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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.

See Peer-to-Peer and Tom Sheldon's "Napster Disruption" article for more information.

For more information, visit the MP3 Web site at Also see "File Sharing," and "Multimedia,".

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.