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Thread: MP3 in Detail

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    MP3 in Detail

    What is MP3?

    MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a de facto standard encoding for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players. MP3 is an audio-specific format that was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. The group was formed by several teams of engineers at Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen, Germany, AT&T-Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, USA, Thomson-Brandt, and CCETT as well as others. It was approved as an ISO/IEC standard in 1991.

    The use in MP3 of a lossy compression algorithm is designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent the audio recording and still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio for most listeners, but is not considered high fidelity audio by audiophiles. An MP3 file that is created using the mid-range bit rate setting of 128 kbit/s will result in a file that is typically about 1/10th the size of the CD file created from the original audio source. An MP3 file can also be constructed at higher or lower bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality. The compression works by reducing accuracy of certain parts of sound that are deemed beyond the auditory resolution ability of most people. This method is commonly referred to as perceptual coding. It internally provides a representation of sound within a short term time/frequency analysis window, by using psychoacoustic models to discard or reduce precision of components less audible to human hearing, and recording the remaining information in an efficient manner. This is relatively similar to the principles used by JPEG, an image compression format.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: MP3 in Detail

    History Of MP3 :

    The immediate predecessor in the market place of the digital audio player was the portable CD player, which was sometimes referred to as a "portable audio device."

    Briton Kane Kramer designed one of the earliest digital audio players, which he called the IXI. His 1979 prototype was capable of approximately 3.5 minutes of audio playback but it did not enter commercial production. The related patents expired in 1988. Apple Inc. hired Kramer as a consultant and presented his work as an example of prior art in the field of digital audio players during their litigation with almost two decades later.

    The first mass-produced DAP was created in 1997 by SaeHan Information Systems, which domestically sold its “MPMan” player in the middle of 1998. The South Korean company then licensed the players to Eiger Labs which distributed them—now branded as Eiger Labs MPMan F10—to the North American market during the summer of 1998. The flash-based players were available in 16 MB storage capacity.

    The Rio PMP300 from Diamond Multimedia was introduced in September 1998, a few months after the MPMan. It was a success during the holiday season, with sales exceeding expectations. Interest and investment in digital music were subsequently spurred from it. Because of the player's notoriety as the target of a major lawsuit, the Rio is erroneously assumed to be the first DAP.

    In 1998, Compaq developed the first hard drive based DAP using a 2.5" laptop drive. It was licensed to HanGo Electronics (now known as Remote Solution), which first sold the PJB-100 (Personal Jukebox) in 1999. The player had an initial capacity of 4.8 GB, which was advertised to be able to hold 1200 songs.

    In October 2001, Apple Computer (now known as Apple Inc.) unveiled the first generation iPod, the 5 GB hard drive based DAP with a 1.8" Toshiba drive. With the development of a minimalistic user interface and a smaller form factor, the iPod was initially notable within users of the Macintosh community. In July 2002, Apple introduced the second generation update to the iPod. It was compatible with Windows computers through Musicmatch Jukebox (now known as Y!Music Musicmatch Jukebox). The iPod series, which grew to include microdrive and flash-based players, has become the market leader in DAPs.

    In 2002, Archos released the first "portable media player" (PMP), the Archos Jukebox Multimedia. Manufacturers have since implemented abilities to view images and play videos into their devices.

    In 2003 the first MP3 players were installed into mobile phones in South Korea and the first artist to sell songs as MP3 file downloads directly to mobile phones was Ricky Martin. The innovation spread rapidly and by 2005, more than half of all music sold in South Korea was sold directly to mobile phones. The idea spread across the globe and by 2005 all five major handset makers, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and SonyEricsson had released musicphones. By 2006, more MP3 players were sold in musicphones than all stand-alone MP3 players put together. The rapid rise of the musicphone was quoted by Apple as a primary reason for developing the iPhone. In 2007, the installed base of musicphones passed the 1 billion level, and today more than half of all moblie phones in the world have an MP3 player.

    Although online music services such as RealNetworks’ Rhapsody also offer legal downloads through a subscription plan, the launch of the iTunes Store in 2003 established the model of selling individual songs and albums for purchase.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: MP3 in Detail

    What do i need to play mp3 files?

    MP3 files need to be decompressed when played. For this reason, you need an MP3 player to hear them on your computer. Most audio playback applications and browser plug-ins support the MP3 format, and it comes standard with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator. There's a good chance you may already be set up to play MP3s. But if not, then you will need a mp3 player

    Some of the MP3 Players are listed below :

    How is MP3 created?

    Encoding :

    Encoding software allows you to convert an existing sound file on your hard drive (such as a .wav file) to MP3 format. Common encoding software is:

    • MusicMatch Jukebox for Windows 95/98/NT
    • AudioCatalyst for Windows 95/98/NT
    • SoundApp for Macintosh

    You can easily create a sound file by connecting a microphone to your computer's soundcard and using audio software such Windows' native Sound Recorder to record the mic input. You can then use one of the applications above to convert it to MP3 format.

    Ripping :

    Ripping software allows you to convert tracks from an audio CD in your CD-ROM drive to MP3 format. Common ripping software is:

    • MusicMatch Jukebox for Windows 95/98/NT
    • Audiograbber for Windows 95/98/NT
    • SoundApp for Macintosh

    What are the benefits of compressing audio?

    A digital representation (such a .wav file) of an audio performance 1 minute of CD quality uncompressed audio takes up about 10Mb on your computer's hard drive. While this may be fine for listening, it's no so great if you want other people to download your music on the Internet, as a 10Mb file takes about 50 min to download over a 28.8 modem. Compressing this audio file into MP3 format can cut the file size to around 850K while maintaining near-CD quality.

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