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Music 2.0, MT9: Koreans develop new music format

Korean computer engineers are introducing a new digital music format that has a six-channel audio equalizer and separate controls on the sound volume for each musical instrument, such as guitar, drum, base and voice. The new format, which has a file extension format of MT9 and a commercial title of “Music 2.0″, is poised to replace the popular MP3 file format as the de-facto standard of the digital music source, its inventors say. The MT9 technology was selected as a candidate item for the new digital music standard at the last regular meeting of Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the international body of the digital music and video industry.

Ham says that the music industry should change its attitude to the market as music is becoming a digital service, rather than a physical product. Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are both interested in equipping their mobile phones with an MT9 player and their first commercial products are likely to debut early next year, he said. Unlike other digital formats exclusively used by big companies, Audizen (the venture company behind the development) allows users to copy the MT9 files, making it a more attractive format. “It’s like having a CD or cassette tape. Once you buy it, you can lend it to your friends. We don’t want to be too fussy about DRM (digital right management),” said Ham Seung-chul, chief of Audizen.

Source: Korea Times


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  1. Google
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:20

    Quite interesting. I can’t wait to see how it’ll sound. :D

  2. Cremo
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:29

    hmm, “six-channel audio equalizer and separate controls on the sound volume” im curious about the size of a song, because it doesnt sound like a very small size format like mp3…

    #1 whats wrong with you…

  3. iNCO
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:32

    .mp3 will stay standard. mt9 just another failed attempt.

  4. H
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:35

    sounds interesting

  5. Blah
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:38

    It shouldn’t be any bigger… actually, there’s almost no chance for a 6ch MT9 to be bigger than MP3.

    The separate volume and equalizers won’t be anywhere near a kilobyte…

    And then, considering it’s supposed to be a next gen format, it’s likely that it will have a higher bitrate:quality ratio than AAC-LC or Vorbis.

  6. bla bla
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:39

    This won’t be as popular as the mp3 format anytime soon. Not so many people bother with the equalizer, i could not imagine trying to configure each of the 6 channels.

    If they were serious about the volume control for each instrument, it will be interesting to see how large a music with a full-blown orchestra will be.

  7. neezee
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:42

    i assume the consumers wouldnt need to bother configuring the audo channels themselves…..that’d be upto the producers of the music to set the song to how they best want it to be played.

  8. ASD
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:45

    drm is evil

  9. H
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:47


    its no the volume control and the equalizers that would make the file size larger, its the seperate channels for each instrument.

    mp3 has 2 channels
    mt9 has 6 apparently, hence it should be 3 times the size. (possibly??)

  10. Jay Sherman
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:48

    Would be intersting to be able to change audio levels. I have been pissed off in the past where bands release their albums and you can barely hear the vocals due to the loudness of everything else.

    Would be fun for a little experiment but I think I would do that about once and get bored. Im happy with my Mp3s. I don’t even download lossless!

  11. name (required)
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:57

    looks interesting


  12. Kay
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:57

    nah it wont replace mp3
    it will change the way ppl listen to music maybe
    but having this instead of mp3 will not work
    as ppl dont fiddle around with every track they listen to on their mp3 player.
    this alright for the PC and media systems

    mp3 is one of thoes files where any1 can take an share, with no compatablity issues

  13. Twitley
    May 26th, 2008 | 11:58

    Yeah, good luck with that.

  14. MelC
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:04

    mp3 will be dead in a very short while – that’s definite.

    What isn’t definite is what will replace it. It was looking like AAC may have been the file of choice, but who wants that?

    If this is backed by the MPE Group (as mp3 obviously is) then this could really be MP3 v2 (which is what I suspect they are getting at with the name Music 2.0).

    All the added features maybe nice but the higher quality for the bitrate will be the main draw for me (and many others).

  15. Shrike
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:16

    Is this an april fools gag?
    Any music with independent instrument controls has to be designed and mixed specifically for the format. Of course what they really mean is its a different name for a preset EQ which approximates the instrument frequencies but in practice will not be anything like it. How much music do you have recorded in 6 channels rather than stereo? Creative innovation drives technology, not the other way round.
    Also doesnt any music player have eq built-in so why the new need? Lastly you shouldnt really use eq on music anyway, its only to fix obvious errors in the encoding or in a really poor playback system. Its all personal choice of course but dont you get tired of a boomy bass or exaggerated high end? Ya cant do better than an expert in a million dollor mastering studio with your ipod.

  16. ppl
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:26

    ogg ftw

  17. herman the german
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:27

    just my 2 pence worth but i thing the open source formats like ogg, musepack and wavpack could take over. wavpack and musepack run really efficiently on portable devices whilst encoding in high quality.

  18. MelC
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:32

    I love ogg, but it is so undersupported it is useless for portable player use. Thankfully I have a player that plays ogg (and also has a rockbox port), but the majority don’t and unfortunately ogg will never replace mp3. :/

    What we don’t want is some terrible format like AAC replacing it.

  19. blah
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:35

    This sounds like a steaming pile of crap. If it has the same licensing/patent minefield MP3 does, I hope it dies the quick death that I think it will. I really hope open formats/containers like ogg, matroska, vorbis, theora, FLAC, etc. become the new standards.

  20. sambago
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:37

    .. it pretty quite interesting.. having 6 equalizers and different controls are amazing.. imagine,karaoke in your mobile device,, sounds cool eh?

    @1..WTF?! just STFU!! u high or somthn??

    @11 .. so agree with you.. nuff said..

  21. blah
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:38

    Also, “We don’t want to be too fussy about DRM” sounds like they ARE including DRM “features”, but trying to downplay it because they know everyone will hate them.

  22. sanchez
    May 26th, 2008 | 12:53

    that’s f***ng fantastic i’ve been wondering when someone will come up with this. being able to change the volume on say vocals and remove them if you don’t like them would be awesome. from a mixing standpoint this would open up a whole new world of opportunities.

    i agree with the above poster.. filesize won’t be a problem.. mebbe 100k more for different track markers etc.

  23. Steve
    May 26th, 2008 | 13:03

    music 2.0


  24. Al
    May 26th, 2008 | 13:09

    will be fantastic for producers/audio engineers. an easy way to get instrumental/acapellas and work with the tracks

  25. ks
    May 26th, 2008 | 13:37

    seem like a crap. Nobody will want to fiddle with 6 sliders! But it will be boon to die hard djs.. 6 x 2 sliders for panning each channel, 6 sliders for volume per channel, 2 master panning sliders and one master volume slider. yeeek

  26. Moshster
    May 26th, 2008 | 13:48

    Just because MP3 gained popularity in the absence of anything before it does not mean it will remain the favorite forever and ever. Look at the progress in video formats, we’re now on HD. Demand for HD audio will create a market for formats like MT9. As for filesize, does it really matter in this day and age when terabyte storage is not uncommon in most households.

  27. Smurf_me
    May 26th, 2008 | 14:14

    ogg and mp3 seem to be smaller. and i dont need in my cell phone 6 chanel sound.. i still got only 2 speakers on my head… on DVD/bluray i dont care…

  28. Rad
    May 26th, 2008 | 14:23

    “Once you buy it, you can lend it to your friends. We don’t want to be too fussy about DRM (digital right management),” said Ham Seung-chul, chief of Audizen.”


  29. dude
    May 26th, 2008 | 14:45

    Im a music producer, and this sounds a little out of the ordinary for now.. it would mean large files for starters, and the producers of the songs to record channels seperately. If it is good enough im sure steinberg et al will throw it in the save as options.

    The whole idea sounds like 8 track tapes! Pity im too old to have experienced one of those decks in my car…..

  30. music
    May 26th, 2008 | 15:37

    it’s good. but…

    1. sounds like resource hog (or if not, huge file sizes)
    2. you need good hardware in order to appreciate it
    3. recording will be harder due to extra channels
    4. hard to rip? lol

  31. Pat McCrotch
    May 26th, 2008 | 15:55

    Size.. yes I feel it would be larger than an MP3 is now.
    As pointed out above it should be at least 3 times larger by definition due to the number of tracks used… add to this the possibility of higher bitrates taking up more space, I’d guess the size for the average track will be 4 to 5 times that of an MP3.

    But will size matter?
    Just like HD TV & HD DVD (Blu-Ray) formats, it’s the quality we are after.

    With Higher bandwidth becoming the ‘norm’ for most users, larger HDDs becoming standard in all new PCs & laptops, the prices dropping in large format HDDs… it shouldn’t matter that these files will be marginaly larger.
    After all, it’s a natural progression.

    I’d be more concerned if they said the file size will remain the same or get smaller as that would hint at crap quality sound.


    Some people may recall a few years back when SONY & a few others bought out extended / enhanced CD & DVD Audio that supported 5.1.
    (I was selling the standalone hardware at the time)
    That format offered pretty much what this ‘Music 2.0′ is offering…
    The ability for the artist / producer to create & recreate a nice sonic enviroment for the listner over a multi chn sound system.
    As with most things Sony, it didn’t take off too well & not much has been seen or heard of from that format.
    Non-the-less, it sounded fraking awsome.

    Back to Music 2.0…
    The reasoning behind the multi chn volume / EQ is self explanitory.
    Not every room / space is equal sonicly.
    So, giving the user the ability to adjust each chn will allow the same experience in a car or a bedroom as they could get off of their higher end standalone equipment in their larger rooms.

    It sounds on paper like a great idea & as I said a natural progression due to the technologies available to downlad, store, copy & share these files.

    I’m going to be investing a week or so gathering as much as I can in the way of apps to play & record this format, hopefully ‘create’ some original material & see what size files & quality results from this new ‘container’… also how it plays with various hardware configs… if it’s a resource hog on a PC & or laptops etc.

    Hey.. we have HD audio available, why not have a decent way to compress it & play it back.

    It’d be nice to download some HD movies encoded / compressed to save space & not have to deal with crap audio due to size if this format produces something that could accompany those movies…

  32. Stoned Dude
    May 26th, 2008 | 16:00

    Ahem. Yet another Korean who knows what. Whatever they release 4 their own market, it’s not going to cut 4 us. They are better at cut & paste than innovations. Gosh, they still have whole TV chanels dedicated how u should play StarCraft, and I mean 1st one. They nice folks, good chemistry, but innovs are rather poor…

  33. Siliticx
    May 26th, 2008 | 16:24

    who cares about size folks? jesus, we have 1 TB drives and adsl 2+ lines that most people go over 2 mb! jesus christ, even flac size isnt that bad.

  34. Artist
    May 26th, 2008 | 16:26

    I’ve heard about iklax, a multitrack audio format that is already gaining pace it seems. They even offer the player and creation software for free… It really seems the multitrack, or channel thing is in the air for 2008
    iklax info found on: http://www.iklax.com

  35. fook music 2.0
    May 26th, 2008 | 17:25

    @23 Steve:

    agreed, music existed for way over 5000 years and this idiot decide it’s time for an upgrade


  36. music1.0
    May 26th, 2008 | 17:26

    @23 Steve:

    agreed, music existed for way over 5000 years and this idiot decide it’s time for an upgrade


  37. nu_boi
    May 26th, 2008 | 17:40

    Too bad to hear that Samsung and LG are providing their new devices to support this format. If it was Sony and Apple then I maybe would be interested to use this format. But not korean Samsung and LG. They suck, IMO.

  38. thegerm
    May 26th, 2008 | 18:29

    imo for something to takeover mp3 there has to be a rather enormous demand otherwise artists and studios wont bother with it (example SACD and my fav, DVD-A). The biggest digital music demand comes from the casual mp3 player user utilizing mainly their 2 ch headphones. Now this certainly isn’t the first audiophile format, but i do still think there could be a niche for technical savy home theater/ car audio buffs. its just no mp3 replacement as six channels is useless in most settings.

  39. Kent
    May 26th, 2008 | 18:48

    I can’t wait to find out wait it sounds like, and how the major manufacturers will react to it if we change over

  40. obrian93
    May 26th, 2008 | 18:59

    Interesting, but I don’t see it taking off. I’d like to see the mp3 expanded into a container format would eventually be able to include the AAC and OGG codecs. Kind of like the way AVI or QT can carry various combinations of compressors.

  41. Martin
    May 26th, 2008 | 20:00

    Sounds Great to me :D
    Can’t see why bigger filesizes would be a problem when portable players and HDD Constantly gets bigger..

  42. glr
    May 27th, 2008 | 00:06

    Don’t hate, innovate!

    I think automatically having intrumental versions of every track would be the best thing ever. Not to mention the solo bass, drum, voice and what not tracks! Everyone could do a killer remix.

  43. donjo
    May 27th, 2008 | 00:27

    Mp3 will always be the best for stereo music – CD quality, small files, universal support, no drm. if you want to control all the instruments yourself use midi. i don’t want to remaster what i listen to. expert should handle the mix. We don’t need any more formats to do the same thing mp3 has done since the start.

  44. H
    May 27th, 2008 | 01:38

    i don’t think many bands would want to put out “multi-track” versions of their music. maybe some would as a novelty or for remixing purposes….but yeah

    im in a band and we spend a lot of time getting everything to sound perfect and mixed, wouldn’t want to let other people decide how loud the drums are, how loud the guitars are etc because that stuff effects the impact of the song.

  45. 1040steman
    May 27th, 2008 | 04:32

    Might be great for mixing your own backing tracks.

  46. James
    May 27th, 2008 | 09:21

    Packed with a good dose of DRM no doubt. Mp3 will do just fine thank you.

  47. notme
    May 27th, 2008 | 10:57

    mp3 sux and this doesnt deviate much from the formula so why bother? i d like to just mention the craziness with all the ipod accessories i see everywhere. Sound systems designed for i-pod and other mp3 players that cost easily 300-500 euros or more is obsurd. MP3 has nothing to do with audiophile listening not even just simple listening,even in its best rates its much worse than cd which is much worse than proper 12″ vinyl or open reel sound. WTF this world is comin to ?

  48. -____-
    May 27th, 2008 | 13:57

    @47 – Then go ahead and carry yer 12″ vinyls around plus your portable turntable player in the bus……..

  49. allan
    May 27th, 2008 | 14:25

    lmao @nu boy
    QUOTE: “Too bad to hear that Samsung and LG are providing their new devices to support this format. If it was Sony and Apple then I maybe would be interested to use this format. But not korean Samsung and LG. They suck, IMO.”

    Well, guess who Sony are in partnership with for the manufacture of their plasma and lcd flagship TVs, that’s right, those pesky Koreans. Guess who manufacturs a large proportion of BluRay players on behalf of Sony, thats right, those pesky Koreans. Open up your shiny new Mac book and have a look at many of the chips inside, guess who makes them, thats right, those pesky Koreans. See that huge hard disc inside?, guess who makes many of the controller chips used by WD, Hitachi and all the others, yes it’s those Koreans again. In fact Samsung drives are used in many PC and Apple computers and are well respected. Guess who is now one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturers, yes it’s those pesky Koreans again (Samsung). Not really that crap are they?.

  50. cowboy
    May 27th, 2008 | 15:12

    naah. mp3 is here to stay. this new format will only be just failed lab rats like the other audio formats out there. the average person could care less if he can magically adjust 6-chanels of his music.

  51. DVD-Audio
    May 27th, 2008 | 16:49

    yeah… DVD-Audio!

  52. e08
    May 27th, 2008 | 17:38

    I don’t believe that this is a great idea. Sure, bumping up the drums or guitar is cool, but what about the other 90% of all music in the world that isn’t made up of: vocals, guitar lead/rhythm, bass, drums and percussion. Think of Dance music, Jazz, Classical or World music?

    Also, what about the bands right to creating music (or getting a studio mixer) a certain way. What if the band wants the drums or whatnot to be louder in a song for whatever reason but the consumer doesn’t like it so he/she turns them down. This is taking control away from the creator of the music and isn’t something (that if I was an Artist) I would promote.

  53. ffilou6
    May 28th, 2008 | 00:25

    If the Koreans would give me for free a good audio equipment such as http://global.bose.com/index.html ^_^

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