What is MP3?
Its full name is MPEG – 1 audio Layer 3; it is a compressed
digital audio format, created by the company Moving and Picture
Expert Group (MPEG), this format was developed specifically by
Karlheinz Brandenburg, who was the technology director of the
Fraunhofer IIS Institute.
This institute was a German research center,
which, with Thompson Multimedia, controls all the
This format’s distribution started back in 1995 and it was not
very popular until 1991; but it was not until July in 1995 when
this company starts using another format called .MP3, which did
not occupied much of the computer’s memory and was very flexible.
This company got 1.2 millions of Euros with the patent concept,
ten years later, this amount increased to up to 26.1 million of
The MP3 format was so successful that it became the standard
that the streaming audio used in high quality, because it
provided the opportunity of compressing the file in proportion
to its size by second, this is why some files that used to
weight around 15 MB, could diminish their weight to just 1 MB
with this type of conversion, thanks to this, the
MP3 files were
very successful through the Internet.
In 2002, other formats, which were very much
alike MP3, were include in various
operative systems; other
formats have also been created through the Internet, this help
in foreseeing that the MP3 format was slowly decaying, due to
the fact that the patent that it possesses was not from an open
code and each time a codec is used for it, it had to be paid.
Even though many formats, which are similar to
MP3, have been launched, it has not become less popular among
the users nor the Internet, quite the opposite, because it has
become even more successful.
They way in which this algorithm works is through
the perceptual codification, because it is a compression system
with a loss, which means that the original sound, which has not
gone through the codification or compression process, it is not
the same with which it has been transformed, this losses can
only be picked up through special devices that measure the
decibel level, meaning that the human ear cannot pick up these
losses, because we only sense certain frequency of sound and
this contributes with the fact that we do not perceive any
disturb or loss when we are listening to audio in MP3.
A sub band codification system is used, which
determined which frequencies are going to be eliminated and
which are not; they follow a process that compares the original
with the psychoacoustic model, and it determined which the most
important band is and which can be deleted. For example, in a
compact disc we have a 44.1 Khz 16 stereo bit wave, which means,
approximately, 14000 kbps, but codifying at 128 kbps, we would
obtain a 1/12 reduction of the initial space; this type of
codification is the best one and the one that most companies use
as a standard, given to the fact that by increasing the
codification, the best quality can be loss, and this can be
verified when listening to the audio.
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