Thompson, one of the largest audio companies around, recently announced the release of a new lossless mp3 audio codec. The company claims that the new codec, named mp3HD, will create bit-exact replicas of audio tracks from CDs, with 100% accuracy. Some of the important features of this new file format are as follows:
There is obviously some tradeoff for such great quality. The first tradeoff that will probably concern most music-lovers is the file size. Even a little, 4-minute track will take up to 26 MB, when encoded using the highest bit rate. If the bit rate is reduced somewhat, the file will still be around 18 MB in size, greatly increasing the space requirement for storing the files.
The biggest drawback that the codec will face is probably the lack of hardware support. No mp3 player available in the market currently supports this new audio format. So, for now, only PC users will be able to tinker around with this new technology.
Thomson reportedly plans to charge 75 cents for every PC software decoder package. Each codec will apparently be priced somewhere between $2.50 and $5.00. A hardware decoder and codec will cost 75 cents and $1.25 respectively.
The technology looks good so far and is all set to revolutionize the world of music, but strong hardware support is a must, if the technology has to be successful in today’s competitive market.