Not really MUSE related at all, but hopefully once it takes off we'll be hosting 5.1 surround sound MP3s :)!!
The company behind the format which brought music downloading to the masses has done it again. Fraunhofer has released its new MP3 Surround codec, allowing full 5.1 audio to be easily compressed and downloaded. And to encourage use of the new format, free encoders are being made available until the end of the year.
The format has been released by Fraunhofer and Thomson, who co-invented the original format. Thomson's Henri Linde said: "We asked ourselves, where can music go? It seemed that surround sound was the logical evolution for us."
Software to play the tracks will remain free of charge - and the new files will be backward compatible with older players, which will simply play them as if they were conventional stereo tracks. The company claimed there was only a marginal increase in file sizes for new surround-sound MP3s.