Move Over MP3, Here Comes Music DNA 
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Written by Dick Ward   
Monday, 25 January 2010

The folks that brought you the MP3 music format have created something new that they’re calling Music DNA.  It’s got a bit of competition, but smaller labels are already lining up to use Music DNA files.  The idea behind Music DNA is similar to that of the iTunes LP.  Bands and labels will be able to encode more than just music into one of the files. 

Music DNA is able to provide lyrics, album artwork, and music videos.  Dynamic updates are possible as well.  You’ll be able to check your favorite band’s upcoming tour dates, read their blog, and even their tweets.  Stefan Kohlmeyer of Bach Technology – the guys that developed the new file – says that the new format is like making a Ferrari out of a rusted old VW Beetle.  “We are taking an existing idea, giving the end user a lot more and making that file much more valuable,” he said, “like transforming a tiny house into a huge villa.”

There are a few labels on board, like Beggars Group and Tommy Boy Entertainment, but none of the big players have signed on yet.  The problem is, of course, digital rights management (DRM).  Music DNA files will still play when copied, but files that aren’t registered won’t have access to the dynamic updates.

“At the moment there is no real incentive to buy a legal file. If we concentrate on making the legal file, we can help the entire music industry,” said Kohlmeyer.  The cost of a download is expected to be around twice that of a typical MP3. Oddly enough, audio quality did not come up in any discussions about Music DNA, but we sure hope it’s better than MP3.  We’ll find out soon though.   Music DNA goes Beta this spring, and launches this summer.

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