In the first two weeks of its release, the next-generation MP3 codec, MP3Pro, has been downloaded more than 600,000 times, according to its creators Thompson Multimedia.
The updated method of audio compression has proved popular with users because it offers near CD quality sound at half the file size of the original MP3 format.
The initial popularity of MP3Pro may surprise some. When it was released earlier this month it attracted flak from analysts and users who slammed the high licensing fees.
Manufactures will have to pay $7.50 per unit for using the codec in their devices, a big price hike from the $3.75 it costs for an original MP3 licence.
The lack of in-built copy protection also caused some concern in the music industry, as controversial tools such as Napster allowed for the easy distribution of music in the MP3 format.
Henri Linde, vice president at Thomson, said: "We look forward to a full implementation in software packages, chipsets, computers and portable devices. We expect MP3Pro to be offered in a complete range of compression bitrates with the full functionality of any music compression format."
But the codec will face stiff competition from other audio formats such as Microsoft's Windows Media Audio and open source development Ogg Vorbis.
"With more than 12 million portable MP3 players and 250 million personal computers playing MP3 files, the ubiquitous MP3 format has a strong lead in digital audio compression," said Linde. "MP3Pro builds on that success by offering better compression rates and enhanced audio fidelity."
For those of you who have not downloaded MP3Pro yet, it is available here.
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