God that’s horrible reporting. Aren’t tech sites usually whining about how bad patents are? Some patents finally expire, a format becomes free for use, and they basically tell everyone that now you have to stop using it.
This NPR article was so bad that I actually emailed them complaining about it.
It reads like a Fraunhofer press release.
They “terminate the licensing program for MP3” and the journalists spin it as “they are killing off MP3”. Great example of how a story can be spun and how bad/incorrect much journalism is.
I hope opus starts to gain more traction. It seems like it is an excellent replacement for pretty much everything except for lossless compression.
indeed, especially with low bitrates the quality is amazing. the good thing is that almost every browser can play it by now, which is a pretty good base for more usage.
This is only about US patents.
In Europe the patents already expired in 2012: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licensing.2C_ownership_and_legislation
And everyone in Europe deleted their MP3s in 2012 and has been MP3 free for 5 years!
My gut tells me that the salient reason for using the MP3 format is probably embedded systems and hardware controllers in a wide array of consumer appliances, such as “dumb” TV sets, and sound systems with SD card slots and USB suuport.
That’s our use case. MP3 decoding works like a charm for devices with very limited CPU and RAM.
I vaguely recall early on there were integer math only decoding libraries available which was one of the reasons Ogg Vorbis had trouble taking off as (at the time) it needed fast floating point.
Which can probably be further optimized for in some cases, with chipsets that include an application specific MP3 decoder chip, or include that as part of a more generalized SOC, so that the i/o stream can be sent directly to the output channel with zero processing or storage overhead.