The MP3 revolution

While the Internet is changing the whole world, the combination of the MP3 format with the Internet is enabling powerful online distribution of music-revolutionizing the music world. Online music distribution offers advantages to both artist and consumer. As an artist, you can directly reach your fans over the Internet without paying the hefty price that music distribution companies take. As a consumer, you can buy precisely the songs that you want to listen to instead of an entire CD. In addition, you can quickly locate the song that you want to hear, by using PlayList software to organize your online music, rather than look for your CD in all the places that you could have left it. Finally, you can listen to that song anywhere that there’s a good network connection without having to bring your audio CD with you. With these incentives, the music world is currently embroiled in fighting legal and technical battles to make online music distribution a reality. It all began with the new MP3 format. MP3 stands for: MPEG 1, Audio Layer 3, and is the audio part of the video compression standard defined by the Moving Pictures Experts Group. MP3 can encode data at a wide range of bit rates. In particular, for music, it achieves near-CD quality at 128 Kbps, or about 1 Mbyte per minute, and most MP3s you’ll find will be encoded at this rate.