Apple iPod
via Chloe Media / CC-BY-2.0

The MP3 is dead? That’s what its creators are saying.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a division of the German research institution that funded the development of the MP3 in the late 1980s, recently announced that its “licensing program for certain MP3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated”, reports NPR.

22 years later, the MP3 is obsolete. Instead, Fraunhofer director Bernhard Grill tells NPR that audio format AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) — which they also helped created — is now the “de facto standard for music download and videos on mobile phones.”

According to Grill, AAC is “more efficient than MP3 and offers a lot more functionality.”

Furthermore, the report says new formats actually offer a much better listening experience, whereas the MP3 was “working with incomplete information about how our brains process sonic information,” said the report.

“The engineers who developed the MP3 were working with incomplete information about how our brains process sonic information, and so the MP3 itself was working on false assumptions about how holistically we hear. As psychoacoustic research has evolved, so has the technology that we use to listen. New audio formats and products, with richer information and that better address mobile music streaming, are arriving,” writes the NPR

Though the MP3 became the norm, as the Internet became more and more popular, it wasn’t without its hurdles. Apparently, the Fraunhofer Institute was ahead of its time and the MP3 nearly died. They even tried to roll out an early version of a portable MP3 player that failed as well.

Read the full report by NPR here.