Friday, March 27, 2009

mp3HD: You're kidding, right?

This has to be the dumbest idea I've heard in a while. The genuises at Thomson decided that instead of audio software and device manufacturers supporting the numerous existing lossless audio codecs we have (FLAC, ALAC, WMA Lossless, etc.) in addition to mp3, that it would be a good idea to take mp3s and their lossless counterparts and COMBINE THEM into one gargantuan file! They say MAXIMUM COMPATIBILITY!

Hello? Disk space calling Thomson.

Why the hell can't device manufacturers support mp3 AND a lossless format. It doesn't really matter which lossless format. Hell, some already do support lossless, including the iPod. Computationally, to decode a lossless format, its trivial. It may suck slightly more juice than an mp3, but battery technology is only getting better. One could argue for the mp3HD format by saying that disk space is getting cheaper and that the overall size per file is not that much bigger. I'd counter that by saying that people's music collections are also growing, and a 20% increase per file adds up. We aren't carrying around terabyte disks in our pockets, OK? All this, and mp3HD requires a new plugin for PCs and a new firmware update for portables. Not compatible? FAIL FAIL FAIL!!!!

Prediction: this format sinks faster than a lead submarine.

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