An Anonymous Coward writes:
MP3 decoding was already free and got recently included in Fedora. But now, encoding is also free according to Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS: "On April 23, 2017, Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated." The Wikipedia MP3 article confirms that.
So, do you still use an MP3 library or have you switched to another format or means of listening to music such as (spying built-in) streaming services?
Actually Opus is designed to scale.From low bitrate (speex can actually do ULTRA-LOW bitrate, like 8 kbps or something, Opus is limited to 16 or 32+ from a modified version of the speex codec) speech to mid to high bitrate lossy audio, Opus is actually designed to unify the audio technologies of all of those.
I haven't checked to see how it actually compares to speex/vorbis/etc, since nowadays I would just rip anything I need into flac and call it a day, but if you DO need lossy/low space media, it is another tool in your repetoire, assuming your devices support it.