MP3 put out to pasture

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MP3 put out to pasture

Wow, end of an era.

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“It’s obsolete now that we can’t make any money off of it!”


I miss those days of leisurely downloading communism, Rob.


In the very early 2000’s I ripped my entire CD collection of nearly a 1000 CD’s to high bitrate MP3’s. It took weeks to do and at this point I can’t imagine pulling all the boxes out of my basement to re-rip them in a newer format. Luckily I pretty much only listen to them at home when I want to listen through a bands discography.

I wonder if there will ever end up being another audio format that sticks around for that long again… kind of a shame, it was nice having something that was basically a standard that would play in pretty much anything with a USB port.


Which means what exactly? All my mp3s suddenly gonna expire? Sites like 7digital not going to be selling them anymore? For fuck sake, i have no portable devices that play flac!


This. The format is neither dead nor going away anytime soon, the exact opposite, it has just been freed from licensing restrictions.

It can now be expanded and have new life breathed into it.
It can now be used anywhere by anyone without having to pay a license.
You are going to see mp3 in a lot more places now, not less.


Are you sure you have nothing that supports Rockbox, like a Sansa?

Doesn’t this just mean anyone can now publish an mp3 compliant codec that will run on your audio encoding software?

Yeah, ever notice that new, greatest ever, prescription antihistamine comes out just as the last is coming off patent?


mp3 isn’t going anywhere, it’s still essentially state-of-the-art tech. FLAC doesn’t provide any real benefits, and other competing compression algorithms don’t really provide any radical improvements either (they might give slightly better performance in some limited circumstances, slightly worse in some others, but overall it’s a wash). There’s nowhere for the technology in general to go either, it’s already basically perfect for all practical purposes.

There’s still room for improvement when it comes to video compression on the other hand, just look at the differences between x264 and x265 for example. Audio is very simple though at the end of the day and video is a lot more complicated (both in terms of the raw information and in terms of the perceptual considerations) and so there are still plenty of avenues left to explore there.


I suspect that MP3 will see a substantially less exciting retirement; but the last well known format to become “obsolete” is probably GIF, once Unisys’ claims aged out.


It’s certainly overkill for many listening scenarios; but there is a fairly gigantic difference between the lossless codecs and the lossy ones(most especially if things end up being re-encoded for any reason); and FLAC is typically good for taking 40-50% off the filesize of WAV, which adds up when dealing with decent sized collections.


It was obsolete by 2000. I never understood the fascination with MP3 as an audio coding or file format. It was expensive and mediocre when there were better options available for free. At least it isn’t Real Audio!


My portable music needs are covered by an old nokia phone and an old creative zen nano so no.

I don’t think mp3 is going anywhere any time soon really.

FLAC makes sense for archival purposes, for use by a company that wanted to sell in multiple formats and transcode between them at will for example, or for someone who works in audio production and needs to archive large quantities of wav data, but from an end user perspective it’s a complete waste of bytes.


And so, legal entities only see life in terms of the single criteria of profit, while us living see life in terms of continuing and unfolding three-dimensional multi-criteria.


It has it’s ubiquity going for it. Pretty much any media player will play mp3. Other formats, not so likely.

I have a massive mp3 collection, much of which I ripped myself using 320 CBR or V0. It sounds pretty damn good and I sure as hell don’t want to rerip it to something else. I also know anything can play them which is why I never switched to more exotic formats.


“Put out to pasture”? Sounds more like “set free”.


Interesting historical documents:

There were many incremental steps in between.


I still cringe at that telltale mushy cymbal sound that just screams “this is a shoddily encoded 128k mp3 I downloaded from Napster back in the 1990s”. At least I don’t have any more than a handful of those kicking around anymore and they are all things I simply couldn’t buy even if I wanted to.

I remember when iTunes Match first came out I was able to redownload some of my low quality and illicit mp3s as “legit” m4as. It was like I was laundering my old music.


It’s all about middle-out.