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Closing the Gap between the Multi-Channel and the Stereo Audio World: Recent MP3 Surround Extensions

After more than 10 years of commercial availability, MP3 continues to be the most utilized format for compressed audio. New technologies extend the use from stereo to multichannel. Presented in 2004, the MP3 Surround format allows to represent high-quality 5.1 surround sound at bitrates so far used for stereo signals while remaining compatible with any MP3 playback device. Recently, add-on technologies complemented the usability of MP3 Surround: The capability of spatializating stereo content into MP3 Surround files provides listener envelopment also for the reproduction of legacy stereo content. Improved spatial reproduction is offered by the auralized reproduction of MP3 Surround via regular stereo headphones. This paper describes the underlying concepts and the interworking of the technology components.

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