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MusicDNA Is MusicDOA [Audio Format Foolishness]


It’s sprayed all over the SA IT media: “MusicDNA will rescue the MP3 from oblivion”, “MusicDNA to succeed MP3“, “MusicDNA predicted to rival MP3“, “MusicDNA: New digital file that is son of MP3 unveiled“. And it’s all a crock of shit.

MusicDNA should be MusicDOA.

Why? Well firstly, (Mail and) Guardian, file formats are female, in the same way that LPs are female. They always have been, and always will be – ask any geek. So, if MusicDOA is the son of MP3, then it’s not a welcome part of the music family.

But issues of gender aside, Apple has already invented MusicDNA – they just called it the “iTunes LP“, a much nicer name. Bundling additional digital content and interweb-link-crud along with the MP3 is not the revolution. It’s not even a warning shot over the bow. It’s more like “a tribute to the zip archive”. Yet some musically challenged business-moron (Stefan Kohlmeyer, the chief executive of Bach Technology, which has developed the file) feels that *this*, a rehash of MP3, will save the record companies?

C’mon, guys, it’s already over. The music label is done. Over. Archaic. Closed. Piracy does and always will prevail. Artists will make money from performing. Additional revenue streams will open up here and there, but the giant middle-man of music has been turned away at the gates, left to wonder (and wander) at how they ended up hat-in-hand, shunned by the masses.

We simply don’t need another audio file format. MP3 / FLAC / AAC is probably good enough, until we have flying cars anyway. And we especially do not need another proprietary format that is riddled with DRM and all kinds of consumer-abusing mechanisms (think tracking cookies, spyware, behaviour profiling). And of course alongside this “MusicDNA archive” will be the potential to literally hack the shit out of the consumer who buys and uses it. No longer will viruses be delivered by email, but by iTunes (or equivalent) instead. If we ever do need another format, it will be open source, patent-free and flexible, such as Ogg Vorbis.

So here’s to MusicDOA and the millions of stupid dollars spent developing an obfuscated zip file. Well fucking done, clowns. When you’re done pissing money away, please build me my flying car.