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.