Thomson, co-developers of the MP3 file, has announced a much-needed update to the audio format. Called MP3HD, its makers claim that it is a lossless audio codec that is backward compatible to MP3.
In order to fit all the audio information in, MP3HD files are said to be around four times the size of a normal MP3 file and offer a 100 per cent exact replica of CD tracks.
26MB a track
While there are a number of lossless music codecs available on the market – FLAC being one of the most popular – MP3HD has the added bonus of being backwards-compatible, so the files will play as a normal MP3s on older players.
This means you can stock up on MP3HD files, play them like an older file and when new devices catch up and support the codec you will have one of the clearest digital music collections around.
Thompson believes that megabyte-wise, an MP3HD song will take up around 26MB, which is no bad thing as disk space isn't exactly at a premium at the moment.
The company introduced MP3 way back in 1995, and has since then the codec has enjoyed a majority share of the digital music pie. Thomson will be hoping that it can replicate this success with its new lossless codec.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.