In the past few weeks you have likely read several articles, or at least headlines, proclaiming that the mp3 format is dead or will die soon. Some of these even came from authoritative sources in terms of music and technology, leading many to blindly believe that the death of mp3 was in fact real, and leaving many others to wonder what would happen as a result.
Resident Advisor stated that the “era of mp3 is over,” while those at Fossbytes announced that the “mp3 format is officially dead,” and elsewhere at Gizmodo they announced that “developers of mp3 have officially killed it.” All these headlines, just like the countless others who followed suit with the hasty announcement, rushed to declare the death of the most popular audio compression format in circulation without examining all the facts. Interestingly enough it appears that they all regurgitated the same sensationalistic headline without properly reading the original statement of the Fraunhofer Institute and, above all, without confronting it against the sheer reality of the mp3’s role in today’s technologic world.
First of all, let’s examine what really happened: the only recent news, if we can really call it such since it’s been known for years, is that the latest American patents related to the mp3 format expired on April 16th, while in Europe they had all expired by the end of 2012. A few days later, on the 23rd of April, the Fraunhofer Institute, the former patent holder, published an official press release according to which the license for the mp3 format will be closed as the institute focuses its efforts on the AAC format.