MP3

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MP3

1. MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3: tradename for software created by the Motion Picture Experts Group that enables files to be compressed quickly to 10% or less of their original size for storage on disk or hard drive or esp for transfer across the internet
2. an audio or video file created in this way

MP3

MP3

(MPEG-1 Audio Layer III) The audio compression technology that revolutionized digital music (see "MP3 Shook Up the Industry" below). Derived from the audio sections of the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video specifications, MP3 compresses CD-quality sound by a factor of roughly 10, while retaining most of the original fidelity. For example, a 40MB CD track is turned into approximately a 4MB MP3 file. See CD-DA.

MP3 files are played on the computer via media player software, such as Apple's iTunes and Microsoft's Windows Media Player, as well as in countless iPods and other handheld players (see digital music player). MP3 sound quality cannot fully match the original CD, and true audiophiles complain bitterly, but millions of people consider it "good enough" because they can pack thousands of songs into a tiny pocket-sized player.

Ripping/Importing
Converting a digital audio track from a music CD to the MP3 format (or other audio format) is called "ripping" or "importing," and this conversion function is built into iTunes, Windows Media Player and other jukebox software. Stand-alone rippers are also available.

Bit Rates Are Important
While 128 Kbps (kilobits per second) is considered the norm for MP3 files, MP3s can be ripped to bit rates from 8Kbps to 320 Kbps. The higher the bit rate, the better the sound and the larger the file. Many audiophiles rip CDs at a much higher rate for improved audio quality. In the following dialog box from Windows Media Player 10, the "Audio quality" slider is used to select four bit rates for MP3 encoding: 128, 192, 256 and 320 Kbps. There are additional variations of MP3 as well as other widely used audio formats (see MP3 VBR, mp3PRO and codec examples).


Proof of the Pudding
These examples taken in a Mac show the original CD file sizes (top) and the resulting MP3 files (bottom). The CD was ripped to MP3 in iTunes at a recording rate of 160 Kbps, and the album was reduced from 344MB to 39MB. When a music CD is inserted into a Mac, the CD's files appear in Apple's AIFF format, which is the same uncompressed 16-bit PCM format as the CD (see AIFF, CD-DA and PCM).




MP3 Shook Up the Industry


By the end of the 1990s, music fans discovered that a CD song title converted to MP3 would still sound pretty good even though it was only 1/10th the size of the original CD track. Smaller files meant faster downloading. At an average of 4MB, it took less than 15 minutes to download a file over an analog dial-up modem. With a broadband connection on a college campus, it took seconds.

MP3 created a worldwide auditioning system for new musicians who could freely distribute their music to gain an audience. It also let people swap copyrighted titles with impunity. File sharing services such as the original Napster and Kazaa made it a global phenomenon, and the record industry went into a frenzy over violations of its copyrights (see Napster). Today, copyrighted MP3 files are still shared over the Internet; however, online music stores, including the resurrected Napster, sell songs legally and successfully. See peer-to-peer network and DRM.

Developed in Germany
MP3 was developed in the late 1980s by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. It uses perceptual audio coding to compress the data by eliminating frequencies that would not normally be heard because they overlap and cancel each other. See ID3 tag, audioblog, podcast, iPod, AAC, codec examples, perceptual audio coding and cuckoo egg.


Proof of the Pudding
These examples taken in a Mac show the original CD file sizes (top) and the resulting MP3 files (bottom). The CD was ripped to MP3 in iTunes at a recording rate of 160 Kbps, and the album was reduced from 344MB to 39MB. When a music CD is inserted into a Mac, the CD's files appear in Apple's AIFF format, which is the same uncompressed 16-bit PCM format as the CD (see AIFF, CD-DA and PCM).



Proof of the Pudding
These examples taken in a Mac show the original CD file sizes (top) and the resulting MP3 files (bottom). The CD was ripped to MP3 in iTunes at a recording rate of 160 Kbps, and the album was reduced from 344MB to 39MB. When a music CD is inserted into a Mac, the CD's files appear in Apple's AIFF format, which is the same uncompressed 16-bit PCM format as the CD (see AIFF, CD-DA and PCM).
References in periodicals archive ?
com MP3 Music Search Engine allows users to Search & Play Music for Free, Chat with Friends, Share Music, Create Multiple Online MP3 Music Play Lists, Save Favorite MP3 Music, and more without users being required to download or install 3rd party software on their computers or provide personal information.
Creative Labs, which rose to fame on (and became the defacto standard for) high-performance PC sound cards, is now shipping an MP3 music player that it calls the Nomad Jukebox, which is about the same size and shape as a CD Walkman-style player.
Also expect to see portable CD players that can play both music CDs and MP3 music files stored on CD-ROM.
From MP3 music players to tiny cameras, wrist devices are tumbling out of the pipeline.
With just two AA batteries, hundreds of pictures can be taken, or hours of MP3 music can be played.
net; Registered Patrons Can Listen to Any of the Site's 50,000 Albums over a Unique Internet Radio Feed That Offers Crystal Clear Sound and Features mp3 Music Downloads
Radiotracker Platinum uses minimized Internet bandwidth to deliver as many as 10 times more MP3 music tracks than similar products, putting it far ahead of the competition.
Pioneer's Inno XM2go is a portable radio receiver that combines two popular forms of audio entertainment: satellite radio and MP3 music.
With Nortel Networks intelligent asymmetric radio solution, UMTS service providers will be positioned to offer premium users significantly faster downloads - like 384 kbps for MP3 music files, or 30 seconds for a 50-page document - while making and receiving calls, using no more radio coverage than required for a symmetric 64 kbps network.
For example, numerous MP3 music players come with a 256 or 5l2Mbit NAND chip embedded on the motherboard.
Record companies, worried that their music is being given away free, robbing them of royalities, now have more to fret about: portable players like the Rio (below) that let people take MP3 music anywhere.
8-inch hard disk can store data equivalent to 60 135-minute movies, 1,500 40MB music videos, or 15,000 4MB MP3 music files.