Watch out MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis - there's a new digital audio format about to be introduced and it's creators are setting their sites on it becoming the new "de facto standard" for digital audio. The new format is called Music 2.0 and it will use MT9 as its file extension.
"The distinctive feature of [the] MT9 format is that it has a six-channel audio equalizer, with each channel dedicated to voice, chorus, piano, guitar, base and drum. For example, if a user turns off the voice channel, it becomes a karaoke player. Or one can turn off all the instruments and concentrate on the voice of the main singer as if he or she is singing a cappella."
The MT9 concept is the brainchild of South Korean-based, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute--a non-profit research organization, funded by the South Korean government. Another South Korean company, Audizen, is to taking the lead on trying to get large-scale commercial acceptance of the new format. The Korea Times reports that both Samsung and LG Electronics have already expressed interest in the new format.
The Korea Times goes on to report that the MT9 format "was selected as a candidate item for the new digital music standard at a regular meeting of Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the international body of the digital music and video industry, held in France late April." The article further reports that an Audizen representative "is expecting it will be formerly selected as an international standard in the MPEG forum's next meeting to be held in Germany [in] June."
Future users of this new digital audio format should be happy to hear that (at least for now) the current incarnation of MT9 doesn't use any DRM (digital rights management). Depending on how widespread the adoption of this new audio format becomes, Audizen anticipates not just new music being encoded using MT9, but also envisions older music being re-mastered as well:
"If you are a serious guitar-master wannabe and you want to focus on the tune of Brian May's guitar and don't want to hear Freddie Mercury's voice and Roger Tailor drumming in Queen songs, then this may be what you have been looking for."