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MT9: remove the parts of songs that you don't want to hear

New format to replace MP3?

Ever listened to a track and wanted to remove one or more of the parts? Maybe you’re a guitar player who fancies jamming along with an arrangement that doesn’t feature any riffery, a singer who just needs a Karaoke-style backing track, or a remixer who wants an a cappella vocal? If so, you’ll be interested in the MT9 file format (also known as ‘Music 2.0’) which its creators say will challenge the dominance of MP3.

According to a report in The Korea Times, MT9 files can be loaded into a special player that features a six-channel audio equalizer (though it looks more like a mixer to us). Each of these channels corresponds to a different part of the arrangement (drums, bass, vocals, guitar etc) and level faders enable you to turn things up or down.

Apparently, a company called Audizen is already selling some MT9-format albums, while Samsung and LG are reported to be interested in equipping their phones with MT9 players next year.

So, can this possibly work? MusicRadar isn’t currently in possession of the full technical details, but it seems that MT9 files have to be encoded from the original masters (there’s no way of separating a stereo file, after all). This being the case, you shouldn’t expect to be able to convert your record collection into the new format on your home computer.

It’s an interesting concept, though – we’ll be monitoring the progress of MT9 closely. In order for it to succeed, it’ll have to get the backing of both the record industry and the companies that produce our digital music players, but at the moment, we don’t know whether this will be forthcoming.

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