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Frequently Asked Questions
MP3 Audio

Revision - 1.0

Q: What is MP3?
A: MP3, or MPEG-1 Layer 3, is a file format released in 1997 that enables full songs to be compressed to small sizes at a very high-quality result.

Q: What is the difference between MP3 and other audio formats?
A: MP3 is a new type of compression format used for audio. This new type of compression enables full length, near stereo quality songs to be compressed to an extremely small size. WAV format files also contain high-quality audio but the for full length music the file size is enormous. Other formats may be smaller in size, however they do not have the quality that MP3 has.

Q: Is MP3 legal?
A: MP3 files are legal just like everything else - it depends how you use it. Some people are pirating copyrighted songs and then posting them on sites on the net for download, which is illegal. Most popular music is copyrighted - and converted to MP3 without the owners permission. However, there are a lot of legal web sites out there which only have legitimate music for download. Check out our music websites page for some popular sites. 

Q: Is listening to a MP3 easy to setup?
A: Surprisingly yes, from start to finish setting up MP3's on your computer is a breeze. Check out our Getting Started Guide for more information.

Q: What types of music can I download?
A: Just about everything! Just about every type of music is available for download. 

Q: Where can I download music?
A: There are thousands of places web sites where you can download MP3 music. We've listed a short list of some of the more popular ones on our Music Websites page

Q: Where can I find a MP3 player?
A: There are a whole bunch of different players: computer, portable, and car. There is a vast range of selection on different models, features, etc. Check out some of the more popular ones on our MP3 player page

Q: Can I make my own MP3 music from CD's?
A: Yes - But remember you have to keep them for personal use. Distributing or selling copyrighted music without the artist's permission is illegal. Check out our list of Rippers for more information about making your own MP3's.

Q: What  is ripping?
A: Digitally extracting audio tracks from a CD to a file on your computer. Check out our list of Rippers.

Q: Can I make my own MP3 music from WAV and other file formats?
A: Yes, it's quite simple. You need to encode (compress) your audio file to MP3 format.

Q: What is encoding?
A: The process of converting from WAV or a higher quality audio file format to an MP3 or lower quality audio format. A  series of compressions allow for the larger file to be "squashed" to a smaller sized file without losing very much sound quality. Check out our list of Encoders.

Q: What are streaming MP3's?
A: Instead of downloading a whole file and then playing it, you can play the music while you are downloading it.

Q: What are "skins"?
A: Skins are files that change the look of  your MP3 player. For instance, there are files to make your  MP3 player look like a computer - or a chalkboard. There is a huge variety of customizations out there, however not every player supports them. Check our Links page for some good skins sites.

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