MP3 is a form of MPEG compression that shrinks down data by a factor of 12 and still retaining CD-like quality. Factors of up to 24 and more still allow for a quality significantly better than just reducing linearly the sampling frequency and the number of bits. This is realized by "perceptual coding" techniques taking into account the limited resolution of the human ear. Maybe you already heard about MP3. As interest in audio over the Internet increased, MPEG Layer-3 files, music files that are capable of storing long audio tracks with CD quality sound in a fraction of the space, appeared. With this ease of piracy, it's a shock to the entire music industry.
MP3 Legal information - MP3s can be owned legally, providing the following: you encode songs off of your own CDs and keep them for yourself, obtain written permission from the copyright holder of the music, or the music is available with the copyright owner's consent. It is Illegal to encode MP3 files and share them with any other entity unless you have written permission of the copyright holder of the music. It is also Illegal to download any songs or music off of the Internet for CDs you do not have in your own possession and rightfully own or have no copyright holders consent.
While it is still possible to download and share your songs with people all over the Internet, MP3s are becoming a highly debated issue between web sites and software containing MP3 files. Computer Hope cannot provide legal information to end-users or web administrators concerning MP3s; as a general rule we would recommend that users and administrators follow the above paragraph.
What is Napster
Napster is a software application that allows users to search and share MP3 files over the Internet without having to hassle with broken links and inappropriate web sites. In addition, the user can chat, play MP3 files within Napster and keep track of their favorite MP3 listings.
The music industry was upset with the amount of songs being traded over Napster and concerned of piracy issues. Therefore, Napster and the music industry, after several months in court, are no longer allowing Napster to trade free music. Later, Napster and some of the music industries combined to help distribute music at a cost. Upset with the music industry, many users are looking for Napster alternatives.
Are MP3s Legal?
MP3s can be legally owned, providing the following: you encode songs off of your own CDs and keep them for yourself, obtain written permission from the copyright holder of the music, or the music is available with the copyright owner's consent. It is Illegal to encode or listen to, download, or share MP3 files with any other entity unless you have written permission of the copyright holder of the music.
How do I listen to MP3 files once I have downloaded some?
You need to have a Mpeg player that can understand and play MP3 files; we recommend that you use WinAmp.
How do I make my own MP3s?
Before you can create your own MP3 files you must download an encoder as well as a Riper application; see the below files for some of our recommendations of encoders.
I'm having issues with WinAmp, where can I find help?
We would recommend that you first look at our Winamp section of our web site.
What sound card do I need to listen to MP3s?
Any new sound card should be able to play MP3s as long as the system is meeting the system requirements for the MP3 Player. MP3s require no special hardware to play.
What are some Napster alternatives?
Audio Galaxy = http://www.audiogalaxy.com/