MP3 is currently the most widely used format for lossy music compression and is widely supported among music players. However, since MP3 requires patented technologies and the patent holder has not provided licenses that are compatible with Fedora's requirements, Fedora is unable to include encoding and decoding support for the MP3 format.
On 2016-11-10, there was a mysterious announcement by Christian Schaller of Red Hat that MP3 decoding support (but not encoding) was now allowed in Fedora using the mpeg123 library. The announcement stated that it might even be provided on Fedora Workstation 26 install media. Tom Callaway of Red Hat (@spotrh) tweeted "As of today, MP3 decoding software is permissible in Fedora."
Third party plugins and alternatives
There are Third party repositories which can add MP3 support to many of the media players provided in Fedora repository, but Fedora does not include any such software. Fluendo has released a free GStreamer plugin with suitable licensing for end-users, and this plugin will add MP3 support to the media players in Fedora that use GStreamer as a backend. For more information, refer to
As an alternative to MP3, the Ogg Vorbis audio format is widely supported in Fedora. Support for this format is also freely available for other platforms. This is an entirely unrestricted format with quality that is comparable, if not superior, to MP3. While not as common as players that support MP3, there are a number of portable and home audio devices that support the Ogg Vorbis audio format. See our page about Xiph.Org formats for more information:
The legal details behind MP3 are discussed at length at the English Wikipedia page about MP3.
The licensing details for MP3 can be viewed at:
The MP3 patents are protected by United States law and international treaties, and the Fedora Project will honor the applicable laws and treaties.
MP3 support in Fedora is widely discussed in the Fedora Community. See for example:
- Fedora Community Websites
- Ask Fedora project