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The MP3 format in a slight decline

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 18 Oct 2004 10:43 User comments (16)

The MP3 format in a slight decline Invented in the early 90's, reshaping the whole industry - The MPEG-1 Layer III, a.k.a. "MP3". According to a recent study, the dominating lossy compressed audio format is finally experiencing a slight decline in popularity. The source only mentions Microsoft's WMA (..I wonder why..) as one of the rising formats, but it is reasonable to believe that AAC (Advaneced Audio Compression) will be the successor of MP3. The AAC has been promoted by Apple and Ahead Software (Nero Burning ROM) and is widely adopted by the mobile phone industry already.
MP3 is still the overwhelming favourite of file traders, but the once-universal format's popularity has been going quietly but steadily down in personal music collections for the last year. According to researchers at The NPD Group's MusicWatch Digital who track the contents of people's hard drives, the percentage of MP3-formatted songs in digital-music collections has slid steadily in recent months, down to about 72 percent of people's collections from about 82 percent a year ago.
Source: ZDNet

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16 user comments

118.10.2004 11:44

Quite surprising... I have always used .mp3 myself, and if MP3 is slowly declining, then I guess MP3 Players will soon be AAC Players.

218.10.2004 11:46

I'd say bullsh***. As long as I know, everybody I talk to, are using mp3. Every now an then, mainly when you find people that are new comer to computing, you find them using what is bundled with Windows (wma), but as soon as they get a litle knoledge, they swith to mp3. The same goes with windows media player. Lots of folks ditched it in favour of Winamp.

318.10.2004 12:50

I believe that .mp3 will continute to be king. Check this link out on how to encode PERFECT .mp3 files (I did it with Queen and Styx, the lowest quality (compared to orignal) was 95%.)

418.10.2004 13:45

Strange. I've always used MP3, and now, MP3 together with OGG. Never used WMA, nor even know somobody who uses WMA. I will check for AAC - never used it too. That's all cheers

518.10.2004 14:35

In the process of shifting to ogg myself too. If we want good, royalty free codecs we need people to get behind and support them. Got a Rio Karma the other day for playing them on too, absolutely love it. Was worth jumping through all the hoops to get one imported into Australia. Plays ogg and looks SO much more manly than an iPod (not to mention the sound quality out of it is fantastic).

618.10.2004 16:04

Both AAC and WMA have methods of being encrypted and can have DRM crap attached. I hate Microsoft's WMP7 and higher and I hate Apple's QuickTime 4 and higher. I also hate RealPlayer and always have. They are so stupid and all graphical and RAM-killing for NO REASON AT ALL. How come Winamp is great? It's graphical yet not a RAM killer. I use Media Player Classic + QuickTime Alternative + Real Alternative. Although not everything will play with those two, if they encode to crappy streaming formats, I just "Screw this. I don't need to watch it if they are going to encode to stupid formats. It's NOT worth installing a full QT or RP installation." Most everyone I know is using MP3 or OGG or FLAC. But not formats that can be encrypted with DRM crap. So there. Screw you NPD Group's MusicWatch Digital, you're wrong, and there's no way you're getting onto my hard drive!

718.10.2004 19:13

Who cares that the popularity of MP3s is slightly declining? As long as your know how to properly encode them, they sound great. There's no way any of the other formats will take over MP3 in the near future.

819.10.2004 4:04

Huhm, maybe I should start using AAC. Ive heard the acronym many many times reading the news section here on AD, but, strangely, Ive never wondred about what can be achieved with the format. Ive always thought of it as "another codec".

919.10.2004 6:27

I quote from the Glossary section: "...AAC produces better audio quality than MP3 using less physical space for the files...". But for some strange reasion I've still got all my music in MP3 format...

1019.10.2004 8:51

Who do you think is really spreading this propaganda? RIAA I'd bet, they want DRM crap out there so they control our rights. I am not intersted in DRM crippled music either so WMA and Real and the like can go pound sand since I will never use them. I recently bought a new PC and I removed the bundled sh*t since I am not interested support the RIAA and idiot members. I go to and the like to DL music from the Artists directly and boycott the RIAA members.

1120.10.2004 23:55

Wow, why all the hate. Its probably true. If you've ever used Itunes (which is really popular right now), you would find that it default compresses songs to AAC. With more and more people getting Ipods, thats more and more people using AAC compression software. Besides, if you really care about your music you'd use something less lossy than mp3's.

1221.10.2004 0:03

Death to the ipod. If you you want a player that has better sound quality and is cheaper try creative lab's zen touch.

1321.10.2004 13:23

Better sound quality? Try this: it makes top quality .mp3's for free.

1421.10.2004 13:48

Yeah man, enough with the itunes and ipod BS. real computer users use PCs, not PCs with MAC software. itunes has to be the sh*tiest mp3 player I've seen. But hey, it works for the MAC idiots

1522.10.2004 4:23

Lol, Itunes isnt exactly the mp3 player, but ok. Nice flame. Wow, if you've ever listened to several mp3 players to compare, you'd realize that sound quality depends mostly on headphones and the compression quality, not on the actual mp3 player.

1622.10.2004 9:57

I'm not saying itunes plays crappy quality, of course it depends on mp3 compression, your sound card, and your speakers. I'm just saying as far as setup, options, and flexibility goes, itunes doesn't compare to other ones, such as the infamous (and best) one, winamp.

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