From the makers of the MP3 file format comes a new audio codec which may well be key to help curb music piracy.
Called MusicDNA, the file format is being billed as successor of the MP3 – by Bach, its makers – and is packed to the brim with metadata, containing artist information, artwork and even things like song lyrics and Twitter feeds.
Much like the iTunes LP but not locked to iTunes like Apple's version, MusicDNA hopes to revitalise the music industry by adding extras to the files like live videos and even links to buy merchandise.
Double the price
"We bundle all the audio data and business intelligence in one file. The data can be automatically updated whenever you are online," said co-inventor Stefan Kohlmeyer at the launch of the format.
"You could even sell it for double the price of an ordinary MP3. If content creators make an effort to put a lot of exclusive content in to it, you could definitely charge a higher premium."
So far there are a number of music labels who have signed on to supply MusicDNA, including the UK-based Beggars Group, Delta records and Tommy Boy Entertainment.
Tom Silverman, the founder and CEO of Tommy Boy, is so enthused with the idea of MusicDNA he explained that: "If MP3s were the cassette, MusicDNA will be the CD."
It will be interesting to see if any sort of music format can knock any of the current digital stalwarts off of their perch (MP3, WMA, AAC and the like) especially if MusicDNA is going to be sold at a premium.