You may not have heard of the Fraunhofer Society, but youíve almost certainly used some of its inventions - notably MP3 (but it also contributed to AAC audio and H.264 video). Recently, many rushed to declare MP3 ďdeadĒ because Fraunhofer killed its licensing program and declared AAC the successor.
There seems to be a misunderstanding. Patents on MP3 decoding expired a couple of years ago, you can use any free implementation you wish and not pay a cent in licensing. Recently, patents on encoding expired as well (save for a couple of unimportant ones), so license-free software can create MP3s as well.
How does that lead to the death of the most popular formats around? You may not remember when GIF was patent-encumbered too - Unisis (the patent holder) wanted devs to pay for a license and so devs started building alternative formats. Itís how PNG was born. This threatened the popularity of GIF, there was even a ďBurn All GIFsĒ campaign.
Now that GIF is free of patents, itís more popular than ever - itís even supported by keyboards! Not to mention the many image sharing sites that support it (and swap it for ďGIFVĒ because true GIFs waste too much bandwidth).
So, will this be the end of MP3? We doubt it. If at all possible, MP3 will become even more popular. Sure, AAC promises better audio quality, but MP3 encoders have gotten so good that the difference is slim. Plus, there are even better open-source audio codecs out there - like Opus (then there's the FLAC crowd too).
The thing is that MP3 is like JPEG - itís perceived as old and inefficient, but itís supported by everything under the sun. That makes it a common medium, so easy to share that itís not going away anytime soon. This isnít like cassette tapes or vinyl discs, which became obsolete... wait, those arenít dead either!
Mp3 is not the best sound format around in fact for me as an audiophile I would not settle anything less than FLAC. But let us face the facts MP3 will never die. very few people can actually know the difference in sound between lets say MP3 and Flac,...
I help summarize for this, MP3 is the de facto for lossy compression audio format. It won't going to be obsolete very soon.It doesn't matter if there are new, more advance compression format that is higher quality than MP3.
You do realise you wrote almost 50% more words than article?! In fact, it is like your comment is the article and the story is the comment...Jeez!