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Thomson Multimedia released a new MP3 format

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 15 Jun 2001 9:18

Okay, we've seen dozens of competing audio formats to come and go in past few years, trying to beat MP3 in popularity. Of course, all of these other formats like Windows Media, OGG, AAC, etc offer better quality in smaller file sizes. But the thing is -- they are not MP3s :-)
As funny as it might sound, that's the reason. MP3 has become a synonym for online audio (and for free illegal music as well) and it's not likely to die. Now original researchers behind the MP3 format, also known as MPEG-1 audio layer III, Thomson Multimedia and Fraunhofer have released a "new version of MP3" called MP3Pro and companies claim it achieves 128kbps MP3's quality with just 64kbps, making it half of the size of regular MP3.

Ok, but why this is so special then? Thomson says that all existing MP3 players are able to play these files without any modifications, including software and hardware players. And this is something that other formats can't do, meaning that your good old Rio player can play files that fit into half of the size -- you can have double the music with same quality stored in your MP3 player.

Of course, the reality of MP3Pro's quality will be known much later, after companies have improved their MP3Pro encoding routines, "golden ear" hifi freaks have compared files to those created with LAME encoder, etc.

One setback for the format is the fact that it doesn't (just like regular MP3s don't) offer any kind of security features, making it pretty useless for major record labels who want to have copy protection features in their music files.

You can download MP3Pro encoder from this URL.

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