MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer III. It is not a separate format, but a part of MPEG-1 video encoding format, developed by MPEG group in early 1990's. Too often people refer MP3 as MPEG-3, which is incorrect, because such format doesn't even exist.
MPEG-1 Audio Layer III (MP3) is a method to store good quality audio into small files by using psychoacoustics in order to get rid of the data from the audio that most of the humans can't hear.
MP3's bitrates vary from 8kbps (that is 8 kilobits per second, not kilobytes) to 320kbps. When MP3 phenomenom began in 1996, most of the audio files were encoded using 128kbps bitrate, which is still the most popular bitrate in the world -- although most of the people agree that by using slightly higher bitrates, like 192kbps or 256kbps, the audio quality can be compared with the CD quality.
Extract MP3 from YouTube, Google Video etc.- This short guide goes through the process of getting audio from video clips shown on sites like YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, iFilm and Metacafe. Any software used in this guide is freeware.
Join AVI files with VBR MP3 audio using VirtualDUBMOD- This article covers the process of using VirtualDUBMOD to join together two AVI files that contain VBR MP3 audio. Using VirtualDUBMOD solves some problems that arise while trying this with the original VirtualDUB client.
Converting DVD movies into .avi using AutoGK- This is a guide to use the very simple AutoGK to convert your DVD movies into ac3 or mp3 .avis with excellent quality final results.
How to split uncut MP3 files using Cue sheets- In this quick and simple guide, we will show you how to split uncut MP3 files into individual tracks using the freeware program Medieval CUE splitter. Please be noted that you will need to have an accompanying Cue Sheet for any method to work. Usually these couple of files are generated by programs like EAC (Exact Audio Copy), CDRWin, BPM Studio, GoldWave or similar.
Ripping DVD video files into MP3 for playback on media devices- In this quick guide you will learn how to make an MP3 file from DVD video files of concert DVDs or any DVD for that matter. The MP3 can later be played back on your PC or on portable media players. For the guide we will be using two simple freeware programs. The first program is called Free DVD to MP3 ripper. Afterwards we will be combining the MP3 files made into one large MP3 file using MakeitOne MP3 Album Maker.
How to play MP3 files on Xbox 360- This article discusses how you can get the multimedia content in your MP3 files to play on an Xbox 360 console. It will provide several different methods based on the multimedia support of the Xbox 360 console and may be updated regularly with Xbox 360 updates.
How to convert FLAC files to MP3- Have you ever spent the time obtaining an album that you sought after, only to find out that the files are all in FLAC format? FLAC is a fine format, until you realize you can't play it in your hungry iPod. This article will allow you to successfully convert FLAC files to a standard, high-quality MP3 files using free software you probably already have.
How to create your own ringtones using Audacity- This quick and simple guide will teach you how to use the excellent freeware program Audacity to create your own ringtones and export them as MP3 files. You can then move these files to your mobile phone using a USB cable or Bluetooth or any other method of your choosing.
Related software tools
LAME (Open source)
Widely used and probably one of the best MP3 encoder available for file conversion.
Winamp Full (Freeware)
Nullsoft Winamp is a fast, flexible, high-fidelity media player for Windows.