Published by: Julia Nash

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

On April 23, 2017 – The inventor of MP3 Fraunhofer Institute announced:

‘Licensing program for certain MP3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.’

“Say whaaaat?” …

…In other words, the MP3 music format, that we all know very well, is no longer protected by a patent.

Immediately, all the major tech publications declared it ‘dead’.

Well, we made a reasearch. According to our data, MP3 is live and kicking. It takes up 70% of all music transferred with WALTR, while AAC is close to just 1%.

To provide a better picture we also prepared an infographic showing how MP3 developed over time.

The history of MP3

Technically, you can still play back your MP3 music collection. But YouTube, Apple Music already adopted the more efficient AAC format a.k.a Advanced Audio Coding.

AAC is more advanced (obviously) and has better quality. But the difference is noticeable only at low bitrates. AAC makes sense for streaming services, as long as they use low or medium bitrate and might have limited or expensive bandwidth.

In the end, the MP3 dilemma is still open. There’s no definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Do we really need to use other, more efficient music formats? Or is it better to stick to good old MP3?

Share your thoughts in the comments!


Julia Nash
Julia Nash

Apple junkie at Softorino



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