Thomson and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits have unveiled two additions to the MP3 music format. A new stereo extended standard allows existing MP3 files to be played in a surround sound setting
The extensions will enable backwards compatibility between current generation MP3 files and a forthcoming enhancement to the digital audio file standard that will enable surround sound.
The new MP3 Stereo Extended standard allows existing MP3 files to be played in a surround sound setting. The Ensonido technology enables surround sound MP3 to be played on stereo headphones by transferring the multi-channel signal to regular stereo.
The new additions will enable existing MP3 files to support the forthcoming surround sound technologies, providing for localisation of vocalists and solo instruments while properly handling ambient sounds.
The forthcoming standard will play on current generation MP3 players. The standard was first introduced in December 2004.
The two new technologies are available for download at http://www.all4mp3.com/