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Last modified: Monday, May 17, 2004 

The name of the file extension and also the name of the type of file for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals. Layer 3 uses perceptual audio coding and psychoacoustic compression to remove all superfluous information (more specifically, the redundant and irrelevant parts of a sound signal. The stuff the human ear doesn't hear anyway). It also adds a MDCT (Modified Discrete Cosine Transform) that implements a filter bank, increasing the frequency resolution 18 times higher than that of layer 2.

The result in real terms is layer 3 shrinks the original sound data from a CD (with a bit rate of 1411.2 kilobits per one second of stereo music) by a factor of 12 (down to 112-128kbps) without sacrificing sound quality.

Because MP3 files are small, they can easily be transferred across the Internet.

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For pages about MP3 . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

MP3 Resources 
Provides numerous resources related to MPEG Audio Layer 3. 
Resource site for news and information about MP3. Includes a question and answer section, information about hardware and software, and links to related sites.

32-bit MP3 Players
Collection of reviewed, rated and downloadable MP3 players from Stroud's CWSApps.

MP3 Articles
Collection of ongoing articles about MP3 from Wired News.
Contains links to the top MP3 search engines and charts, software, hardware, downloads, and overview information.

The Digital Media Association
The Digital Media Association includes other Web-media technology and retail companies, such as a2b music,, CDnow, Enso Audio Imaging, Liquid Audio, RealNetworks, and TCI Music.

Yahoo!'s MP3 page
Yahoo!'s directory of MP3.

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related categories


Data Compression

related terms


data compression

digital audio


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