New digital music format could replace the MP3

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A new digital music format, unveiled January 24 at the MIDEM festival, is being called "the successor to the MP3" by its creators and others in the industry. The new media extension, MusicDNA, allows owners of an MP3 file to access additional updated content, including lyrics, artwork, tour dates, blog posts, videos, and Twitter feeds.

Among its benefits for the music industry, MusicDNA could help to deter digital piracy: Only legitimately purchased MusicDNA tracks are dynamically updated, while pirated versions remain as static files. With the release at MIDEM of a high-profile report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry calling for a crackdown on digital piracy, MusicDNA could provide a crucial and timely solution.

MusicDNA files are readable in any MP3 player. The additional content, sent from music labels, artists, or retailers, appears alongside the MP3 and automatically updates whenever the player is connected to the internet.

MusicDNA is created by BACH Technology and is backed by technology partner Fraunhofer IDMT, the developer of the MP3.

An international Beta launch is set to begin this spring.