As lucidly put by Marco:
If you read the news, you may think the MP3 file format was recently officially “killed” somehow, and any remaining MP3 holdouts should all move to AAC now. These are all simple rewrites of Fraunhofer IIS’ announcement that they’re terminating the MP3 patent-licensing program.Very few people got it right.
Every news agency linked to from Marco’s writeup got it 100% wrong. MP3 is not dead. The patents just expired, which makes it free. Free to use, free to hack on, free to ship in hardware and browsers.
Not dead. Free.