MP3 - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MP3 - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MPEG-1 and/or MPEG-2 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) is a lossy data compression format for audio. Using it makes smaller computer files containing digitized music and other sounds.

The format is a lossy compression format. This means that each time something is compressed with it, some information is lost. This information can not be recovered. When encoding to MP3 (converting some audio data to it), the encoder is smart. The human ear can not hear certain sounds if they are masked by other sounds. This means that when encoding certain sound samples, some sounds can be left out (as they will not be heard). This makes it possible to compress audio by a factor of about 5, without noticeable change to the sound of the music. With slight audible changes to the sound, compression factors of about 10 are possible.

Many people like to use MP3 files to copy music so they can listen to it on their computer. Record companies do not like it when people use the Internet to share these...
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