The Zombie MP3

This is an interesting article from NPR, not just for the content on how better alternatives to the MP3 lossy audio format exist, but on how NPR reporters sometimes overlook significant angles. (Though that, I’ll admit, is endemic to journalism. We just expect more from NPR, and sometimes get disappointed.)

In this case, the patents on MP3 have expired or will no longer be enforced. That means the people who had been collecting royalties for use of the technology aren’t doing so anymore. The article goes along with the assertion from those commercial interests that the MP3 format is “dead”, long live the new (and revenue-producing!) new format!

Another article could take the view that a significant, if flawed, technology has now entered the public domain, and how its use may continue even in the presence of technically superior solutions, some of those, like FLAC (a lossless compression technique which doesn’t even get a mention in the NPR article), being free for use.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

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