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MPEG layer III audio

General Information
The MPEG format includes a range of options for audio. Of these, layer III is currently the most optimal choice for low data rate applications. MPEG layer III audio is a commonly used format for music files stored on the Internet.

You can download a 30 second example (44kHz stereo: 16KBytes/sec=128kbps), "New Phase" from Hip Clip Music volume 1. To hear this clip, you will need an MPEG layer III player. Some options include MacAmp for MacOS, or WinPlay for Windows.
Architectures Supported
Pros, Cons & Tips
  • Very good quality for music
  • Relatively low data rates are useful for making music available on Web sites.

  • No single standard player.
  • MPEG is a patented technology. There may be licensing fees for using MPEG layer III to distribute audio files. There is presently some uncertainly regarding this.

Ideal source material Music
Encoder requirements Available for most platforms (typically, Pentium or PowerPC required).
Decoder requirements Available for most platforms (typically, Pentium or PowerPC required).
Encoder availability A range of commercial and freeware encoders are available.
Decoder availability Free decoders available.
Manufacturer Many

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