Missed opportunity: DSi doesn’t play MP3 files


MP3 files easily account for the lion’s share of digital music. Apple iTune AAC files make up a lot too, but MP3 is still the majority, and you should really be buying from Amazon MP3 now if you aren’t already doing so. So you would think when designing the DSi to play music, Nintendo would support MP3 playback. But they don’t. DSi only supports AAC files. Bummer.

Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime explains, “We’re going for a sound experience where you can control the speed of the playback. That’s why we used AAC.” Unfortunately, either Reggie was lying through his teeth when he said that last year, or he was misinformed by his tech team. Case in point: I own a Denon DN-S1000 that can change both the speed and pitch of MP3 files, at least ones with non-variable bit rates. A lot of other music players do that same. Something fishy’s going on.

Coincidentally, Nintendo removed MP3 support from the Wii photo channel two years ago, and they are no longer releasing games with custom MP3 soundtracks, like the original Excite Truck (the recently released sequel, Excitebots, doesn’t support custom soundtracks). What problem does Nintendo have with MP3? Regardless, I won’t be using my DSi to play or manipulate music. I suspect a lot of others will feel the same.