The question of allowing MP3's to carry more then just 2 channels of sound has been raised several times in the past, with noone having found a way (or perhaps bothered) to do it, until now that is! - The Fraunhofer Institute (known for their MP3 patent) have just introduced a surround sound mp3 module which compresses music and produces 5.1 channel sound, this supposedly still keeping roughly the same filesize as 2 channel MP3s.
Streaming surround sound could be just around the corner as the Fraunhofer Institute, known for their MP3 patent, has introduced a surround sound mp3 module. The module compresses music and gives 5.1 channel sound at Internet-friendly bitrates.
At the Midem conference in Cannes France, Fraunhofer is demonstrating a new WinAmp surround mp3 plug-in and a Flash Internet radio program. The plug-in is currently available for download at mp3surround.com.