MP3 specification gets new surround-sound features

Fraunhofer and Thomson have announced two new enhancements to MP3 Surround software.

The inventors of MP3 are taking portable music listening one step further with the introduction of two surround sound enhancements.

Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (Fraunhofer IIS) and France's Thomson SA have added two new elements to MP3 Surround demonstration software: MP3 SX (MP3 Stereo eXtended), which enhances MP3 stereo files for multichannel playback; and Ensonido, which provides portable MP3 Surround sound using stereo headphones, the companies announced Tuesday.

Demo software containing both enhancements can be downloaded for free at: http://www.all4mp3.com.

MP3 Surround, which was developed in 2004 by Fraunhofer IIS in collaboration with Agere Systems and is licensed by Thomson, enables high-quality surround sound at bit rates comparable to those currently used to encode stereo MP3 material.

The MP3 XS enhancement supports a transition from stereo to surround sound, enabling listening to two-channel content in surround, the companies said.

Ensonido enhances the listening experience through stereo headphones. The technology is based on an acoustic model that simulates the natural transmission of multichannel sound from loudspeakers to the human ear.

Additional information about MP3 Surround is available at: http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/amm/download/mp3surround/index.html.

More information about Ensonido is available at: http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/amm/techinf/ensonido/index.html.

MP3 is a format for storing digital audio, using a type of audio compression that reduces the file size with little reduction in audio quality.

Research on compression of music files was conducted in the 1980s by a team of scientists working under Karlheinz Brandenburg at Fraunhofer IIS. Brandenburg's development, the MPEG-1 Layer 3 algorithm, was first shortened to MPEG Layer 3 and later to MP3.

Thomson will demonstrate the MP3 Surround enhancements at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins Thursday in Las Vegas.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?