MP3’s – They’re New and Exciting! Play Them on Many Things!

MP3 music downloads at seven big UK online stores are to be marked with this highly attractive, new and cutting-edge MP3 compatible sign. How cool is that? ~insert sarcasm where applicable~

It’s part of an initiative (to spend pointless money) led by the Entertainment Retailers Association to make consumers aware of the “advantages of the format and the fact that it can be used across multiple brands of music players and across PCs and Macs”.

7digital, Digitalstores, Tescodigital, Tunetribe,, HMV and Woolworths are all on board for the launch. The ERA digital chairman Russel Coultart said the move was to take the message to music fans “that they can legally buy downloads which are not locked to specific players or computers or mobile phones”.

7digital said consumers much prefer the MP3 format because it is so easy to use. If the MP3 logo is successful, it could be rolled out by the equivalent trade bodies internationally and Coultart also said it is in discussions with music retail organisations globally “to make ‘MP3 compatible’ an international standard”.

This is all very well but how long have MP3’s been with us? Surly it’s not far off from being old enough to smoke and drink? I would understand all this fuss if there hadn’t been a new version of this tech available – I’d call it MP4 or something 😉

The other thing that confuses me about this ‘push’ is that MP3’s aren’t that great quality and now that even small players can manage 4gb why can’t we be upping the quality? Surly we should be pushing CD quality by now?

If it’s a problem about downloading – most people have access to broadband now (especially with all these mobile interweb dongles flying about the place – you don’t even need a BT line!).

Soon there will be a generation of music lovers that will expect that highly compressed low quality vibe – weren’t we dragged away from vinyl and promised a golden-age of high quality, high fidelity listening through a surround sound immersive environment at one point? Or did I dream it?

ERA credits MP3s with much of the growth of music downloads sales, which have risen 41% year-on-year to October this year, according to the Official UK Charts Company, and album sales are up 69% – Before anyone hails iTunes as the leader………….as far as I’m aware (and please correct me if I’m wrong) iTunes started by using MP3 but then quickly moved over to AAC……

~End Rant~