All good things come to an end.
But this feels more like the death of an era.
MP3 - the revolutionary coding format that flipped the digital audio scene around - has been declared dead. Officially. It’s gone forever, never to make its way back to our devices and lives again, like ever.
Wait. You got that? You need to take that in a little?
MP3 is dead, you guys!!!
The creator of the legendary format, Fraunhofer IIS, has confirmed the sad news,
"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."
Our childhood obsession is truly over. Life has come a full circle. It now rests in peace, after benchmark-setting success and proud decades in the running.
The whole point of MP3, since it was launched in the 90s, was to make files much smaller in size so multiple songs could be stored in the given space. It also made transmission quicker and easier for users.
Remember burning CDs, then swapping them with the entire classroom? A lot of us secretly hid stashes of broken, dirty disks with fading hand-written song lists at the back of the cover, trying to hold onto a time bygone. Back in the day, 12 songs were everything.
Then there were the MP3 players that gave an entire generation the power of music in their hands. New gadgets raided the markets, and our pocket monies. Damn, we were such plugged-in teens on the go.
Sigh. Those days. Nostalgia is killing me more than this heat at the moment. Even though modern tech stuff rocks, everything was so much cooler and simpler when it was old school.
But obviously, we’re too advanced for it now. MP3 had become an expendable, outdated concept in the eye-popping, mind-spinning, dazzling world of new-age technology.
But this was long coming for MP3, a dying invention of the past in today’s Wi-Fi, hi-fi times.
Modern codecs such as AAC or Advanced Audio Coding are much more popular and profitable now. They’re faster and give better quality while taking even lesser space. So, MP3 was going to bite the dust soon anyway. But it still hurts!
What we can’t forget is that MP3 was also the leader, the frontrunner, the pacesetter of the Internet generation.
It leaves behind such a stellar legacy, one to be passed on to kids who’ll grow up with iPods for toys. Tsk tsk. I pity them. They'll never know the magic we did. Even Apple was inspired; iTunes owes its foundation to MP3, the founding father of free music.
Thanks to MP3, sharing was quick as hell with friends. All those downloads made in the middle of the night to refresh our playlists can’t be forgotten. We won’t let MP3 memories die! No!
And just like everything else in the world, MP3 also had its flaws. Nothing is perfect. Yeah sure, it was kind of illegal at times and made some songs sound shittier than the original versions. But so what? We still got the best of it all.
But MP3 was a saviour in the hour of need and a trendsetter ahead of its time. And it’ll always keep playing in our minds.
The internet will officially never be the same again.