Will MusicDNA signal the end for the MP3?
article compiled by steve

 

This week it has been confirmed that a new music file format MusicDNA, is being launched to try and replace the MP3. Its confirmed elsewhere that this is to be a replacement rather than run along side the MP3.

 

Bach Technology CEO Stefan Kohlmeyer says that MP3 was developed 20 years ago – by Bach’s technology partner, Germany’s Fraunhofer IDMT (Institute for Digital Media Technology) and Karlheinz Brandenburg, who is an investor in Bach – and although it was “great for its time” it doesn’t support multi media.

“Twenty years on from our first work developing the MP3, it is time for digital audio to once again evolve. Just as vinyl gave way to the CD and the CD to MP3, it is time for the MP3 to pass the baton onto MusicDNA,” says Kohlmeyer, who adds he has a host of support from record labels, including Beggars Group and Tommy Boy Entertainment, retailers, including the PeoplesMusicStore, and digital distributors, such as Germany’s Rebeat Digital.

For record companies it is a way of “repackaging products” and pushing new releases from artists to known fans. “We can get very indepth profiles of the music users,” adds the CEO, who says there might be many various price points for MusicDNA depending on the amount of content rights holders provide in each bespoke file.

Stefan Kohlmeyer, also adds "The MusicDNA technology could prove key in the fight against piracy. The information given with the legally downloaded files will update automatically with tour dates or releases, but pirated files will remain static. At the moment there is no real incentive to buy a legal file. If we concentrate on making the legal file, we can help the entire music industry," he said.

MusicDNA enabled files will play on any MP3 player and Kohlmeyer adds that people can also upload their complete iTunes libraries to receive enhanced versions of thousands of their music tracks. Fans can also customise their MusicDNA files after purchase

 

MusicDNA is launching a beta, or test, version this spring with a full roll-out at the end of the summer.

 

There are several advantages of the new file MusicDNA, one is that you are able to have embedded lyrics and artwork. The main advantage is that MusicDNA could be sent updates from either the record company or artist to show the latest news or even the artists tour images.

 

It will also be in competition with Apple’s iTunes LP, which gives users added content including bonus tracks, lyrics and video interviews.

No major labels are currently on board and the MusicDNA files are likely to be more expensive than current music downloads. Bach says the price will be set by record labels and retailers, but hopes it will be in a similar range to current digital files.

 

Time will tell if the life of the MP3 is coming to an end or not

 

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