MIStupid.com Logo
The Online Knowledge Magazine


MP3 is simply another format of listening to music and should not be feared. MP3 is short for MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group) Layer 3.

  • Record albums converted sound into grooves in
    vinyl and back to sound.
  • 8-Track and cassette tapes convert sound into
    magnetic imprints and back to sound.
  • CDs convert sound into digital 1's and 0's that imprint
    on a layer of a compact disk and are read back into sound.
  • WAV files are digitized music files that can be stored
    on computers, downloaded, or e-mailed.

MP3 files are similar to WAV files but are compressed to 1/10th the size yet maintain high sound quality. A typical 3 minute song file is about 3.5MB, can be downloaded in less than 10 minutes over a 56K modem connection. Even if you don't understand what a Megabyte is, understand that 1/10th the size:

= 1/10th the time to download
= 1/10th the space to store
= 10x the number of songs that can fit on a portable device

What can you do with MP3 files?

Since MP3 files are small and high-fidelity, they are easy to transfer by downloading and e-mailing. This is also the controversy since songs are copyrighted and distributing these files is illegal. However there are legal ways to use and enjoy MP3s. Using software such as RealNetwork's RealJukebox, you can convert, or RIP, your CDs to MP3 files. The software allows you to easily organize music by album, genre, artist, etc. You can listen to these files using your computer, which have been shipping with very high quality speaker/amplifier systems.

Go Portable

It may seem like overkill using a computer to play the latest Weezer release, but investing in a portable MP3 player takes full advantage of this format. Portable MP3 players, like the Rio500, have no moving parts. Because of this, there is NO skipping. The player is about the size of a deck of cards, runs about 10 hours on 1 AA battery, and can hold hours of music. Many have detailed displays which show the song title and artist. You organize and store your music on your computer and transfer the music you wish to take with you. The only limit is the amount of memory in your player, and you can upgrade by purchasing auxiliary memory cards.

Latest and Greatest

Many new CD players are now supporting the MP3 format. This means that with a CD burner, you will be able to fit about 10 CDs worth of MP3 files on a single Compact Disc.

Many music sites allow you to purchase individual songs for immediate listening. The Internet, along with increasing bandwidth, is breaking down boundaries of space and time. You don't have to go anywhere to buy your music, and you get it instantly. The future will prove that the medium is insignificant to the music and other information. Books, music, video will not rely on paper, books, tapes, DVDs, etc. The information will be available on many formats, but the common denominator will be the digital data that represents the work.