MP3 Compression – the best technology for music

MP3 Compression
From the early 1990s, as the first Internet usage began to proliferate and users quickly saw the potential for sharing music. A combination of basic connection speeds was too bad and large file sizes made uploading and downloading take too much time. As early as 1987, Germany’s prestigious Fraunhofer Institute had been engaged in researching high-quality at low bit-rate audio coding. In short we can say “how an audio file can be compressed in size without affecting its sound quality”. The format they came up with in 1989 was called MPEG {Moving Picture Experts Group} Audio Layer III or MP3.
MP3 compression is a simple concept to understand, even if the process itself is highly complex. A compact disc {CD} stores its information digitally (in binary digits (bits)), every second of stereo music contained on a CD consists of 1,411,200 bits. MP3 compression reduces the number of bits in a recording by taking out “unnecessary” information. It does this by using “perceptual noise shaping”; characteristic of the human ear are taken into account in its compression algorithm.
So for example, certain sounds that cannot be heard by the human ear or are masked by other louder sounds, may be removed without significantly altering the overall sound. In fact, compressing a song “ripped” from a CD can typically reduce its size by a factor of 12-the MP3 version of the song can therefore be download twelve times more quickly than the uncompressed version.
The speed at which files could be transferred immediately made MP3 the format of choice for moving digital music around on the internet and spawned a whole new phenomenon: the downloading of music-legal or otherwise.
MP3 was designed by MPEG (the Moving Picture Experts Group) as part of its MPEG-1 standard and later extended in the MPEG-2 standard. The first subgroup for audio was formed by several teams of engineers at Fraunhofer IIS, University of Hannover, AT&T-Bell Labs, Thomson-Brandt, CCETT, and others. MPEG-1 Audio (MPEG-1 Part 3), which included MPEG-1 Audio Layer I, II and III was approved as a committee draft of ISO/IEC standard in 1991, finalized in 1992 and published in 1993. Backwards compatible MPEG-2 Audio (MPEG-2 Part 3) with additional bit rates and sample rates was published in 1995.

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