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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

AAC Advanced Audio Coder. An audio-encoding standard for MPEG-2 that is not backward-compatible with MPEG-1 audio.
ABR In this mode, you choose the encoder will maintain an average bitrate while using higher bitrates for the parts of your music that need more bits. The result will be of higher quality than CBR encoding but the average file size will remain predictable, so this mode is highly recommended over CBR. This encoding mode is similar to what is referred as VBR in AAC or Liquid Audio (2 other compression technologies).
ASPI Advanced SCSI Programming Interface. Originally developed by Adaptec. It is a software layer that enables programs to communicate with SCSI and ATAPI devices (CD and DVD drives and other storage peripherals).
ATAPI Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface. ATAPI allows your PC support removable drives. ATAPI devices use your IDE channel to communicate with your computer. The ATAPI interface has now been enhanced to support faster data transfers.
Audio buffer A buffer in the system target decoder for storage of compressed audio data.

B

Bit Short for binary digit. Bits are usually designated either a 0 or 1 (representing on/off states) and are the smallest unit of information on a computer.
Bitrate The speed at which digital audio and video content must be streamed to be rendered properly by a player; or the speed at which digital content in general is streamed on a network. Bit rate is usually measured in kilobits per second (Kbps), for example, 28.8 Kbps.
Bitstream An ordered series of bits that forms the coded representation of the data.
Bps Abbreviation for bits per second.
Burn The process of permanently archiving data to a blank CD. CD drives that are used to write data to blank CDs are called "CD burners" or "CD writers".

C

CBR Constant Bitrate is a type of encoding method used when an MP3 file is created. Constant Bitrate Encoding is a method that ensures a consistent bitrate throughout an encoded file at the expense of audio quality and/or encoder efficiency. The encoder allocates the same number of bits to difficult and easy sections. As a result, difficult sections may suffer quality degradation while easy sections may include unused bits.
CD An optical storage medium for digital data, usually audio. A compact disc (CD) is a nonmagnetic, polished metal disc with a protective plastic coating that can hold more than 1 hour of recorded audio.
CDDB CDDB (Compact Disc Data Base) is used for retrieving audio disc title and track names from an Internet database. CDDB consists of servers containing CD information from all over the world. You have to specify address of this server and HTTP path of script on the server. Optionally you have to specify your e-mail.
CD-R Compact Disc-Recordable - A type of compact disc that can be recorded upon in digital format. A CD-R can be used to store computer files or digital audio. Like all digital media, the copy made on the CD-R is identical to the original. A CD-R can be recorded upon only once - it cannot be erased or re-recorded over.
CD-ROM Abbreviation for Compact Disc-Read Only Memory. A CD-ROM is a standard compact disc containing data files that may include text files, audio files, video files or any other type of files. Most CD-ROMs can hold 650 megabytes of data. CD-ROMs can only be read - they cannot be written on. The files on a CD-ROM can be accessed using a PC with a CD-ROM drive.
CD-RW Compact Disc-ReWritable. A CD-RW is just like a CD-R except that it can be written over or re-recorded over. Like CD-R, the CD-RW is in digital format, and therefore allows identical copying of files with no loss of quality.
Channel A sequence of data representing an audio signal intended to be reproduced at one listening position.
Codec Short for compressor/decompressor. Codecs are various types of computer algorithms that are applied to audio, video, and image files to compress the size of the files. The benefit of this is that the files do not use as much disk space when stored or network bandwidth when streamed. An MP3 is an example of a codec; it provides the tools to compress an audio file into a smaller size, and the tools to read the compressed file and play it back as though it was never compressed in the first place.
Compression Reduction in the number of bits used to represent an item of data.
Constant bitrate Operation where the bitrate is constant from start to finish of the compressed bitstream.
CRC Cyclic Redundancy Check. CRC is used to detect any errors happened after encoding. See CBR for more details.

D

Decoder Decoder is what converts an MP3 file into something you can hear.
Digital Using bits to represent variables and store information, rather than analog, which uses physical change to represent variables. Digital recordings represent sounds that have been converted into groups of electronic bits, or zeroes and ones, and stored on a magnetic medium; those groups of bits are then read electronically. In the case of a CD player, the bits are read by a laser beam. Conversely, with analog technology, the grooves on a vinyl record are read physically by a needle. Because digital data are represented numerically, they can be copied repeatedly and each succeeding generation of copies is identical to the original.
DVD Digital Versatile Disc. DVD is an high density media which looks like a CD-ROM. It can have one or two sides containing data, and each side can be single or double layer. Each layer have a 4.7 gigabytes maximum capacity, so the total maximum capacity of a DVD is 18.8 gigabytes.

E

Encoder Application or tool that converts an audio file into another format.
Encoding Process of converting analog or digital multimedia content into another type of compressed form, such as MP3.
Encoding modes There are three types of the encoding modes - constant bitrate (CBR), average bitrate (ABR) and variable bitrate (VBR).
EQ The abbreviation for equalizer or graphic equalizer, an electronic mechanism for adjusting the volume of selected frequency ranges.

F

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. A good place to search for information before posting on the forums.
Frame During mastering, the CD-ROM sector is subdivided into 98 frames, and the bytes in those frames are modulated from 8 to 14 bit structures and provided with three merging bits, to insure fluid concatenation. All this manipulation of frames and bits is done by the equipment, and is transparent to the user. In motion video parlance, however, a frame is the unit of display, at a rate of so many frames per second. And, in video compression, as in MPEG, each frame is divided in two fields (each composed of alternating lines in the frame), reason for also being known as 'half-frames'. The compression process generally operates on the fields.
FreeDB FreeDB is a database to look up CD information using the Internet. This is done by a client (a FreeDB aware application) which calculates a (nearly) unique disc ID for a CD in your CD-Rom and then queries the database. As a result, the client displays the artist, CD-title, track list and some additional informations you can also search for CD-info in the FreeDB via the web-based search.

G

G2 G2 is the name of the RealNetworks most recent audio/video CODEC technology. The G2 includes several features targeted specifically at streaming media applications including synchronization with other media types such as video and graphics, and the ability to handle data loss. According to RealAudio, the G2 Music Codec can handle packet loss up to 10-15% with minimal reduction of audio quality.

H

I

ID3 An MP3 ID3 Tag is information stored at the end of an MP3 file. The tag can contain information about the Title/Songname, Artist, Album, Year, Comment, and Genre in version 1 and also Track in version 1.1. A proposed Version 2 is out which would be extendable to include more information and picture(s). Home site: http://www.id3.org
Intensity stereo A method of exploiting stereo irrelevance or redundancy in stereophonic audio programs based on retaining at high frequencies only the energy envelope of the right and left channels.

J

Jitter Is a term used for the inherent uncertainty in most CD-ROM units, which is caused by the way audio is stored on a CD. Although one logical block on a CD takes up 2352 bytes, the amount of data stored in the block varies. For a data block, 2052 bytes are actual data, and the remaining 300 bytes are information used to accurately find the block. For audio, however, all 2352 bytes contain audio data - there is no positioning information returned in the block read. When CDs first came out, they were used for audio, and it didn't matter if a CD player got within +/- 1/75 of a second of the intended start position. After it started, as long as the player kept reading, it could accurately read the data - the problem only came about when initially seeking the start position.
Jitter correction Is the process of trying to compensate for "jitter" in software. Generally, it involves using overlapping reads, and attempting to match the end of one read with the beginning of the next, so that there are no gaps in the data read. These gaps cause clicks and pops in the resulting WAV or MP3 file produced. For instance, the program might begin reading a track at block 1000 and read 27 blocks total. On the next read, it would issue a read command starting at 1024, and would try to match the end of the first read in the beginning of the second read. Once it finds a match, it would cut off the beginning of the second read, and use only the part after the match. In this way, you can eliminate the clicks and pops.
Joint stereo coding Any method that exploits stereophonic irrelevance or stereophonic redundancy.
Joint stereo mode A mode of the audio coding algorithm using joint stereo coding.

K

Kbps Kilobits per second. Used for measuring the rate at which data transfers.

L

Lossless Compression Compression techniques that allow the original data to be recreated without loss. Contrast with lossy compression.

M

M3U M3U files are the MP3 standard for playlist names and are recognized by most MP3 players. M3U files are actually text files that contain lists with the name and directory of MP3 files on your computer. MP3TagEditor and CDRipper support this type of the playlist file.
MIDI A standard protocol for the interchange of musical information between musical instruments, synthesizers and computers. It defines the codes for a musical event, which include the start of a note, its pitch, length, volume, and musical attributes, such as vibrato. It also defines codes for various button, dial, and pedal adjustments used on synthesizers.
MP2 MP2 is an acronym for MPEG-1 audio layer 2. It is a music compression scheme used in CD-V and DVD-video.
MP3 MP3 is the standard for downloadable music on the Internet. MP3 is a type of MPEG digital compression technology that takes a large audio file and then compresses it into a significantly smaller size that can be easily downloaded to your computer. Even though MP3 files are significantly smaller than the original file, the audio quality of the MP3 file sounds virtually the same as the original file. The name MP3 actually comes from the layer 3 section of the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 specification. Developed in Germany in 1991 by the Fraunhofer Institute.
MPEG MPEG is an acronym for Moving Picture Experts Group - an international subcommittee that develops standards for digital audio and video compression. MPEG files are smaller than other digital multimedia formats, so they use less disk space while maintaining the quality of the original source.
MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are MPEG compression specifications. Each specification includes a set of rules to follow for file compression. When an MPEG-compliant MP3 file is created (encoded), the compression program checks the properties of the file and then follows the MPEG specification to create the MP3 file.
MPEG Audio Layers MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 both have a three-layer structure, each of which represents a family of coding algorithms. These layers are noted in the standards using Roman figures (Layer I, Layer II, and Layer III). Note that for Internet audio applications MPEG-1 Layer III audio has become known as MP3.

N

Noise Irrelevant, meaningless, or erroneous information added to a signal by the recording or transmission medium or by an encoding/decoding process. An advantage of digital formats over analog formats is that noise can be completely eliminated (although new noise may be introduced by compression).
Normalize A process of boosting the signal of an audio file to its maximum level without causing distortion.

O

Ogg Vorbis Ogg is the name of an open source multimedia project maintained by the xiph.org foundation. Vorbis refers to the lossy general purpose audio compression format that surpasses mp3 in quality and rivals new formats such as AAC and TwinVQ (a.k.a. VQF). Home sites: http://www.xiph.org  http://www.vorbis.com.

P

PCM Pulse Code Modulation. Coding where input signal is represented by a given number of fixed-width samples per second. Often used for the coding employed in the telephone network.
Playlist A personalized list of links to various audio and video files on your computer, your network, or the Internet, including radio stations and broadband broadcasts. You can create a playlist from any combination of media sources. The items in the list are played sequentially. You can change the order of items in your playlist by dragging and dropping. MP3TagEditor auto generate M3U play list with encoded MP3 files (on mode "CD to WAV" and "WAV to MP3") or with ripped WAV file (mode "CD to WAV").
PLS Playlist file that contain lists with the name and directory of audio files on your computer. MP3TagEditor and CDRipper support this type of the playlist file.
Proxy A proxy server is a kind of buffer between your computer and the Internet resources you are accessing. The data you request come to the proxy first, and only then it transmits the data to you.

Q

R

Ripping A slang term for digital audio extraction from an audio CD without loss of quality.
RTP RTP (Real-Time Protocol) is the standard Internet protocol for transporting real-time data, such as MP3 audio streams.

S

Sample A digital value representing the instantaneous value of an analog signal.
Sample Rate The number of times a digital sample is taken, measured in samples per second, or Hertz. The more often samples are taken, the better a digital signal can represent the original analog signal. Sampling theory states that the sampling frequency must be more than twice the signal frequency in order to reproduce the signal without aliasing. DVD PCM audio allows sampling rates of 48 and 96 kHz.
Sampling Converting analog information into a digital representation by measuring the value of the analog signal at regular intervals, called samples, and encoding these numerical values in digital form. Sampling is often based on specified quantization levels. Sampling may also be used to adjust for differences between different digital systems.
Sampling Frequency Sampling Frequency (Fs) defines the rate in Hertz which is used to digitize an audio signal during the sampling process.
SCSI Small Computer Systems Interface. A storage device or peripheral interface, used both for internal and external devices. Invented by an IBM employee, but championed by Apple Computer, this standard has been enhanced and revised repeatedly throughout the years. It is used as the preferred interface for the direct attachment of high-performance disk drives on computer servers and workstations today.
Sector A logical grouping of data on a disc. A CD is arranged in sectors which contain 2048 bytes of data. A sector is the smallest addressable unit on a CD. Each sector has a unique address.
Sound Card A PC circuit card that provides the means for your computer to convert digital audio files to stereo sound through external sources such as amplified speaker systems. Sound cards also provide software that lets you modify such audio file characteristics as frequency ranges for various instruments, stereo balance, distortion and ambience. Sound cards are included with most modern PCs. Virtually all Macintoshes have built-in sound capabilities that do not require a sound card.
Stream An ordered series of bits that forms the coded representation of the data.
Streaming audio Streaming refers to the playback of audio in real-time as it is transferred across the Internet. The advantage of this approach is that the user does not have wait for the entire music file to be downloaded before hearing it. The tradeoff is that the music must be highly compressed in order to support the access rates that most users have, typically 28.8 to 56 Kbps. This gives internet users instant gratification but relatively poor playback quality. In addition streaming audio players do not capture the content, so each time the clip is played it is transferred again.
Surround channel An audio presentation channel added to the front channels (Left and Right or Left, Right, and Central) to enhance the spatial perception.

T

Tooltip A tooltip is a small rectangular window with a short description of the function showing when one points with mouse cursor at a button or icon.
Track An individual song or other discrete piece of content from a CD.
Trim A process of deleting the blank spaces in the beginning and at the end of a song.

U

V

VBR Variable Bitrate is a type of encoding method used when an MP3 file is created. Variable Bitrate encoding ensures consistently high audio quality throughout an encoded file by making intelligent bit-allocation decisions during the encoding process. VBR-encoded files are typically smaller than files encoded using the CBR encoding method because the encoder puts bits where they are most needed.

W

WAV file WAV files, like MP3 files, are a format for storing digital audio on a computer. WAV files are extremely high-quality and, consequently, take up more space than MP3 files of equal time length.
WMA WMA (Windows Media Audio) is the umbrella name for the products, product components and services from Microsoft that give you the ability to create, deliver, and play streaming files in the Advanced Streaming Format. The primary components of the Windows Media Technologies are the Windows Media Tools, Windows Media Services streaming server, and Windows Media Player. These provide an end-to-end solution for streaming multimedia, from content authoring to delivery to playback.

X

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Z

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