The format that was responsible for the upheaval of the entire music industry and the rise of Apple as a music company is officially dead, according to its creators.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits have announced they are discontinuing their licensing program for the mp3, pointing out that modern file types such as AAC are better, basically.
A spokesperson told NPR that AAC [Advanced Audio Coding] is now the “de facto standard for music download and videos on mobile phones” and “more efficient than MP3 and offers a lot more functionality”, making the old mp3 somewhat redundant.
The company’s statement is below, along with an interesting timeline of the mp3’s mighty reign.
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. 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.