Welcome to the MP3 section! Unfortunately
I've had to take my MP3's offline for the time being, they
should be back soon though...
What is MP3?
MP3 is a file format which stores audio files
on a computer in such a way that the file size is relatively
small, but the song sounds near perfect. There is little
difference in sound quality between an MP3 file and its
WAV equivalent. You can identify MP3 files because they
will end in .mp3. Typically you will find that 1 MB is roughly
equal to one minute of music. This is why MP3 is such a
good format you can have near perfect sound from
your music files without having to worry about having tons
of hard disk space to store the files.
Is MP3 legal?
Yes is the short form answer. MP3 is simply
a file format that you or I can freely use for our music
files. However, it can be used either legally or illegally.
Using an MP3 is legal if the song's copyright holder has
granted permission to download and play the song. Also,
it is legal to make copies from a CD for personal use. However,
it is illegal to encode MP3s from CD and trade them without
permission from the copyright holder. This is why the music
industry is kicking up a huge fuss over the MP3 file format
leading to MP3 being seen as controversial!
Playing MP3 files.
What do I need to get started?
Just about any computer can play MP3s, although
at least a Pentium, Mac Power PC or comparable processor
is recommended. Also, you will need a sound card and speakers.
If you do not have a sound card, you can buy a generic SoundBlaster-
compatible sound card for very little money. Adequate speakers
with a subwoofer should by now be a must for everybody.
Although if you have a good sound card, adding your home
stereo will give great sound, especially if you have a home
subwoofer or huge speakers!
What software do I need to play MP3 music
An 'MP3 player' software program plays MP3
files. There are many players available for free or as shareware.
For Windows, I recommend using WinAmp. This is an excellent
player, also capable of playing most tracker file formats
too! Not just content with playing files of all types you
can also add visualisation plug-ins to brighten up your
experience. Mac users should download MacAmp. Unix users
should check out Xaudio. Also, Microsoft have added the
MP3 file format to the Microsoft Media Player so you can
play MP3s. The latest version can be downloaded from the
Windows Update site.