Here’s an interesting piece from Audio Design Line regarding a new file format just released from Beatnik. The format is said to produce files one-tenth the size of MP3 files and is intended for narrow bandwidth phones in emerging markets.
The format, called Mobile XMF, would work in conjunction with Beatnik’s music player, which would have to be preinstalled on the phone. Beatnik believes there’s a market for music downloads in Eastern European countries, China, Latin America, and India, where manufacturers sell lots of low-cost phones.
I sometimes hear students listening to music on their phones in the halls of the college. I find most of it unlistenable, not due to musical aesthetics, but due to the horrid audio quality. But, I imagine where the choice is between nothing and something, something wins even if highest quality is nowhere to be seen. I hope Beatnik’s offering makes a worthwhile improvement.
FYI: Beatnik was founded by Thomas Dolby of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame.