File Extension

MP3 File Format

MPEG Audio Layer 3 (AC3) file

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) is a standard technology and format for compressing a sound sequence into a very small file (about one-twelfth the size of the original file) while preserving the original level of sound quality when it is played.

MP3 provides near CD quality audio. It is one of the most common music file types. It is not an MPEG 3 but uses the audio compression found in layer III in MPEG 1 or 2 video files, the audio stream layer. The name MPEG is derived from the Moving Picture Experts Group and was created by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany in 1991. Sound quality varies by such settings as bit rate (fixed or variable), sample rate, joint or normal stereo. Mp3 has a proposed replacement in MP3pro with better sound for a given file size.

MIME type: audio/mp3, audio/mpeg3, audio/mpg, audio/mpeg, audio/x-mpeg, audio/x-mpeg-3, audio/mp3, audio/x-mpegaudio, audio/x-mpg, audio/x-mp3, audio/mpeg3, video/mpeg, video/x-mpeg

 

Learn more about MP3 files:

Visit the MPEG webpage.

Search for answers to MP3-related questions at IT Knowledge Exchange.

This was last updated in July 2010
Editorial Director Margaret Rouse

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