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MusicDNA file format offers audio, video and pictures

File can carry up to 32GB of extra information

A new file format that not only offers audio but can also include lyrics, video and artwork, has been created by a Norwegian developer.

Dagfinn Bach, the brains behind MusicDNA, also worked on the first MP3 player back in 1999.

Bach told the BBC: "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 update".

A beta version of the file format is being launched this spring, while it is expected the format will be rolled out publicly at the end of the summer.

However, only Beggars Group, a British-based record company, and US-label Tommy Boy have signed up to use the file format so far.

Major labels such as Universal and Sony have yet to get on board. It is thought the fact the files are likely to be more expensive than MP3's has hampered the uptake.

"I remember 10 years ago, a lot of people were saying that we need to enrich the user experience, that legal access to music has to give the customers more than just music, and this is certainly one very nice way to do it," added German researcher Karlheinz Brandenburg, one of the investors in the file format.

See also: More than 16 million albums were downloaded in 2009


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