Are we saying goodbye to MP3?

Now that Alcatel-Lucent won an unprecedented $1.5 Billion patent infringement lawsuit (one of six lawsuits) against Microsoft, this will boost their claim against all other companies using MP3 technology. The patents in question govern the conversion of audio into the digital MP3 file format on personal computers.

We’re already seeing reports that Apple, Samsung and Sandisk are also being sued by Texas MP3 Technologies, although this seems to be from a different but related MP3 technology.

This begs the question “will this be the doom of MP3?“, which is arguably the most popular audio format for decades. If Alcatel-Lucent eventually wins all the cases, it could ran after all other companies that feature mp3 conversion technology. Are we moving to another format like Apple’s AAC. How about Ogg Vorbis?

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  • Ogg Vorbis is a Nice audio format, hate the name and hardware player support is lagging.

    AAC on the other hand, i tried it and sounds as good as Ogg Vorbis and the HE-AAC, Beats WMA at low bitrates (32 to 64 kbit)

    But i will stick to MP3’s for now since i don’t have an Ipod or any other audio player that can read AAC or Ogg.

  • AAC is actually brought to you by the same research group that developed MP3 – Fraunhofer Institute. It is actually a more advanced audio codec. MP3 is actually MPEG 1 Layer 3. They have more advanced audio codecs now in development. They also have a lossless audio codec standard.

    Still the bottom line is you have to pay royalties if you want to develop an MP3/AAC player or if you want to sell an MP3/AAC software player.

  • Fleeb

    So what will happen to LAME now?

  • this has been a hot post on digg recently. I wonder myself what’s gonna happen — of course i’m just waiting to see how it goes since MS could be giving it a spin.

    Far more interesting is 2 other groups claim the mp3 rights. Since its the most widely used format, it’s bound to get interesting…

  • RonC

    I don’t believe this is the end for MP3 specially here in the Philippines. As long as there are programs like LAME installed on my computer, MP3 will be alive (at least for me). If there’s another audio format that will replace MP3, it must be .Ogg

  • MP3’s are now an endangered specie; a number of Linux OS Distros don’t have its codec on their initial installation and would have you download a third-party codec from their repositories. Why? Because Fraunhofer Institute sold the technology to Microsoft. It’s a good thing Alcatel-Lucent won the case, but sure do hope that they re-release it as open-source. Anyway, down with RIAA-MPAA, who wants full control of the ripping business. It’s they who continually rip our pockets by selling over-priced records and movies anyway.

  • Not yet, but soon.

  • Actually it’s not the format, it’s the patent system in the US. Say we move to .ogg because it’s open, but what if 5 years down the road another company is going to sue Apple or Microsoft because .ogg that they are currently supporting is violating their patent.