MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3
DeveloperMoving Pictures Experts Group

MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3)

A patented codec, using a form of lossy compression. It is the most common format for audio, particularly on personal audio players.

MP3 uses a lossy compression algorithm to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent the audio recording, and still sound something like the original uncompressed audio. An MP3 file that is created using the setting of 128 kbit/s will result in a file that is about 9% (that's right, just nine percent) 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, and the highest quality - 320kbps, is often described as 'close to CD quality'. There is still an awful lot of information missing, even at this bit rate.

Last modified 14th Dec 2011