MP3 Surround


mp3 Surround will enable 5.1 channel surround-quality sound for a broad spectrum of applications including web-based music distribution, broadcasting systems, PC-related audiovisual or gaming applications, consumer electronics and automotive systems.

Key features:

Portability: mp3 Surround supports high-quality multi-channel sound at bit rates comparable to those currently used to encode stereo mp3 material, resulting in files half the size of commonly compressed surround formats. The 16kbs file size overhead for the additional 3.1 channels is very small. This enables content creators to easily share mp3surround files.

Compatibility: mp3 Surround features complete backward compatibility to existing mp3 software and hardware devices, including PCs, DVD recorders and players, automotive, gaming and other applications. Surround-capable headphones are currently under development.

Quality: mp3 Surround creates a distinct, psycho-acoustically discrete 5.1 channel surround sound quality, comparable to DVD at half the bit rate.

Public Acceptance: Software Development Kits (SDK) will be made available for current (and new) licensees, as well as free tools and sample content for software developers, content creators, and other potential users. Our release of free software enables content creation by users from existing 5.1 surround material. mp3surround has no additional licensing costs, thus, we expect implementation by many, if not all, licensees.

More information

On December 2, 2004, Technicolor, the Fraunhofer Institute, and Agere Systems jointly announced the launch of mp3surround in the following release:

"mp3, the world's most popular audio compression format, goes multi-channel. Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, inventors of mp3, together with Technicolor, co-inventors of mp3 and exclusive licensing representative for their mp3 patents and software, and Agere Systems (NYSE: AGR.A, AGR.B), have joined to launch mp3surround into the consumer and commercial markets."
mp3 Surround differentiates itself from today's available audio codec technology in a number of significant ways:
Enhanced DVD Experience

One of the key benefits of mp3 Surround will be realized through a partnership, announced on March 9, 2005 with DivXNetworks, Inc. The agreement will enable DivXNetworks, Inc. to include mp3 and, in the future, mp3 Surround technology in all DivX® software and consumer electronics offerings, allowing over 160 million DivX® users the opportunity to enjoy the small file size and the high audio quality of mp3 Surround with their video files. Additionally, DivXNetworks, Inc. will now offer licensees a complete video and audio SDKs. Complete backward compatibility allows current devices on the market to play DVDs encoded in mp3 Surround, although in stereo. Future DVD recorders and players, and home theater devices will play DVDs in full mp3 Surround. PC's equipped with soundcards carrying 5.1 or more channels (and five speakers) already have the capability of utilizing mp3 Surround technology for full surround effect.

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