As an alternative to other lossless audio formats such as Flac and WMA Lossless, Thomson have introduced the format mp3HD. The new format is special in the way that it is lossy backwards compatible, meaning that the created file contains both a lossless part, as well as a standard MP3 lossy part. The benefit of containing both formats within the same file is that playback is ensured on all devices that supports MP3 - the devices supporting the mp3HD format will play the lossless part of the file, while the devices that does not support it will still play the standard MP3 part, even though the devices was created long before mp3HD was invented.
The two formats also supports the standard ID3 meta-data known from the original MP3 format, which means that meta-data and embedded cover art will be displayed correctly also on other players.
Currently, the format is delivered with a plug-in for playback with WinAMP, and the lossless part is not supported by any popular playback device, such as Squeezeboxes, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center or similar, meaning that these players will playback the files with the lossy MP3 quality. This limitation means that the format may not be a good choice for you, if you want lossless playback today, but it may be a good choice for users who can live with standard MP3 quality today, but would like to prepare their collection for lossless playback in the future.
You can download the transcoding application here:http://www.all4mp3.com/SoftwareHD.aspx