[blindreplay] MP3HD coming

  • From: "Petro T. Giannakopoulos" <petrakigianos-giasou@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindreplay@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 05:18:54 -0700 (PDT)

With links
http://www.pcworld.com/article/161561/thomson_pumps_up_volume_with_tools_for_mp3hd_lossles

Article

Thomson has released software for the creation and playback of a new type of 
audio file using lossless compression. MP3HD files will be around four times 
the size of corresponding MP3 files, but will remain compatible with existing 
MP3 players.

The software includes command-line tools for Windows and Linux that convert 
standard WAV files into the new MP3HD format, and a plugin for the Winamp media 
player for Windows PCs for listening to them. The tools can be downloaded from 
the all4mp3.com Web site run by Thomson, which with German research center 
Fraunhofer Institute IIS co-developed the MP3 format.

Some people won't be able to hear the difference, but to others, particularly 
those interested in high-end audio systems, it will be music to their ears. 

MP3 files are created using a lossy compression algorithm so some of the audio 
detail, inaudible to the average listener, is thrown away in the process of 
compressing and uncompressing the file. 

The new format, on the other hand, uses lossless compression, meaning that an 
MP3HD file made from a WAV audio file will contain all the information required 
to create a WAV file bit-for-bit identical to the original.

MP3HD files remain compatible with existing MP3 players because they are in 
fact standard MP3 files. However, rather than throw away the inaudible details 
during the encoding process, the MP3HD encoder saves them in the ID3 Tag, the 
part of an MP3 file used to store track details such as album and artist names. 
Existing MP3 players will read only the standard MP3 information; only MP3HD 
players will benefit from the additional lossless information stored in the 
file.

The additional audio information is saved in an unused field of the ID3 tag, 
and should not be disturbed by software that allows editing of album and artist 
names, said Thomson's Business Development Director for MP3 and Audio 
Technology François Thuilière.

Compared to an audio CD, which contains 1411KB of data per second of audio, an 
MP3HD file will contain between 700K bps (bits per second) and 900K bps of 
data, according to Thuilière.

"The size of the file will depend on the content, whether its vocals, rock or a 
symphony," he said.

Most digital music stores sell near-CD-quality tracks encoded at bit rates of 
between 128K bps and 256K bps.

The MP3 format was a hit because it made it possible to store near-CD-quality 
audio in about a 10th the space required for the original uncompressed audio 
file, or to download it in about a 10th the time.

In 2001 Thomson tried to go even further with MP3pro, another variation on MP3 
intended to offer the same audio quality with around half the data. However, it 
didn't catch on because it arrived just as broadband Internet access was 
starting to take off in Europe and people no longer felt constrained by the 
speed of dial-up connections.

"Today we're moving in the other direction," said Thuilière.

MP3HD files will be around four times bigger than corresponding MP3 files, he 
said -- but in an age of 18M bps DSL connections or 100M bps FTTH (fiber to the 
home) and terabyte hard disc drives, that size should no longer be a problem.

The extensions to the MP3 format contained in MP3HD are proprietary and, as 
with the original MP3 format, anyone wanting to sell devices containing the 
encoder or decoder must obtain a license, Thuilière said.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/161561/thomson_pumps_up_volume_with_tools_for_mp3hd_lossless_codec.html?tk=rss
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