Watch out, MP3 -- you've got a formidable opponent creeping up on you. All kidding aside (yes, we were kidding), Fraunhofer IIS is hoping that at least four people will turn from their MP3 / AAC addictions and embrace yet another one of its audio formats at CES, which is simply christened MPEG Surround. Harald Popp, head of the Multimedia Realtime Systems department at the company, has asserted that the firm believes that "MPEG Surround will become a major online distribution format when downloading music, movie and TV content," noting that it offers "the music industry a way to sell iPod-compatible surround content through the existing stereo download infrastructure." We suppose the multi-channel aspect is at least somewhat noteworthy, but we still see a hard road ahead for it to gain "global acceptance" in 2009.

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Fraunhofer IIS to push MPEG Surround as next big downloadable audio format