While there are probably at least a dozen different formats when it comes to audio, MP3 is the most popular due to its size and also the support it has from various media players and software. However it seems that all good things must come to an end, and it looks like the creators of the format have announced that they are terminating licensing for certain MP3-related patents.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits made the announcement on its website which to sum it up basically states that they will no longer be supporting the format. This is because they believe that as popular as the format currently is, there are better ways to store music out there today, and presumably with the retirement it should help push those formats forward.

The institute writes, “Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, mp3 is still very popular amongst consumers. However, most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs such as the AAC family or in the future MPEG-H. Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3.”

This is obviously not the first time that we’re seeing file formats being retired, and we doubt that it will be the last, but for everyone who grew up with MP3s, it looks like it is time to bid the format goodbye.

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