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FhG MP3 Surround

MP3S Player MP3 Surround was yet another attempt by Fraunhofer (like MP3pro and mp3HD) to extend the lifespan of the MP3 format (and by lifespan, I mean "the period of time we can continue extracting licensing fees from users")

It is worth stressing this is not the MPEG Multichannel extension defined in the MPEG2 standard. MP3 Surround is not standardized, it is a proprietary extension created by FhG.

The idea here is to generate a standard stereo MP3 file with an ancillary track of surround information (which takes about 16kbps) bolted to it. In other words, MP3pro for surround instead of high frequencies.

That way special surround decoders can decode the extra information, and normal decoders can decode the standard stereo track, providing backwards compatibility.

The GUI encoder only accepts 5.1 wav files. Also, it is worth mentioning v1.1.5 expires on 2013-12-31 (version 1.1.4 expires on 2007-12-31), so set your PC clock to before that date if you want to use it. You can also use the command line encoders (for Windows, Linux and MacOS X) which, as far as I can tell, do not expire (and accept six mono WAVs besides multichannel files).

I am also hosting here the MP3 SX Converter, a tool that takes stereo MP3 files and attempts to add surround sound information to them. Reviews around the Internet say it is not really good.

Just like MP3pro, MP3 Surround failed to get any traction anywhere (although, surprisingly, it was supported on the PlayStation 3) and was quietly abandoned by FhG. But as usual, Archive.org comes to the rescue and you can check their pages, with technical information and marketing blurbs, here and here.


MP3S Encoder Date: 2008-01-17
Version: 1.1.5 (encoder)
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Win32
Download: MP3sGuiEnc_v1.1.5.exe - 2.112kB

Date: 2008-01-17
Version: 1.1.5 (encoder)
Interface: Graphical
Platform: MacOS X (universal)
Download: MP3sGuiEnc_v1.1.5.dmg - 5.874kB

Date: 2007-05-25
Version: 1.1.4 (encoder)
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Win32
Download: MP3sGuiEnc_v1.1.4.exe - 2.418kB
Kindly contributed by Zachary Jelesoff.

Date: 2007-05-25
Version: 1.1.4 (encoder)
Interface: Graphical
Platform: MacOS X (universal)
Download: MP3sGuiEnc_v1.1.4.dmg - 6.481kB


Date: 2010-02-04
Version: 4.0.0 (player)
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Win32
Download: MP3sPlayerv400.exe - 2.973kB
Kindly contributed by Zachary Jelesoff.

Date: 2009-01-20
Version: 3.0.2 (player)
Interface: Graphical
Platform: MacOS X (universal)
Download: MP3sPlayer3.0.2.dmg - 7.360kB


MP3SX Converter Date: 2006-04-10
Version: 1.1.0
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Win32
Download: MP3SXConverterv1.1.0.exe - 2.103kB

Date: 2006-04-28
Version: 1.1.0
Interface: Graphical
Platform: MacOS X (universal)
Download: MP3SXConverter1.1.0uni.dmg - 6.101kB

Date: 2006-04-13
Version: 1.1.0
Interface: Graphical
Platform: Linux
Download: MP3SXConverterV1.1.0.tar - 2.660kB


Date: 2008-05-30
Version: 1.5
Interface: Command line
Platform: Win32/Linux/MacOS X
Download: mp3sconsv15.zip - 2.427kB
Kindly contributed by Zachary Jelesoff.

Date: 2008-05-30
Version: 1.4
Interface: Command line
Platform: Win32/Linux/MacOS X
Download: mp3sconsv14.zip - 1.528kB
Kindly contributed by Zachary Jelesoff.


Date: 2006-02-07
Version: 2.0
Interface: Winamp plugin
Platform: Win32
Download: IIS_MP3s_Winamp_Plugin.exe - 949kB


I also have tools to use MP3 Surround with Shoutcast servers. If you have any use for them, feel free to get in touch!


© Roberto Amorim. This is a sister site of RareWares