What is the hottest buzzword around the Internet today? What topic has replaced sex' as the most searched for term on the web? The answer to both of these questions is MP3 audio.
MP3 stands for MPEG 1 Layer 3 Audio, which is a digital audio compression format developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. It takes a CD audio file and gets rid of all the frequencies on the song that can't be heard by the human ear, thus ridding the data file of much wasted space. With compression, the files turn out to be around four times smaller than the original with the same, near CD quality audio. While "MP3" may technically be the name of the compression format, it has become synonymous with the music files themselves.
There are many benefits of MP3s. The biggest benefits would have to be MP3 files' size and cost. By using great compression, MP3s are only a quarter of the size of the original file. With a typical 3-minute song, the MP3 is only around 3 megabytes. With such a small size, MP3s are easily downloaded from the Internet and shared between people. Everything that can be done with MP3s can be done freely. The audio players that play the format, the rippers that compress the audio files with the MP3 format, and MP3s themselves can all be downloaded freely from the Internet.
While this may sound like a great format, some may question its legality. Any music CD can be used to create MP3s, even commercial ones. While some users download these copyrighted songs from the Internet, which are very easy to find, the act is illegal. However, there are many bands that release their music online for publicity, which is completely legal. The only time it is illegal is when the audio file is that of a copyrighted music track used without the artist's permission.
To an up and coming band, MP3s and MP3 websites are a godsend. These bands can record a CD at any recording studio, then rip that is, take an audio CD track and turn it into an MP3 - the...
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