MPEG Layer 3
Normal Uses

The MP3 format is used in many ways due to its good compression and superior sound quality.

Computer users can copy their favorite songs from CDs they have purchased into MP3 format so that they can listen to them on their computer or on a portable MP3 player. Although this practice might be illegal, no group has spoken out strongly against this practice.

MP3s allow for the digital archiving of musical performances. For example, a proud parent could record her child's music recital and convert it to MP3 format to share with relatives across the country.

Computer users can download MP3 songs from the Internet that are offered for free or for a fee and listen to them on their computer or on a portable MP3 player. This way, they can sample music without having to purchase the entire CD. is probably the most popular MP3 distribution site. It offers free downloads of MP3s from artists that are seeking publicity. There are some companies, such as GoodNoise, that distribute artists' music over the Internet. Although none of the large record companies distribute music over the Internet using the MP3 format, smaller labels such as Grand Royal do. Often record companies charge a fee for the download of their MP3s.

Computer users who collect MP3s benefit from them, because they can explore new music without spending any money. Web sites that offer MP3 products benefit, because their sites often generate heavy traffic and they collect money from advertisements on their page. Small artists that distribute their music on such sites as benefit because they can get large-scale publicity for a small fee.

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Emulation   |   Search Engines and Directories
Reverse Engineering   |   CD Burners


Ted LeVan   |   Huat Chye Lim   |   Marissa Mayer   |   Ann Rose Van

Computer Science 201 Final Project
Stanford University, March 1999