| 1. What is MP3?
MP3 or MPEG layer 3 is a sound file that has been significantly
compressed through MP3 encoding making it smaller (compressed up to
12:1) from the original source file with very little loss in sound
quality. This compression model is based on the capability of
eliminating those frequencies which the human ear is unable to
The smaller MP3 files (usually around one megabytes for one
minute of music) make it possible to offer music downloads over the
Internet. Compare to an average audio compact disc which holds
about 700 megabytes of data or around 70 megabytes per song, that a
significant improvement over file size.
The standard bit rates (near CD quality result) is 128 or 112
kbit/s. The disadvantage of MP3 compression is that lots of
processing power is needed to encode and play these files as they
have to be decompressed when playing. Therefore you must play it on
your computer or using an MP3 player hardware. It can not be played
on an ordinary home stereo CD player (you can however, burn your
MP3s onto a CD and play it on your ordinary home stereo CD player.
Creating your own CD works out to be much cheaper than the price
that you usually pay for a music CD. Besides one CD can hold over
one hundreds MP3 music files!).
2. Where can I get MP3 files?
You can use the MP3 search engines to help you search for MP3
files. Check out the search engine section for some good MP3 search
engines. There are also many good sites that host MP3 files
directly or provide links to MP3 files.
Also, check out the Top MP3 Sites section, MP3 Links and MP3
download page. You can also create your own MP3 files from your
favorite CDs for personal use.
3. How do I play MP3 files?
Download any MP3 player software to play the file (Winamp or
Windows Media Player).
4. What is an encoder?
An encoder is a software that converts uncompressed WAV (Windows)
or AIFF (Mac) files into compressed files, using a CODEC such as
MP3 or RealAudio. You can use an encoder to make MP3 files from
your CDs. Try MP3Coder by MP3Developments.
5. What is a decoder?
A decoder is exactly the opposite of an encoder. It is used to
convert (decode) audio files in MP3 or RealAudio format to WAV or
AIFF format. It is used to make CDs from MP3 files.
6. What is CD ripping?
CD ripping is a process of extracting audio data from an audio CD
and converting it into WAV file format or other formats and storing
it as digital data on your PC's hard disk. Try CDRipper by MP3Developments.
7. What is CD burning?
CD burning is the process of using CD-R/RW drive and burning
software to put data or audio onto a CD.
8. How do I decode an MP3 file format to a WAV file
Firstly you need a Decoder software. Some MP3 Players software will
allow you to do decoding such as Winamp and MusicMatch. Use your
Decoder to decode the MP3 files back to WAV format. In Winamp, for
example, you can set the output to a WAV file instead of standard
audio output. Hit Ctrl-P to bring up the Preferences window and
choose Plug-ins/Output. Select Nullsoft DiskWrite on the right
side, and click Configure to choose a destination for your WAV
file. For other MP3 players, just look around the Preferences for
9. How do I encode a WAV file format to an MP3 file
To encode a WAV file to an MP3 file, you need an encoder software.
Try MP3Coder by MP3Developments.
10. How can I make MP3 files from my CD?
Firstly, you need a CD Ripper and an Encoder software or a program
that does both (MP3TagEditor by MP3Developments is a program of
this kind). Use the CD Ripper to extract the audio file on the CD
and convert it to WAV (or AIFF for MAC) file format. Finally, use
your Encoder software to convert the WAV files to MP3 format. If
you take a track from an audio CD and directly create an MP3 file
on your hard disk, then you are ripping and encoding in one
11. How can I make audio CDs from my MP3 files?
You can burn MP3s to CDs directly by using the CD-R Burners. You
can also convert your MP3 into WAV first by using a decoder
software, then burn the WAVs to CD. You can use any CD-R Software
such as the Easy CD Pro (SCSI) or Easy CD Creator, that supports
WAV files as input to burn your CDS. Check out the MP3 Hardware
page for some hardware and software that can help you do