is a term you don't hear very often when it
comes to sound quality or sonic fidelity. In fact, the best quality
of compressed audio is always below CD-quality.
Music producers all over the world started to ask
themselves: "Why do we invest in 24bit/96kHz high quality sound systems,
when people listen to mp3 files?"
Well honestly, I cannot answer
that question. Maybe you do it just for a handful people that have the
equipment and the ability to enjoy the difference.
But even if you are an audiophile and don't like mp3
at all, you would still need mp3 software for different reasons:
- To listen to mp3 files
- To send someone a hearing sample of a track or
- To produce good quality mp3 files for your customers or friends
- To distribute your own music on the Internet
- To change format of a file for use in another software
For just listening to mp3s most people I know use a
Winamp. It's a nice
software to organize and listen to or watch your media. You can even use the
windows media player that comes with windows. It lets you perform a
lot of functions in the new version.
Mp3 software that you definitely need is an
converter. You never know what sound files you will get. Therefore
you should be able to convert files in many different formats. The
most important are mp3, wav, ra (real audio) for
windows and au (similar wav) or snd (Sound designer II) for
For making your own mp3s you need a high quality
mp3 encoder. The
encoding is the difficult part of the game. This mp3 software
"sound". I suggest taking the best encoder for encoding
files where quality counts and a fast codec for everyday mp3
Decoder is a much easier choice. Just select one that works
perfectly. If you are engaged in pro audio, you will probably need an
to Wav converter because most of the serious programs work with
uncompressed wav. files.
A good tip is having a
portable mp3 player
for playing long audio files without interruption. Think of buying one
that can also can store other files than mp3. That means you can also put
Wav files, programs, pictures, etc... on your player to easily transfer it
to a friend's computer.
Another alternative is a
mp3 CD player. You can
put 10 to 12 times as much tracks on a CDR. I personally prefer normal CD
players, but if you need a really cheap storage solution it's an
You might also need an mp3 software to mix your mp3
files. Go to MP3 Mixer to
find out what this kind of software can do for you. This is especially
interesting for DJs, fashion show or other playback producer.
To get sound files or whole CDs transferred to your
computer at high speed you need CD
Rippers. This mp3 software is specialized in capturing audio to your
computers hard disk without any errors, glitches or other unwanted
Yes, mp3 made storing, organizing and distributing music so much easier than before.
Files are smaller, it lets you easily add additional data like artist and
song title and you can buy portable solid state players, that don't stop
playing no matter how hard you shake.
If you add the ability to find and download almost any title from
the web, there's not much left to say against sound compression.
As long as the Internet stays as slow as it is, compression is
an important topic. And mp3 became a synonym for compression
and compressed downloadable music. Maybe one day we can dump a whole music
archive in a split second from the net to our computer. But it looks like
there's still a long way to go.
Do you know what the abbreviation mp3 means?
No?... Well, maybe it's not important but here it
is (just to complete the picture):
mp3: Short for mpeg layer 3
mpeg: Short for Moving Picture
Experts Group (This group developed the family of digital
video compression standards and file formats that let us see videos and
hear sounds on our computers).
layer 3: Name of a method to remove all
superfluous information from a sound signal.