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That’s right, the digital audio format most of us likely grew up to has finally been given the axe by its developer.

It’s unlikely that you don’t know what an MP3 is, it’s a very widely used digital audio coding format that was very prevalent over the last couple of decades or so. With the devs officially terminating its licensing program, they also released a statement:

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.

The MP3 made it a lot easier to download audio files off the internet (and probably helped spur on piracy) but it made music much more accessible to the masses. The decision to end the format is not unlike when people moved from floppy drives to CD-ROMs (and eventually, the DVD-ROMs that mostly rot in our machines due to the prevalence of digital downloads).

Of course, the format won’t be immediately discontinued but expect it to slowly fizzle out as newer formats become the standard.