Loading Flash Menu
Free computer tutorials designed to help you work smarter with a personal computer.
go to the personal computer reference library. Go to the computer troubleshooting reference library. Go to the computer tutorials center. Go to the computer faqs website. Go to the computer forums section.
Windows Tutorial Zones Welcome To The Multimedia Zone
Home... > Multimedia > Digital Audio > Introduction and Overview of What the Mp3 (Mpeg Layer 3) Technology Is All About
On This Page:
The Ultimate Media Management Guide
This page provides an overview of what the MP3 (Mpeg Layer 3) Technology is all about with emphasis on the history of the MP3 format..
Article Content:

Technology World's Ultimate Music And Digital Media Management guides

What is MP3? History Of MP3 Typical Values Of MP3 Encoding Techniques Ideal Settings Of MP3 Encoding Techniques

What is MP3?

MP3 is a technology invented by a professor at the Erlangen-Nuremberg University in Germany early in the 1970s.

It is not neccessary to understand the exact configurations and technical details associated with the MP3 technology since that goes beyond the scope of this document. You may, however, find a description outlining the history of the MP3 compression format useful. This is detailed in next paragraph.

History Of MP3

Table 1.2 shown below illustrates the evolution and development history of the MP3 format:

A professor by the name of Dieter Seitzer from the Erlangen-Nuremberg University in Germany brainstorms concepts associated with compressing music over standard telephone lines.
Professor Dieter Seitzer's team develops a digital signal processor with compression capabilities. Other basic principles for perceptual audio coding were also developed.
An alliance is formed between Erlangen-Nuremberg University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in accordance with European Union funded standards most notably the EUREKA project EU147 for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).
A member of Professor Dieter Seitzer's team by the name of Brandenburg finishes a doctoral thesis on the optimum coding in the frequency domain, a algorithm described by the Fraunhofer organization as soon to be released MP3 encoder. Such options potentially introduced with the encoder included a high frequency resolution filter, Humffman coding, non-uniform quantization, and side information structure. This technology removed sound above and below the human ear thresold.
Additional contributions were developed by Hannover University, Thomson, AT&T, and the Fraunhofer team to improve the exisiting OCF based alogorithm. Introduced at this time included a powerful new codec labelled ASPEC (Adaptive Spectral Perceptual Entropy Coding). This was the second stag before the invention of the MP3 compression format.
The MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) in alliance with the ISO (International Organization Of Standardizaztion) develops digital audio and video standards entitled MPEG-1 for playback of video CDs.
The Layer 3 compression technique was introduced and selected by the WorldSpace satellite digital audio broadcasting system.
Diamond Multimedia beings the MP3 era with the creation of the RIO portable MP3 player. These palyers used state of the art flash memory cards to store and play compressed music files. This led to an enormus popularity and as result other companies started the development of their own MP3 playback devices.
A new breed of MP3 playback devices containing hard drives were introduced. Since this time MP3 had become a world wide medium with more than a hundred million computers and electronic devices supporting the format.
Table 1.3 - Developmental History Of The Mpeg Layer 3 Technology

At present day, MP3 is the most widely used and accepted compression format available. It is a versatile, convienient, and powerful compression technology and best of all is considered an open source technology.

That's enough theory about the MP3 format for now. You should have a basic understanding of what's involved with MP3 and can proceed with heart of this article: the development of your own digital music collection.

Typical Values Of MP3 Encoding Techniques

Table 1.4 shown below provides an at a glance look at values applicable to the MP3 encoding process:

Criteria Setting Value
No. Of Bits:
8 bit
Mono (Radio/Cassette tape quality)
16 bit
Stereo (CD quality)
CD Quality (Best quality)
CD Quality (Excellent quality)
Radio / Cassette tape (Medium to Low quality)
Telephone (Very low quality.)
Table 1.4 - Typical Values Used During The MP3 Encoding Process
Ideal Settings Of MP3 Encoding Techniques

Table 1.5 shown below provides an at a glance look at ideal values applicable tothe MP3 encoding process:

Criteria Setting
No. Of Bits:
16 bit
Bit Rate:
128 kbps
Table 1.5 - Ideal MP3 Encoding Settings Applicable To CD Quality Music Files

The next pages within this article discuss the pc hardware, software, and electronic requirements neccessary to encode music.


Importance Of File Compression Techniques PC Hardware, Sofware, And Electronics Requirements
Article Tools:
Article Tools: Area Under Construction!
History Of The MP3 File Format MP3 Evolution Table Comparison Ideal Settings Of MP3 Encoding Techniques Typical Values Of MP3 Encoding Techniques