Thomson releases mp3HD lossless codec and toolkit

Lossless audio codecs (like FLAC and ALAC) have been around for a while, but Thomson's new mp3HD format might be the one that finally achieves mainstream adoption.

mp3HD has one key advantage over other lossless formats: it's fully backwards compatible, meaning you should be able to play encoded files back on any device that supports mp3.

Bitrates are similar to FLAC, ranging from 500 to 900kbps. The average bitrate for pop/top 40 music comes in at 876kbps which produces a 26mb file for a four-minute track.

One more thing mp3HD has going for it is that it utilizes something most users have grown accustomed to: the .mp3 file extension. Familiarity means a lot to the average user - try asking some of your non-techy friends what an .ogg file is. Using the extension that has become synonymous with digital audio files should improve mp3HD's chances of achieving mainstream adoption.

Thomson has also released a command line enocder and decoder for Windows and Linux, as well as a Winamp plugin for mp3HD.

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