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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
MP3 is a compression technology that has become popular recently due to the massive exchange of music on the Internet via peer-to-peer applications such as Napster. MP3 stands for (MPEG Layer 3). MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group) is a joint committee of the ISO (International Standards Organization) and the EC (Electrotechnical Commission). Most MPEG standards deal with compression of video. MP3 supports a range of compression ratios, including 4:1 (4 to 1), 6:1, 10:1, and 12:1. Compressed music files are greatly reduced down to a size that can be transferred in a few minutes over a 56-Kbit/sec dial-up line.
MP3 software and hardware are now widely available. An MP3 player is a small pocket device that stores MP3 files in memory or on removable memory cards. A typical player can hold hours of music. Some use recordable CD-ROMs that store hundreds of MP3 files, which are small in size due to the compression.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.