MusicDNA – can the new MP3 really stop piracy?

The team responsible for creating the MP3 music format unveiled a new digital music file over the weekend, aimed at encouraging music fans to pay for

Called MusicDNA, it is thought that by giving the user a "value-added" experience, it will push people to fork out for the cash for the record rather than turning to file-sharing websites.

This ultimately means that the files would not only include the music, but also everything from video performances and tour details to artwork and sleeve notes.

Sound a little familiar? That would be because Apple unveiled something similar back in September, in the form of iTunes LP.

The only problem with that is that to get all the extra content, you have to cough up more cash – meaning Paramore's Brand New Eyes, for example, is £9.99 versus £7.99 for the non-LP version.

This will no doubt be the clincher as to whether MusicDNA succeeds or falls flat on its back – the price.

Those people not paying for music now, aren't going to be attracted to turn over a new leaf by a higher price tag for some thrown-in extras.

And even more to the point, how many people actually give a second thought to the multimedia content we see thrown on to CDs at the moment? Will all these extras even be a draw at all?

I know that for me in particular, when I buy music, I buy it for just that – not for an "exclusive" interview I'll probably read regurgitated somewhere on the net, or a link to a Twitter account I've probably already found out for myself.

A few extras thrown in aren't going to sway my decision to buy or not, and my guess is that those who will be influenced by such things will be the big fans, the people who would have bought the record anyway – not the pirates the format is supposed to be targeting.

The format is set to be released in the spring, so we'll have to wait and see how it'll be priced, and how much of a difference it makes.

My guess is though, that those who are prepared to pay for the music they love will continue to do so, and those who aren't, won't. And how you change that mindset is a lot more complex than bundling a few throwaway multimedia extras onto a music file.

What do you think – do you agree or do you think it could make a difference? Let us know below.

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