Will MP3 and AAC become obsolete?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by marty1990, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. marty1990 macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2011
    Since they're both lossy formats, in the next 20 years time, will those formats become obsolete in favour of lossless formats? Especially when data speeds become faster and iPod's become larger in storage capacity?

    If so, what will happen to those who have huge collections of paid MP3's?

    Will we just have to re-buy everything all over again? This bugs me a bit, because I have like 30GB worth of music in MP3 and AAC, and I've re-bought my CD collection as AAC, as CD's are becoming pretty much obsolete nowadays... so will I have to, in the next 15 years or so, have to buy all my music all over again?
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Use iTunes Match.

    Turned most of my music, including some music from LPs, most music from CDs, most music from Amazon, and all the music from the iTunes store, including 128 KBit with DRM, into 256 KBit AAC. No reason why it wouldn't turn the same music into lossless one day.

    Of course for AAC to become obsolete you would need (a) storage capacity on the iPod that everybody's music collection fits lossless, (b) improved playback so that playing back lossless doesn't use more battery life than AAC, (c) sound quality from the iPods A/D converter so that you can actually hear a difference, and (d) ears that are good enough to hear the difference.

    And now let's check audio books. War And Peace is a free download of about 50 hours. That's about 15 GB with lossless compression.
  3. sexiewasd macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    Back in Your Head
    Are CD'd becoming obsolete? Yea I think thats fair, just like vinyl's heyday was quite a long time ago, but that doesn't mean they won't stick around for a very long time. CD's are WAV audio, thats raw uncompressed audio, so there really isn't any way to beat that in the digital realm. It can be converted to any format you please. On top of that both CD media and drives are cheap as dirt, unlike vinyl, which is actually rather expensive to produce (comparatively).

    As for prices, My last purchase was K.Flay's self titled EP. It's 4.95 on iTunes, and $5.00 on her website, so not really saving much money with digital distribution, just some added convenience, for less product, no physical copy and artwork, and in this case two stickers and a handwritten note come with the physical copy.

    CD's obsolete or not are often a better bargain, but if that doesn't work for you then I suggest buying only lossless then converting down to what ever you want, or what might come along, and using the lossless tracks as you backups, after all HDD space is really cheap right now, if your just using it for backups.

    (EDIT) For the record I rip all my CD's in iTunes to 256K VBR AAC and use iTunes Match.
  4. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    They'll still have huge collections of paid MP3's.

    I seriously doubt that MP3 support will go away anytime soon, just like JPG it will be continue to be supported for a very long time since they are so wide spread formats.
    Also, since streaming is the big thing right now the demand for heavily compressed files will remain.

    I personally has never paid for an MP3 file in my life though. I've always made sure to have lossless versions of the music I've bought around so that I know that I can encode them in whatever file format that comes along instead of cross encoding and loose more and more quality over time.
    Trying to think one step ahead when choosing file formats is always a wise thing.

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