music formats like MP3 and streaming audio on the Internet are
revolutionizing the way music is distributed and consumed. With these
technologies, consumers have more convenient access to a wider variety
of music and more control over how they listen to it. Musicians have
increased access to fans and more options for distributing their music.
Independent record labels have a better way to promote and distribute
music to a wider audience. And the major record labels have a serious
threat to their dominance of the industry.
What Is MP3?
MPEG Audio Layer-III ) is a standard format for compressing digital
audio . MP3 squeezes audio files to about one tenth of their original
size, while maintaining close to CD quality. Songs in MP3 format can be
downloaded from the Internet, created from prerecorded music, or
recorded from scratch. They can be played on personal computers,
Walkman-style portable players (like the Rio) or one of the new
generation of dual-mode MP3/audio CD players.
What Is MPEG ?
for Moving Picture Experts Group. The MPEG committee works under the
direction of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and
establishes standards for encoding audio and video in digital format,
and for interactive graphics applications. MP3 is just a small part of
the MPEG family of standards. Thanks to MPEG, we also have standards
for technologies like DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) and DirecTV.
Why Are So Many People Excited About MP3?
main benefit of MP3 is its high level of compression, which makes for
smaller files and faster downloads. With MP3, you can store more than
12 hours of high-quality music on a single CD, versus the standard 74
minutes. With the matchbook-sized memory cards used by portable MP3
players, you can fit the equivalent of a dozen CDs in your wallet. (I
verified this by putting some SmartMedia cards in my own wallet.)
compression allows you to use your computer as a digital jukebox that
can hold thousands of CD-quality songs. You can quickly find and play
any song with a click of a mouse and never have to worry about tapes
wearing out or records getting scratched. Instead of spending hours
making tapes or programming a CD changer, you can compile customized
playlists in minutes.
makes it practical to download music from the Internet, where you can
access thousands of songs from artists all over the world. With MP3,
you can download a four-minute song in less than 15 minutes (with a
33.6 kbps modem), compared to more than 3 hours for the same song in CD
audio format. Now you can sample a wide variety of music from the
comfort of your home and find some great music from independent artists
you might not otherwise be exposed to.
opens up a whole new range of possibilities for musicians. If you are
an independent or emerging artist, MP3 and the Internet give you a low
cost way to promote your music worldwide and keep in touch with fans.
You can sign with one of the new Internet record labels , retain the copyrights to your music, and keep a much larger share of the revenue.
music and streaming audio are rapidly growing in popularity, but
widespread acceptance has been limited by the fact that these are
relatively new technologies, and there is a shortage of people who
understand them. There's also a lot of hype and contradictory
information about coming from many different sources. There's confusion
about terminology, debates about sound quality, and concern about the
ease with which unauthorized copies can be produced and distributed.
The goal of The MP3 and Internet Audio Handbook
is to cut through all the hype and provide you with easy-to-understand
information, practical advice and step-by-step instructions to help you
begin using these technologies right away, without time-consuming trial