What “MP3” Actually Stands for (History, how it works)

What does mp3 stand for

Have you ever wondered what mp3 stand for? If so, then this article will give you insights into the history of Mp3, meaning and how it works.

A lot of us own Mp3s. In fact, we all acknowledge that it is some sort of sound file displayed in audio format. Many of us use mp3 on a daily basis to play mp3 tracks on our computers, cars and even portable mp3 players. However, a lot of us are quite clueless about what this impeccable sound file is and how it works. This article will give you comprehensive insights into Mp3.

What does mp3 stand for

What does Mp3 stand for?

The world Mp3 stands for ‘MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. MPEG, however, stands for Moving Picture Experts Group. This group was created in the year 1988 to provide the standards necessary for compressing and transmitting audio and video files. The “1” however, denotes that this was the first kind of compression standard created.

Another format is the MPEG=2 which is a more expansive format used mainly for digital video compression and transmission. However, since audio files are more easily encoded, the MPEG-1 is widely used for its encoding to develop quality audio files.

Also, the “3” means that it is the third audio codec created within the 1st (MPEG-1) standard. The Layer “1” is popularly used in the creation of digital compact cassettes at 384k bits/secs. The Layer “2” on the other hand is used mainly for audio broadcasting.

History of Mp3.

A German company created the Mp3 format in the later parts of the 1980s. The idea for a high-quality and yet low bit rate audio encoding was developed by Karlheinz Brandenburg in 1987. He initiated this research, named the EUREKA EU147” within the Fraunhofer Institut Integrierte Schaltungen research centre. This research centre is a subsidiary of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft,  He was a mathematician and is today regarded as the “father of MP3”  He actually began his research on techniques of audio compressions in 1977. And despite many hurdles succeeded in creating the MP3 player.

In reality, even after many hurdles and the discovery, tests and more tests in the 1980s, the encoding refused to work in 1991. However, two days before the scheduled time for release, the compiler error was discovered. The company, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft holds the patent to this technology, which was granted to them in 1989.


Related: What PDF stands for and how it works


Published and officially distributed

In the year 1991, the first MPEG-1 standard was finally officially released and within a year, the second standard was also published. However, the spread of the Mp3 across the world began in the second half of the 1990s, facilitated by the Internet through underground pirated song networks. Till date, the MP3 format stands out as one of the most widely used audio compression techniques and all latest MP3 players we see today are simply embedded with enhancement software to enhance their listening performance.

How Mp3 works.

MP3 describes a digital audio encoding format and a standard of compression of audio compression for the playback on digital audio players. In simple terms, it makes provisions of a technique which can be used in compressing and decompressing sound files. The Mp3 algorithm simply reduces the number of data bytes needed to encode the audio track. This it does while retaining the quality of the uncompressed version.

It is produced by the encoding of a 128Kps audio track which is about 1/11th the size of a CD audio track which is the analogue format of the actual audio source. An MP3 file can also be encoded at any frequency (lower or higher) which may, however, change the resultant quality.

Simpler explanations about how Mp3 works

Typically an audio CD should contain tracks which will occupy an average of 10MB of data per each minute of playback. But when this track is converted to an Mp3, it is simply reduced in a way, that one minute of the music is reduced to less than one megabyte. This compression technique may compromise the accuracy of some regions of the soundtrack but this is not easily detected by the human auditory resolution. Its compression algorithm uses a psychoacoustic model which minimizes the level of precision of sound components making them less audible to the human ears while encoding the track’s information in a more effective manner.

What Does MP3 Stand for? – The bottom line.

However, the MP3 codec can be said to be destructive. This is because even if the file is reconverted to its original format, compressed segments can never be restored.

It is also important to note that the closer the sound quality to the Mp3 file of the original file. And the higher the bit rate and ultimately, the file size would be quite large.

Mp3s are one of the most widely utilized sound audio formats and can be easily produced or distributed without a lot of megabytes involved. And so we have shared all we know about mp3s. Do share with us your thoughts about the evolution of Mp3s.

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Chidera

Chidera is an experienced freelance blogger and social media enthusiast. Click here to see all my posts