MP3 pioneers unveil MusicDNA file format

Some of the key people who were behind the creation of the popular MP3 format have unveiled a new music file format called MusicDNA, according to the BBC. The new format is capable of storing updatable lyrics, videos, artwork and blog posts, as well as the music itself.

Created by Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach, who worked on the first MP3 player, the new format is already set to be used by British record company Beggars Group as well as US label Tommy Boy. However, no major music labels are currently set to adopt the new format which will dynamically update every time the user connects to it.

MusicDNA will also find itself in competition with Apple's iTunes LP format, which also includes similar additional features.

"We can deliver a file that is extremely searchable and can carry up to 32GB of extra information in the file itself. And it will be dynamically updatable so that every time the user is connected, his file will be updated," Bach said at the Midem music conference

German researcher Karlheinz Brandenburg, who was behind the creation of the MP3 and is an invester in MusicDNA, said, "I think it brings together a number of ideas that have been around for a long time.

"I remember 10 years ago, a lot of people were saying that we need to enrich the user experience, that legal access to music has to give the customers more than just music, and this is certainly one very nice way to do it."

A beta version of MusicDNA will be launching this spring, with a full release expected by the end of the summer.

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43 Comments

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This format will be DOA. You can already embed lyrics, album art, etc. The only thing missing from mp3 is the DRM and I'm sure everyone will be clamoring for that.

And I was waiting for MP3 Surround to become popular and supported in portable players like iPods or Zunes... Or at least AAC 5.1 support in players.

This new attempt at bringing more content to the user is flawed. All that is needed nowadays is a "connected" device that can display all kind of information about a file from the Internet.

MP3 already contains tags for almost everything. Why do we need blog posts or updatable lyrics? As if the songs will change their lyrics and embedded ones become irrelevant.

I like my mp3 for portable / flac for pc use / wave for archiving with the highest quality. Got everything covered up. But thanks for the offer, maybe I'll consider adding DRM to the music I bought in another life time.

hardgiant said,
Like others I think mp3 and flac will remain popular.
Flac is popular? News to me.

xiphi said,
Flac is popular? News to me.

FLAC is relatively popular. It's the codec of choice for paranoid audiophiles. Most people hear any difference between an MP3 at 256 kbps and a FLAC file.

"that legal access to music has to give the customers more than just music"

So there aim is to give legal access and not music... sorry no thanks..

It's a music file that holds...video? That feels goofy to me. As for the rest of the stuff, an MP3 can hold all of that stuff. I encode DMX light show information into my MP3s. A new format doesn't seem to offer anything compelling, so this is obviously yet another attempt to try to trick the consumer into accepting DRM in exchange for unwanted garbage.

My Zune HD already has artist bios and pictures along with artists related to what I'm listening to. I have no need for this.

I'm all for this format. Sure it sounds like a container, which is all it basically needs to be. I've been waiting for someone to come up with a digital version of a CD. It would be the final nail in the coffin for physical media.

xiphi said,
I'm all for this format. Sure it sounds like a container, which is all it basically needs to be. I've been waiting for someone to come up with a digital version of a CD. It would be the final nail in the coffin for physical media.

You have that with Apple iTune LP....

TruckWEB said,

You have that with Apple iTune LP....


Never heard of it till this article, and probably for good reason.

Audio, track/album/artist info and album art are all that is needed. Gonna stick with MP3, the one format all my portable devices support.

sounds like another all-in-one attempt at a standard

32gb cant be dowloaded easily in the near future... maybe its an incentive for physical media?

also they could enforce the idea of 'paid content' by having physical media and having raw amounts of data to discourage people from sending this over the internet... the stuff like blog posts might only be accessible to people who paid, so its kind of like a ticket

carmatic said,

32gb cant be dowloaded easily in the near future... maybe its an incentive for physical media?

'can carry up to 32GB'

m-p{3} said,
I'll stay with FLAC, thanks.

+1
FLAC + a good audio player such as amarok if you want to get extra info about the song.
A media format that connects to the Internet and updates itself every time a user plays it, sound like spyware to me.

Edited by Lechio, Jan 26 2010, 1:29pm :

Would you believe it, there are already discussions happening into how to bundle spam, virii, etc into these new M-DNA files...

Sigh...

When are they going to get it, I do not want that extra crap so you can add your DRM. I just want the music (switch I paid for) only with no DRM or extra crap.

Why do I need my music files to be capable of storing blog posts? I just want to listen to the damn music.

James Brooks said,
If this file is downloadable and can carry up to 32GB PLUS the music itself... How the hell are we going to download them?

I'm assuming the data is stored on servers and the information is in the DNA file. When you connect or request data it's streamed?

I wont have no use for this, seems another waste of time.

James Brooks said,
If this file is downloadable and can carry up to 32GB PLUS the music itself... How the hell are we going to download them?

Well 99.999% of them wouldn't have that much data in them, since they would:

(a) be undownloadable to most
(b) not fit on a PMP
(c) destroy the internet

smithy_dll said,
How many competing extensions to MP3 do we need that no-one uses properly and has no widespread, open support?

Tons apparently. Same thing with video formats =/

I really don't see this catching on because most people I know don't really look at their media player when listening to music...it's just hidden away in some corner. If they really needed to lookup some lyrics well google is like 2 clicks away.

/- Razorfold said,

I really don't see this catching on because most people I know don't really look at their media player when listening to music...it's just hidden away in some corner. If they really needed to lookup some lyrics well google is like 2 clicks away.

That's probably because their PMP doesn't have artist info, etc. Before the Zune HD, I didn't really look at it beyond choosing a song. Now that the Zune HD has artist bios, pics, etc, I do bother to read some of the information it has.

Draje said,
Music files that are dynamically updated when a user is connected to the internet. Smells like DRM.

It's a trap!


That 32GB will be DRM ;c)

Draje said,
Music files that are dynamically updated when a user is connected to the internet. Smells like DRM.

It's a trap!

I'm afraid I have to agree.