If you grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, you apparently still bethink downloading MP3 files to build your music collection, and afire up to 10 times as many of these onto audio discs than you could with acceptable CD tracks.

I didn’t just remind you of MP3s to make you feel old first thing on a Monday morning; I also wanted you to know that the Fraunhofer Convention for Integrated Circuits – the German agency that invented the audio format and licenses some patents for it – has clearly concluded its licensing program.

This doesn’t mean that MP3s stored on your hard drive will stop working, but don’t expect to see many new accessories professing abutment for the format from here on out.

For many music fans, myself included, the MP3 holds a deeper acceptation than just a file format. Growing up in India as a 90s kid, western music simply wasn’t as attainable through my adolescence and teen years as it is today. So what’s a kid to do when they’re hunting for new rock releases and genre-defining metal albums? Head to the internet, of course.

Online, I was able to analyze an ocean of music from every corner of the globe, ascertain artists I’d never heard of in my life, and advance an ear for well crafted songs. As I slowly grew my accumulating one track at a time and shared curated selections with peers and fellow music lovers, I was beholden for the befalling to affix with likeminded people over the years and bond over a shared love for the stylings of Incubus, Metallica, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Death.

In a statement, the German convention noted that while MP3 is still accepted among some consumers, newer formats like AAC “can bear more appearance and a higher audio affection at much lower bitrates.” It’s not wrong: these formats are indeed better for alive and accustomed more advice than MP3s ever could. It’s just not all that easy to let go, though.

Farewell, dear MP3, and thanks for the memories.

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