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The mp3 is officially dead, declares its creators

After two decades the technology is officially dead...

The company that holds some of the patents to the mp3 has officially declared the death of the iconic audio codec.

In a statement released this week, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute For Integrated Circuits has announced that "Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated."

What that means is it will no longer be licensing its patents for the third party applications and technologies.

Nowadays almost all streaming services use different codecs — such AAC or MPEG-H — to deliver CD-quality music online and therefore there aren't as many companies wanting to license mp3 patents.

“Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, MP3 is still very popular amongst consumers,” the Fraunhofer Institute said in a statement.

The mp3 has been ubiquitous in the death of physical music such as CD and vinyl (although vinyl has made a comeback) and will forever be associated with large scale piracy that took place on sites and services like Limewire and Soulseek.

Originally created as a way to shrink the size of music so it could be distributed online quickly at a time when most users had dial-up internet, these days fibre optic broadband (which generally affords unlimited data at high speeds) means audio files no longer need to be shrunk down and therefore the mp3 is no longer needed.

The death of the mp3 will not have any impact on your mp3 libraries as devices will continue to support the format for many years to come.