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Jonathan Sterne Discusses the Future of Format with NPR #MusicMonday

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From NPR:

Let’s make that very clear: MP3 and AAC are free for any user (not company) to take advantage of.

“Yes, absolutely. I mean the reason why the free software people didn’t like MP3 was because it was tied to royalties and Fraunhofer, whereas OGG was completely open source, anybody could use it anyone could contribute to it.”

The MP3 and other formats are based on some psychoacoustic assumptions that I was told last year were at least mildly off the mark.

“Any psychoacoustic assumption is a generalization, because we’re all walking around with two sets of ears and one brain, and psychoacoustics are all based on aggregate data populations. And in some cases, weird populations. So like 20Hz to 20kHz — the frequency range for ‘normal’ hearing, is based on research done on New York City schoolchildren. My colleague Mara Mills has written about that.

Check out the full interview and see more from Jonathan Sterne


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