my laptop monitor! :D
 

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I think there will always be some that want to curate a collection....even if it is digital music files. I would presume thought, that going forward anyone interested enough to curate a collection and keep a library, will likely do so using a lossless file format. Storage is just too cheap.

And while I now use a streaming service for my morning dog walking routine, there are still many things that are not available, and a pretty horrifying number of older titles that just sound awful. And I still sometimes run across a "live" recording, or a later version of a song in the middle of an album. Streaming will never be "good enough" as an "only solution" for me....and I assume for other musicholics or audiophiles (I kinda hate that word, because in my business it usually just refers to an odd subset of really rich guys that persue sound quality without any real passion for music).
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
Not exactly curating - but definitely still using my existing mp3 collection.
Just hoping that my Sansa Clip + and Zip players won't die anytime soon. :)
(Those are the last generation of players that still can be modded with the Rockbox firmware - which isn't developed further neither. There's just not enough demand for it anymore. So at some point even I will be forced to join the 20th century ;) )
 

Kevin

Code Monkey 🐒
Nov 3, 2018
Pennsylvania, USA
Not exactly curating - but definitely still using my existing mp3 collection.
Just hoping that my Sansa Clip + and Zip players won't die anytime soon. :)
(Those are the last generation of players that still can be modded with the Rockbox firmware - which isn't developed further neither. There's just not enough demand for it anymore. So at some point even I will be forced to join the 20th century ;) )
You've got my curiosity going... what does the Rockbox firmware do for you above & beyond the stock players? I remember the Sansa players but don't recall Rockbox (we were a Zune family).
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
You've got my curiosity going... what does the Rockbox firmware do for you above & beyond the stock players? I remember the Sansa players but don't recall Rockbox (we were a Zune family).
The Rockbox firmware added quite a bit of functionality and had/has a more straightforward interface (the Sansa firmware used a weird gui and I think you had to use its version of a database/playlists.)

With Rockbox you just copy your folders over onto the player. It plays pretty much any audio format - no conversion necessary. ( SoundCodecs < Main < Wiki )
For me the deciding features were:
  • up to 10 bookmarks per folder (great for audiobooks)
  • freely customizable sleep timer (and other shortcuts)
  • customizable interface

But I just scratched the surface of features. An overview can be found here:
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Sep 14, 2012
Texas
Don
I still collect LPs (vinyl), CD, Mp3, and lossless files.
For the most part any CD I have has been ripped lossless. LPs are digitized lossless.
Still use a couple of iPod Classics...
 

marlof

Trying to focus
Dec 25, 2010
The Netherlands
Marlof
I buy CDs and rip them in a lossless format, which I stream from a NAS in my house to Sonos speakers and to a higher end stereo setup for concentrated listening and add (match or upload) to my Apple Music library for on the road. I strongly believe in the investment theory: appreciation comes with investment. Things that are cheap or free and exchangeable (like music from a streaming service), will be appreciated different than something you had to pay your hard earned money for. The latter makes you think about your choices and weigh your options. The eventual choice will last a bit longer. Streaming services are great for discovering new stuff, but it’s all a bit superficial. One day this, the next day that. Music becomes interchangeable that way, and I don’t like that. I come from a time where you went through ones music collection to get an impression of who they were, because I knew they weighed their choices all the time to get at that. Looking at playlists of easy to find music is not the same.
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
As long as they are still an option, I will always purchase my music on a CD and rip them to my iPhone for mobile use. What I will not do is pay for my music yet again by subscribing to Apple Music or any other pay streaming service.
 

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