updated 10:50 am EDT, Mon May 26, 2008
Music 2.0 Audio Format
A new audio format in the works could provide much more flexibility for both listening and editing to music, according to its creators. Developed by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and put into public use as Music 2.0 by Audizen, the MT9 standard would provide six audio channels for different instruments, similar to multi-track recording at a studio. Listeners could separately adjust the volume for each track to either balance out audio quality or alter the track for specific purposes: karaoke singers could mute vocals to use their own, while remix artists could selectively drop out certain parts of the track without needing access to the master recordings.
While already in use for a small number of newer albums, classics are also available as long as the original tracks are available for a digital conversion, MT9's backers note. The current MT9 format is also copy protection-free and so can easily be swapped between devices.
Both Audizen and ETRI have passed the standard to the Motion Picture Experts Group, which is responsible for certifying all MPEG audio and video formats and is reportedly considering making MT9 an official format that could be supported by any device. LG and Samsung have already committed to adding support to the media players in cellphones and could have phones with the necessary support by early 2009. [via Korea Times]