Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

MP3 pioneers launch 'deluxe' file

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

MusicDNA player
MusicDNA will be widely available by the end of the summer, creators say

A new music file format has been unveiled by some of the key figures behind the development of the MP3.

The new file, MusicDNA, can include things like lyrics, videos, artwork and blog posts, which will continually be updated, as well as the music.

It has been created by Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach, who worked on the first MP3 player in 1993.

And its investors include German researcher Karlheinz Brandenburg, who is credited with inventing the MP3.

British record company Beggars Group, whose labels are home to Vampire Weekend, MIA and The Strokes, has signed up to use MusicDNA, as has US label Tommy Boy.

But no major labels are currently on board and the MusicDNA files are likely to be more expensive than current music downloads.

It will also be in competition with Apple's iTunes LP, which gives users added content including bonus tracks, lyrics and video interviews.

Dynamic updates

Speaking at the Midem music conference, Mr Bach said: "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 updated."

MusicDNA is launching a beta, or test, version this spring with a full roll-out at the end of the summer.

Mr Brandenburg, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Germany, said: "I think it brings together a number of ideas that have been around for a long time.

"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."

MusicDNA, launched by Bach Technology, is not related to MusicDNA operated by Belgian company Pensive.

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