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What Does MP3 Stand For?


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I'll make you a deal.

I'll explain a bit about 'what does MP3 stand for' if you let me rant just a little bit.

In exchange, I'll give you some tips on how to master for mp3 or any lossy format.

What Does mp3 Stand For

I'll make you a deal.

I'll explain a bit about 'what does MP3 stand for' if you let me rant just a little bit.

In exchange, I'll give you some tips on how to master for mp3 or any lossy format.

What Does mp3 Stand For

MP3's are the music playback format of choice, unfortunately, for many people!

Obviously, I don't have a great deal of affection for this format. It must be the M.E. in me.

Back to the topic...

MP3 is a slightly shortened form for M-PEG 3. In turn, it stands for:

  • Moving Pictures Experts Group.

The '3' refers to Audio Layer 3.

The mp3 format's main purpose was to reduce the file size of an audio track so that it uses less space on your hard drive. This is done through a process called data compression. This is a completely different process from dynamic audio compression.

In historic times this was an advantage, because hard drive space was small and rather expensive. Not so much today, however.

The mp3's basic process works by permanently removing data that is masked – sounds that are covered up by other sounds.

For example:

  • Loud, low frequency sounds can hide quieter frequencies just above it.

Or:

  • A very loud chord can hide much quieter details just following the chord in time.

This required lots of testing on ordinary people to see how much data could be removed before artifacts were noticed.

  • I don't think many musicians or engineers were in that group of people!!

Fortunately, though, we've been offered various levels of reduction known as bit rates, which creates somewhat less horrible sound, the better the rates get, at the cost of just slightly more hard drive space.

With portable HD space size increasing and the cost decreasing, to me, it makes more sense to listen to as high a quality format as possible.

Sure you get tons more songs on your drive – but can you listen to a thousand songs on a single battery charge?!

What does mp3 stand for?...

Don't get me started!


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