The Fraunhoefer Institute of Integrated Circuits-responsible for the creation of the MP3-announced on its website last month that its licensing for MP3s and other related patents had been terminated. With the file format widely accepted by nearly every mobile manufacturer today, the use of MP3 is pretty much redundant.
MP3s revolutionised the audio sector with their compressed file sizes, relegating the once shiny compact discs (CDs) to nothing more than cheap ornamental mirrors and unleashing a whole new market for MP3 players. It was popular for nearly a couple decades but has since been replaced by 'more efficient audio codecs' such as Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) and Moving Picture Experts Group - high-efficiency coding and media delivery in heterogeneous environments (MPEG-H).
Fraunhofer Institute says that most of the well-known streaming, TV, or radio service providers are now using ISO-MPEG codecs like AAC family or MPEG-H.
iTunes and others now favor AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) files, which the Fraunhofer Institute also helped to create. With the MP3 licensing program terminated it will likely not see a resurgence due to the low quality of the format. It might become even more popular when those patents expire.
While the developers have bid farewell to MP3, the format remains popular for those using retro iPods and MP3 players. Below that, you'll find an embed of all the audio that's lost on the track when it's run through MP3 compression. Well, there's some bad news - MP3 is no more. In 1993, nearly 24 years back, it came into the market; nevertheless, it became popular by 1997 when Winamp audio player was released and MP3 was downloaded often by users from various websites, which was illegal though. MP3, however, remains the most used format despite its quuality issues, partly because of its file size and partly because of the software ecosystem that has grown arond it.
MP3 development began in the late '80s, becoming a standardized format in 1991. But what's interesting about the way the way NPR framed the issue is that it presents MP3 as a technology that everyone will now simply move away from, in much the same fashion that the world moved away from vinyl records.