back to article French firm intros remix-friendly music format

Parisian technology company Musinaut has introduced what it hopes will be the digital music successor to the MP3 format. Dubbed MXP4, the file type allows content owners to embed a whole lot more data than the MP3 format does, including lyrics, interactives and remixes of the song - Musinaut calls them "skins". Each skin is …


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  1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Fabulous idea, but it will most likely not get the take up. Companies want profits from tried and tired ideas, they don't like innovation, VHS over Betamax taught us that many years ago...

  2. Britt Johnston
    Thumb Down

    Occams Razor operates on excess skins

    MXP4 won't cut it


    I'm not buying it until

    they have the music in round spheres that we shake to make the remix.

    And the music is a liquid.

  4. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    "turning it into a MXP4 file involves purchasing a £279 tool.

    OK, you lost EVERYONE there.

    There have been many advances on MP3's, HE-AAC+ is especially incredible at low bitrates, but no-one cares.

    MP3 is everywhere, it works, its not getting replaced.

    And this thing sounds like nothing that can't be done using Flash.

  5. Jack

    Am I understanding this right....

    This is a little like midi where different instruments/recorded lines are stored as seperate tracks so that as well as choosing a "ska" remix of a song, you could in principle separate out the tracks and create your own mix and even strip individual tracks out of the song allowing you to say isolate the vocal line? That would be kinda cool. If you can just choose to have the file remix itself then it seems less so.

  6. Mike Dyne

    File size

    Surely these things will take up far more space than an MP3. I for one would rather 1 version of many > many versions of 1 on my portable device.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Guitar Hero song compatible out of the box... (ish)

    I can think of many applications for independently stored tracks in a file...

    For instance, Karaoke, More accurate Light shows & Visualisations, multi-age-suitable lyrics for songs.

    But store a little more info and you've got instantly available songs for the likes of Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Frets on Fire.

    Mine's busker's jacket with the plastic guitar in the pocket..

  8. ingie

    ... as an experimental musican

    ..i quite like the idea, in fact, it's the sort of thing i've been waiting for...

    sure, i'll have to pay money to make them, but i have to pay £1000s for the equipment i already use, this'll just be another one in my "toys to get" bag...

    and yeah, it'll have a smaller market, but hey, i'm not EMI wanting some chart topper, i'm a musician, wanting to experiment with new media...

    if you're a naye sayer simply because of the file size or it "not being anything better" - then you're probably not the audience i care about as a musician - i don't want people to listen to my music because it's convenient any more than going to an art gallery to see a modern art installation is "convenient" for the viewer... or listening to a live performance at the royal albert hall is convenient...

    as a musican MP3s really annoy me, because they simply don't allow me this sort of control... but this sounds "fun"

    so, caveat audiens :)

  9. Nazar

    Mod Trackers!!!

    This very much reminds me of mod trackers from the late 80s for all of us who broke our cherries on Amigas and the much derided STs (yes I had one).

    I remember most mod tracker groups went the way of the MP3 in the early 90s.

    So we've come full circle then....

  10. Howard

    Faut pas rever!

    Yeah, right! So let's assume that the recording industry adopts the format, that the players are upgraded etc. do you really think that the music industry will want to sell one file for the usual $0.99 that includes the radio edit song and a few remix versions that they would normally sell for $0.99 EACH?

    Laisse tomber...

  11. Arnold Lieberman
    Thumb Up

    A better use

    I've always thought (well, ever since I started dabbling in surround sound) that it would be really good if each "sound" could be recorded separately, with some meta information to say where in 3D space it originates. Then you have complete flexibility at the listening end as to how the mix is played back. No longer will we be stuck with the traditional 5.1 layout, that virtually no-one who hasn't got a listening room can take full advantage of. With suitable DSP tech, each track could be mixed so that it would be possible to do crazy things like have maybe 5 front speakers and ones in the ceiling as well as behind/to the side. Sounds would be directed to whichever speaker(s) are most appropriate and would completely remove the concept of a sweet-spot.

    Obviously this has no WAF, but with 50% of marriages failing, there's plenty of opportunities to get things just how they should be before the next one comes along...

  12. David Kelly
    Thumb Down


    Yawn, quicktime has been doing this for years, it's a multiple format media container. Besides, mp3 is rubbish compared to .ogg or .flac, why would you create a new format based on a poor quality codec? Fail!

  13. Ash

    Remix-friendly compressed audio

    What is really needed is a format which stores all SAMPLES from an audio track and allows access to each of them independently. THAT is a remix-friendly audio format. You can pull out the lead guitar, bass, drums, vocals, synth... Anything, and mix it yourself with your own samples and audio.

    Check out for some examples of why this is a phenomenal idea.

  14. chris

    reading fail

    Article: "Ogg or WAV,"

    Lazy troll is lazy: "mp3 is rubbish compared to .ogg or .flac"

    Thumbs up for the Jeff Noon reference earlier though.

  15. Mike


    actually what the vhs/betamax thing taught us is that if you have two competing formats, the vastly superior one can still lose out if you don't license the rights to use it. The standard willing to whore itself to the world for free will win the market share and thus become the only standard the consumers are aware of.

    The Sony Beta format is still in wide use, by professionals, not consumers.

  16. Stephen

    @Mike - flogging a dead meme

    Actually Beta and BetaSP are dead - it's all digital nowadays. And of course BetaMax was a totally different and completely inferior tape standard compared with its professional big-brothers, just because they shared part of the name don't think they were the same thing (different number of raster lines, different sized tape, different playback speed, different physical tape cassete, colour model, etc.).

    VHS won for a number of reasons and was frankly pretty comparable quality wise with BetaMax with the added advantage longer playback times.

  17. druck Silver badge

    It must be open

    All the aims for this format could easily be achieved with out proprietary lock in, expensive commercial encoders, and codecs with limited platform availability. Any new format must be open, patent and/or royalty free, to prevent the ridiculous siltation of patent trolls using armed police to confiscate equipment from German trade shows.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since when does a format need approval from the record industry to catch on???

    When the MP3 format started, it became a raging success without any support from the Record industry.

    This format sounds great - IF like Jack (Monday 8th September 2008 14:36 GMT) says, the user can strip out the individual tracks and remix it to your hearts content (surely a boon for DJ's)

    However if (as I fear) it is locked to some prepackaged mixes, then it's really much of an advance at all.

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