The creators of the MP3, the revolutionary music file that sent shock waves through the industry by making songs more easily played and shared on personal computers, are working on a new format called "MusicDNA," a file type that would house music, lyrics, videos, artwork and as much as 32 gigabyte's worth of information, the BBC reports. Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach, who worked on the first MP3 player in 1993, and Karlheinz Brandenburg, the inventor of the MP3, revealed the "Music DNA" files at Cannes' Midem music conference. So far, only the U.K. indie label Beggars Banquet and Tommy Boy Records have signed up to use the new format, which will have its beta launch this spring.
According to the BBC, "MusicDNA" will likely serve as a competitor to Apple's iTunes LP, which also offers users lyrics, more elaborate album artwork and bonus tracks. The "MusicDNA" file will also be able to update with new information whenever the file is activated. "We can deliver a file that is extremely searchable and can carry up to 32GB of extra information in the file itself, and it will be dynamically updatable so that every time the user is connected, his file will be updated," Bach said.
Because of the large amount of information being packed into the "MusicDNA" files, each track will likely cost more than the $1.29 iTunes currently charges for newer tracks. No major labels have yet to sign pacts with the "MusicDNA" developers, but with the growing presence of iTunes LP, "MusicDNA" seems like technology that Apple's competitors like the Amazon MP3 store would be interested in working with. "Out of a rusted old VW Beetle we are making a Ferrari," said Bach Technology's Stefan Kohlmeyer. "We are taking an existing idea, giving the end user a lot more and making that file much more valuable — like transforming a tiny house into a huge villa."
If all goes well with the beta launch, the full roll out of the "MusicDNA" files is expected summer 2010. Check out the MusicDNA Website for further developments. In other tech news, Apple is planning to hold a media conference this Wednesday, January 27th, which will reportedly feature the announcement of their rumored "tablet." Be sure to check back later this week for the full scoop.
• Apple Reveals New iPod Models, iTunes LP