Thomson launches mp3PRO
Thomson Multimedia and the Fraunhofer Institute today (Thursday) released
mp3PRO, an mp3 upgrade with a new ripper and player and offering 128kbs
performance at a 64kbs-encoding rate.
That translates into twice as much music on the same amount of disc space
and with it, Thomson hopes to leave Microsoft et al choking in the
dust. But it's by no means certain that it'll achieve that - in the 'legal'
market, at least.
Called mp3PRO, it contains the data found in ordinary mp3's, "to maintain
complete compatibility with original version players", says Thomson, while
new, or upgraded, players supporting mp3PRO also, "tap into another stream
that holds high audio frequencies, putting them together to make a
Mp3PRO was launched in Paris and Indianapolis simultaneously and is
available in a free demo version from the websites of Thomson Multimedia and
RCA; as well as the site of Coding Technologies which developed mp3PRO.
Thomson says the new app works with Windows 9X, 2000, NT, and Millennium,
encodes .WAV files into mp3PRO files at 64 kbps and plays back all mp3 and
mp3PRO files. "Availability of other mp3PRO software products supporting
other mp3PRO bit rates and mp3PRO-compatible portable devices is expected
later," says the company.
However, mp3PRO is mp3 on roller skates and the mp3 format has an evil rep
with mainstream concerns because of the online epidemic of pirated music
which is still going on, the demise of Napster and lack of recent media
Mp3PRO will be a lot more expensive to license than the straight mp3 and
some record companies, sensitized to the word 'pirate', are listing markedly
towards formats such as Microsoft's Windows Media which, unlike mp3PRO, has
at least some protection and is moreover an integral component of
Microsoft's technology base.
And don't forget the 'shadow' developers like the royalty free Ogg Vorbis.
In the meanwhile, what's mp3PRO like? Not bad, actually. I ripped a 27,654kb .WAV and it boiled down to 1,256kb.
There's a lot of chat about mp3 being 'lossy' but frankly, I don't think
online music lovers care that much about whether a digital audio file is
brilliant in terms of fidelity, or just pretty damn good. And mp3PRO IS
pretty damn good. On top of that, it's here, it's now, it's free - while it
lasts - and it produces files half the size of mp3.
Coding Technologies - www.codingtechnologies.com
Fraunhofer Institute - www.fraunhofer.de/english/index.html
Ogg Vorbis - www.vorbis.com
RCA - www.rca.com
Thomson Multimedia - www.thomson-multimedia.com
Windows Media - www.windowsmedia.com
Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» the mp3 way: Ogg Vorbis (2001-05-29)
» the mp3 way: mp3PRO - the .WAV of the future? (2001-04-25)