Decades after the MP3 transformed the music industry, the inventors of the format recently announced. In a statement on their website, The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a government-funded German research institution who created the MP3 in the late '80s, said that the "licensing program for certain MP3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.”
The AAC, or "Advanced Audio Coding" format, which The Fraunhofer Institute also helped create has now become the favored file type for iTunes and other digital retailers. Bernhard Grill, a member of The Fraunhofer Institute, told NPR that AAC is "more efficient than MP3 and offers a lot more functionality."
Streaming services are now starting to use "Master Quality Authenticated," which offers studio quality streaming audio and uses less cellular data through its compression. The creators of the format, Meridian Audio, have received criticism for creating a supply chain where they can cash at every level at the expense of the consumer.