MP3 Codec Killed Off

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits has killed the MP3 codec it developed in the late 1980s. All licensing programs for MP3 related patents and software they have developed have been terminated as of April 23rd. Fraunhoffer states that the MP3 codec will be replaced by the improved AAC ones and MPEG-H.

This is wrong of course as FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is rapidly replacing MP3s as a preferred storage format for digital audio. FLAC is losslessly compressed like a .zip file but optimized for Pulse code modulation audio such as standard compact disc Redbook audio (16 bit, 44.1 khz PCM). Perceptually encoded lossy formats such as MP3 were never able to equal the sound quality of normal CD playback on a decent high-fidelity setup. All sound stage (both left to right panning and depth) was lost along with plasticizing all the noise and distortion on recordings. Drum timing was always off due to the pre-echo of volume transients such as snare and cymbal hits.

FLAC files purchased from online retailers such as Bandcamp or ripped from CDs with modern secure ripping programs such as Exact Audio Copy offer CD quality sound when outputted to decent external interfaces and digital to analog converters. Cheap Chinese crap might give you worse sound quality than your noisy, remixed with operating sounds in computer jack but there is zero reason for MP3 files to still be as popular and distributed as they were in the late 90s when something much better has come along that doesn’t compromise sound quality. Hipsters still love cassettes that turn to crap after playing it twice and vinyl played back on crap from Target though so now they will probably fetishize MP3s eventually too.

11 thoughts on “MP3 Codec Killed Off”

  1. “Perceptually encoded lossy formats such as MP3 were never able to equal the sound quality of normal CD playback on a decent high-fidelity setup.”

    ABX or gtfo.

  2. kek says:

    > Fraunhoffer states that the MP3 codec will be replaced by the improved AAC ones and MPEG-H.

    They only wish for it because they have patents, and the shitty journalism that ensued (voluntarily?) ignored that.

    If you want lossy: use Vorbis or Opus, they are higher quality and… NO PATENTS.

    If you want lossless: use FLAC because… NO PATENTS.

    > All sound stage (both left to right panning and depth) was lost

    This is only true at very low bitrates (below a certain point, the left and right channels are kinda merged together) or with pre-LAME encoders. But yeah, early MP3 was terrible. Nowadays, distinguishing a V0 encode from the original is hard and may be possible only on some samples. Good luck ever doing that with Opus or Vorbis.

    > Cheap Chinese crap

    The Chinese audiophile scene is pretty great actually.

    > they will probably fetishize MP3s eventually too

    I remember a scientific study where people (not hipsters, hipsters are not people) actually preferred the low bitrate MP3 encode. Unfortunate, but people also seem to prefer louder records which is even worse.

    1. Soundstage is still lost. Tracks not hard-panned are lost and there is no depth to the sound. Distinguishing LAME is instantly obvious with guitar distortion. The Fraunhofer codec is slightly better but still obvious. V0 and 320 are just as bad as 128 Kbps when compared to a decently recorded, mixed, and mastered CD even if the CD was overly compressed in mastering. As for low-bit rate MP3, that’s like saying a firm bowel movement is better than a loose one: it’s still shit.

      Chinese audio equipment manufactures are totally incompetent except for a few items. The planar and electrostatic speakers and headphones they make are garbage. Their electronics perform terribly for the most part and are all low-fidelity with lots of dialed in second order harmonics, grain, and fat bass. The people buying their crap are usually poor, deaf, or stupid; mostly all three. Chinese audiophiles themselves prefer Western brands for good reason, even if many of the lower-end models they can afford are made in China.

      1. kek says:

        Joint stereo is only used below 160kbps.

        I’m willing to bet $1000 you couldn’t tell a V0 encode in an ABX test.

        Mind you, all my music collection is in FLAC. I’m just being realistic in what it actually brings.

      2. GGALLIN1776 says:

        You’ll say that until firm bowel movement makes you bleed, then you’ll say ouch after a mild panic attack.

  3. canadaspaceman says:

    Did you know the hot blonde chick in the early 1980s Canadian Turtles chocolates TV commercials was also the same bimbo we wanted to buy us Spumante Bambino wine or champagne or whatever the stupid drink it was! and for her to take her top off ??
    I could IMDB her, but who cares .. everybody here reading this when 12-14 years old has their fave tv news hour / tv commercial(s) broad to fixate on.
    It is cute/good looking/healthy chicks like her, and Cynthia Dale, in Canada, that make me wonder… why was the manly-face looking Pamela Anderson wanted so much in the 1990s? I even fell into that hype !

  4. canadaspaceman says:

    oh, and yeah, Flac is superior, but if you only listen to your tunes on headphones and computer speakers, then do not feel guilty I suppose, 128 kbps is the same as 320. I save stuff 1/2 the time as flac or wave or whatever… stopped ripping with vbr as when I listen anything vbr ripped , i am VERY pissed off and annoyed the sound levels go up and dpwn all the time.

  5. GGALLIN1776 says:

    320 ist Krieg. Death to false formats.

    Last night metal magic happened. I was stealing some business’ wifi to illegally dl some things & up pulls a car blasting harvester of sorrow. They turn it down eventually, i crank dyers eve. Once that ended they went on with frayed ends of sanity & to live is to die.

    Not one (nor was One played) word but lyrics were uttered. Steering wheels were pounded to the rhythm of a shitty drummer.

    My downloads & the music ended, I set sail home. Another moment in metal written to the history books.

  6. canadaspaceman says:

    I need to trickle any flac’s slowly over tanya allen’s smooth body until she succumbs in ecstasy, because i am fed up waiting for the new season of Starhunter

  7. Exfoliation says:

    I just knew this article would bring the true autistics out like bum faggots shambling from sewer grates towards the blowjob man as he ring the bell in his service cart

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