This paper describes the status of the 2012 edition of the HITRAN molecular spectroscopic compilation. The new edition replaces the previous HITRAN edition of 2008 and its updates during the intervening years. The HITRAN molecular absorption compilation is comprised of six major components structured into folders that are freely accessible on the internet. These folders consist of the traditional line-by-line spectroscopic parameters required for high-resolution radiative-transfer codes, infrared absorption cross-sections for molecules not yet amenable to representation in a line-by-line form, ultraviolet spectroscopic parameters, aerosol indices of refraction, collision-induced absorption data, and general tables such as partition sums that apply globally to the data. The new HITRAN is greatly extended in terms of accuracy, spectral coverage, additional absorption phenomena, and validity. Molecules and isotopologues have been added that address the issues of atmospheres beyond the Earth. Also discussed is a new initiative that casts HITRAN into a relational database format that offers many advantages over the long-standing sequential text-based structure that has existed since the initial release of HITRAN in the early 1970s.