MPEG audio layer-3s, or MP3s, have swept through the music industry, gathering millions of followers and enthusiasts! MP3 files are not some magical devices. Rather, they are just like CDs, except they compress the music files and the songs to smaller sizes.
For every second of music, a CD stores 1,411,200 bits, which is equivalent to about 176,000 bytes! If a song was about 3 minutes long, then the CD would have to use up 32 million bytes of space! You don't need to be some mathematician to realize that's a whole lot of storage space! And, in addition, if you wanted to download a song off the Internet, it could take up to 2 hours! Here is where the MP3 comes in. The MP3 seeks to compress these songs and music so that they'll only take up a fraction of the space they would normally require. This would not only conserve storage space, but if you wanted to download these songs off the Internet, it would only take a few minutes instead of a few hours!
MP3s try to compress a song while still maintaining the song's original quality. You might be wondering how this is possible. Well, our ears work in interesting ways. First of all, there are some sounds that our ears can hear better than others. If there were two different sounds that are playing at the same time, then we would only hear the louder one. Keeping this in mind, scientists have been able to erase parts of songs that we wouldn't be able to hear. This does not affect the quality of the song at all! Thus MP3s can compress a song and reduce its size by a factor of 10 at least!
MP3s are great devices to shrink the
size of a song so that they can be easily stored on the Internet and on your
hard disk without taking up too much space.
There are now even small, portable MP3 players with which you can take your
MP3s everywhere you go! You can store many songs on these, and they generally
have longer playback times than Discmans!
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