MP3 pioneers forge new format, MusicDNA

By on January 26, 2010, 3:00 PM
Some of the pioneers behind the MP3 format have introduced a new music file type that can include things like lyrics, videos, artwork, and blog posts. Called MusicDNA, the format was developed by Dagfinn Bach, who worked on the first MP3 player, and among the investors is Karlheinz Brandenburg, who is credited with inventing MP3.

The metadata aspect of MusicDNA is reminiscent of Apple's iTunes LP format, also known by the code name Cocktail, and a format called CMX, which several record labels are developing. Both iTunes LP and CMX package interactive features like artwork and lyrics in a single file. These formats intend to recreate the heyday of looking at album art and other extras while listening to music with friends. They would also allow the industry to charge more per file, given the additional content.

But is there more to the story? A key feature of MusicDNA is that it can dynamically update the content of your music file every time you connect to Internet. "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," said Bach.

Call me paranoid, but couldn't that open the door for various DRM mechanisms? Would you happily adopt MusicDRM -- I mean, DNA -- or are you satisfied with existing music formats?

User Comments: 14

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LightHeart said:

MP3 is just fine

My understanding is that MusicDNA is still using a MP3 music file, that is no changes to it but add additional art, etc and the ability to modify it. This does not sound good and sounds like either DRM as you mentioned or another place for hackers to exploit. How often do people really look at album art? Lets just keep the MP3 format and leave MusicDNA alone.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Charging me more for the exact same music but with art/lyrics I can google? Letting them have full access to my music and ability to alter them in anyway they want when online? thanks, good luck peddling this bull DRM to the consumer if its like this. And they think Piracy is bad now...just think if something like this is forced onto everyone =| . Maybe I'm just being paranoid like you .

Clrabbit said:

All of the above is a quick search away.... why would you want all that extra crap cluttering up your music file?

If I want art work I'll image search the band, If i want lyrics well there's hundreds of services for that one.

I am so sick of stuff auto-updating, last thing I want is my music using up more bandwidth and lowering the lifetime of my hard drive every time I play it.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Nothing more to add than what the above 3 posters said. Bad idea, don't want it.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

"Let's see I think I have enough room for one more album on my "music DNA compatible device"...updating, and nope."

Emin3nce said:

DRM Encourages Music piracy. GG.

tonylukac said:

Another way to track your downloads, too, by always communicating with someone on the internet.

skitzo_zac skitzo_zac, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hell no I don't want this. I agree with previous posters, I can search for art work and lyrics by myself If I want.

This DRM stuff needs to GTFO, I already block WMPs access to the internet, I dont want to have to block indivual music files or something stupid.

Guest said:

I don't understand why anyone wants MP3 anyway. Rather than develop a crap format by adding lots of junk to it, wouldn't it be better to work on making lossless music formats more widely available?

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All I could read was... ripoff ripoff and more ripoff...

Why you might ask?

There are tons of mp3 reproducing software that as soon as the song plays they search their databases for information on songs, albums and even the artists.

@Guest above: Not everyone wants lossless formats and too many people are just happy with 128kbps mp3 format.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I concur with the group. I avoid any auto updating that i can, and have no need for more bloated files with DRM or exploit issues.

Guest said:

I think everyone needs to give this a chance.

If anyone watches video with subtitles, then they would know the value of this. The ability to show the lyrics as a song is playing is something some might like.

More content and possibilities are always nice, too. Let's not blame the format before it has even come out.

Who says that you MUST auto-update? Who says that you MUST pay for more content? Who says you MUST use drm?

If you don't like auto-update, disable it or choose not to do it. If you think it costs too much, then don't buy it. If it's filled with drm, again, don't buy it. That way you vote with what you like and dislike.

But for love of the gods, don't turn away a format just because you THINK it might be drm or idle speculations.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Guest: If the companies that makes the bucks can control the file on connections, they will, and this is no speculations, this is the anti-piracy everyone always has wanted.

Besides, want lyrics or subtitles? Download one thats all.

Besides, the so called "new" format is just a file with an MP3 and aditional information.

Guest said:

@Guest: If the companies that makes the bucks can control the file on connections, they will, and this is no speculations, this is the anti-piracy everyone always has wanted.

There is always mp3 to fall back upon. Do you think the new format will beat the old mp3 format? Not any time soon, that's for sure. And if it does, then who is to say that everyone doesn't return to the torrent sites to get ahold of the old music for less?

Besides, want lyrics or subtitles? Download one thats all.

That's your opinion and not of the majority. You dismiss it because it has nothing new that you want, but you don't think of people who would like such things.

I like getting free subtitles in video containers, for example.

Besides, the so called "new" format is just a file with an MP3 and aditional information.

Which is exactly the point: enabling richer experience. What's the harm? You don't HAVE to use the new features.

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