|What is an MP3? |
Audio files recorded in MPEG level 3 encoding standards are more commonly know as MP3. MPEG itself stands for the Moving Pictures Experts Group, an organization that sets international standards for digital formats for audio and video. The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany invented the technology.
How do I play MP3s?
You would use a program like WinAmp, Sonique or one of many other typically free players you can find on a download site like Download.com
What is CD Ripping?
CD ripping is the process of extracting songs from a CD which is then converted into a WAVE (.wav) file on your computer.
Related Software: Easy CD Ripper
Are MP3s illegal?
No, MP3 technology is not illegal. If you use the technology illegally, that's another issue.
Typically, you are allowed to make a copy or burn a CD of for your own personal use. If you make further copies of the MP3 or any CD you burn and give them away or sell them, you are committing a crime and stealing money from the artist.
Is it illegal for me to make MP3 files from my existing CD collection?
No. The Home Recording Act allows you to make copies of your music CDs for personal use. You cannot share or sell these copied files or CDs. Once you have distributed these files to individuals who do not own the original CD, you have broken copyright law. You are not permitted to go on the Internet and trade your MP3 files with people who do not own their own copy of the CD. Please note that copyright laws that pertain to ripping _ encoding legally-purchased CD audio music for your own personal use vary from country to country.
What is a codec?
A codec is a software component that translates video or audio between its uncompressed form and compressed form. A codec is used to compress digital audio files by removing redundant data. MP3 encoders and decoders are audio codecs. MP3 To Wave Converter is an example of a very good codec.
Related Software: Cool MP3 Converter
What is an encoder?
An encoder converts a WAVE (.wav) file into a compressed file format such as MP3. You would use an encoder to create MP3s that have been digitally extracted from a CD.
Related Software: AltoMP3 Maker
What is a decoder?
A decoder converts an MP3 file into a WAVE file. This is the process most CD burning software goes through in order to burn your MP3s onto CD.
Related Software: AltoMP3 Maker
What is a bitrate?
A bitrate is the amount of information (bits) transferred in a second bits per second (bps). With regards to MP3 audio files, the bitrate unit is more commonly referred to as kbps, which is thousand-bits-per-second. The higher the bitrate of an MP3 file, the better the sound quality. Most MP3 encoders support a range of bitrates from 24kbps up to 320kbps. Typically, 128kbps is quite adequate for listening to MP3s on your computer. Some people prefer to use 192kbps when burning MP3s to CD.
What are ID3 Tags?
ID3 is a tagging system that lets you put enriching and relevant information about your audio files within them. Tags can contain any kind of information and data you could think of such as title, album, band, website, lyrics etc.
Related Software: Tag_Rename
What CD burning software would you recommend?
MP3 CD Converter is one of the most popular programs. It is easy to use and very reliable. You can check out some of our other featured CD burning programs here.
How does MP3 work?
As a form of compression, MP3 is based on a psycho-acoustic model which recognizes that the human ear cannot hear all the audio frequencies on a recording. The human hearing range is between 20Hz to 20Khz and it is most sensitive between 2 to 4 KHz. When sound is compressed into an MP3 file, an attempt is made to get rid of the frequencies that can't be heard. As such, this is known as 'destructive' compression. After a file is compressed, the data that is eliminated in the creation of the MP3 cannot be replaced.
When encoding a file into MP3, a variety of compression levels can be set. For instance, an MP3 created with 128 Kbit compression will be of a greater quality and larger file size than that of a 56 Kbit compression. The more the compression level decreases, the lesser the sound quality. Ultimately, the benefits of MP3 compression mean that people can back up their music collection onto hard disc or burn their own music selections onto CDs which hold over 100 songs.
What's the best software for listening to MP3?
Before you download any software, you will want to have at least a Pentium 75, Mac PPC or a similar processor. Don't forget that you need a soundcard and speakers. When it comes to MP3 players, to each their own. However, Winamp is widely regarded as being the most popular MP3 player for Windows users. It features a wide variety of plug-ins and can be customized to the user's requirements. Winamp can also be used to tune into SHOUTcast broadcasts. Check out the SHOUTcast article for more details on some of the coolest 'radio stations' run out of a bedroom. Macintosh users might want to try out MacAmp. You can explore the MPEG section for a variety of MP3-related programs across several operating systems.
Finally, if you're looking for some quality, legal MP3s head to MP3.com's Top Forty
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