MP3 has taken over as the most popular word inputted into a search engine window. It is an unavoidable factor on the internet and if you believe the major record labels, it is perhaps one of the most corrupting evils ever to descend upon the music industry. Well that may be a bit strong, but nevertheless it is here to stay and perhaps could be one of your greatest allies on the internet. That is if it doesn't revolutionise the way you value, listen to and receive the music of your choice.
So what is it?
is a compression format that reduces files up to about 12% of their
original size. When you consider that a stereo CD quality track can
weigh in at about 10 meg a minute, you can see why there is a need
for such a compression format, especially when the internet is
involved. It can take approx 50 minutes to download 10 meg file on a
The quality of the file output from most 'encoders' would give the average CD a run for its money. In fact some tracks, especially some dance music, have actually improved their sound quality via this compression.
also works on a similar principle.
So what does it mean for you?
1. You can create a CD that contains over 160 songs and can play for over 14 hours on a PC.
2. Those same tracks can be downloaded to the ever expanding range of standalone devices.
3. You can efficiently store songs on a hard disk and play them directly form there.
4. Companies are already designing home 'networking' systems to allow music play back in all rooms. MP3 or its descendent will be the format of choice as well as for 'music on demand' systems over the internet.
So how can I play an MP3 file?
just need an MP3 player. The two we recommend are either Winamp-
possibly the most popular player or the new Destiny
player, which also acts as a receiver for Destiny's propeitry
broadcasting format. The options for a Mac also include the
ubiquitous Quicktime 4 player. The Real Audio G2
player also plays MP3. The companies which have designed and
developed these players have had the forethought to include play back
facilities for other formats such as CD, wavs, video, real audio. The
range is expanding and very soon you will find that only player will
serve your needs.
Minimum computer requirement is probably a Pentium 75 or pre G2 mac.
Downloading any one of these players is simple and quick and you should be up and running in a very short space of time.
In time more and more record labels and artists will be embracing the format - but so far such luminaries as Goldie, David Bowie and Alanis Morrisette have all been part of this revolution. Both MP3.com and TraxinSpace have literally hundreds of thousands of tracks on their server. There are also labels setting up which either release only on MP3 or have MP3 exclusive mixes- such as PiknMix. Check our extensive links sections.