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Why Is MP3 So Important For Music

Josh Harris • October 2000 • October 1, 2000

The Internet is huge for sharing information. But Internet information takes up substantial space in hard disk drive storage, as well as time viewing the information over the Internet. Sending a 60-minute CD music recording over the Internet using a fast modem takes about 36 hours. You are familiar with digital sounds that exist as .wav files on a compact disc in an uncompressed computer recording. A single .wav file generally takes up about 10 megabytes (MB) per minute in stereo, which makes it too large to store on your hard disk. It would be even more unrealistic to post music to Web pages or send it to others over the Internet. However, it is now possible to compress digital music in a way that takes up a lot less space – without compromising sound quality – and at the same time offers longer musical playback examples. Today, there are a number of alternatives to the large .wav file format. The most popular compression file format is the MP3, which is the focus of this article.

MP3 file format stands for Moving Pictures Expert Group or MPEG-1 Layer III.

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