It looks like MP3 files will soon be a thing of the past.
The Fraunhofer Institute, which developed the early digital audio format and licenses it to software developers, has ceased its licensing agreement. As Gizmodo reports, the institute states that newer, MPEG codecs such as AAC files “can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to MP3.”
While the impact on the music and audio industries will be largely minimal, due to most streaming services already using newer formats, the MP3’s impact on the digitisation of music is undeniable. Most notably, the MP3 allowed for Apple to become the dominant force in music distribution it is today, through the proliferation of downloadable music and the iPod. These days, Apple is a market leader through Apple Music.