According to the main developers of the digital audio coding format in Germany, it’s time to say goodbye to MP3. The Fraunhofer Institute says it has “terminated” its licensing programme with Technicolor because its patents are expiring.


MP3s led to the development of hundreds of music-listening devices, which took over CD players, including Apple’s iPod, the Sony Walkman MP3, Microsoft Zune and Samsung Galaxy Player.

The Fraunhofer Institute says the quality of the format is also inferior to its current standard.

Woman wearing headphones

The supposed “death” of the MP3 won’t have much of an impact because of streaming and most new portable players now use different formats anyway. But you’ll still be able to listen to the MP3s that you’ve ripped or bought in the past – and companies like Amazon Music, Google Play and Windows use the format.