did these little files cause such a huge stir?
|No doubt about it: MP3s are one of the most exciting
developments in the history of recorded music. Here's why:
.They're online. MP3s are ideal for Internet distribution because
they sound great, they download in a jiffy and there are plenty available
online. MP3.com alone has hundreds of thousands of free songs ready
for you to enjoy.
.You can make your own MP3s. With some simple software, a PC and a
few clicks of a mouse, anyone can create MP3 files from their own
CD collection. Find out more about making MP3s in our Software Guide.
.You can manage your music in totally new ways. Now that some of your
favorite songs exist in these small, movable files, you can create
playlists in a snap then listen to them on your portable player, your
desktop, your My.MP3 account and just about anywhere you have Internet
access. And the future of digital music looks bright as Internet access
becomes more and more far-reaching.
.Those portable MP3 players are tiny. Most portable MP3 players, such
as the Rio 500 and the iPAQ Personal Audio Player, are about one-third
the size of a Sony Discman and hardly ever skip. MP3 players can be
small enough to be integrated into other electronic devices like personal
digital assistants and even wristwatches! Learn more about portables
in our Hardware Guide.
.Get the music you want, when you want it. For many music fans, MP3
has become a symbol of total freedom, opening new distribution channels,
unveiling a whole other world of music delivery beyond the heavily
marketed, repetitive programming of commercial radio and MTV.
.MP3s are the format of choice. Unlike other proprietary formats such
as Liquid Audio and Windows Media Audio, MP3 is an open standard,
meaning no one corporation controls it. For this reason, there are
more MP3 listeners, software programs and hardware devices than any
other CD-quality audio format in the world.
do I get music from CDs to MP3s on my computer?
|Rippers and encoders do the job of making MP3s for you.
Check our Software Guide for more general information about encoding
and decoding software.
Step 1. Download and install a ripper/encoder.
Step 2. Make your MP3 files.
Procedures vary, but in general follow these steps: Put the CD you
want to encode into your computer's CD-ROM drive. Launch the software
you've just installed and click on the record button. A window will
appear, listing the tracks on the CD by number. If you're connected
to the Internet, the names of the songs, the artist and album name
will be filled in. If you do not have an Internet connection or the
CD information isn't appearing, you can fill in the available fields,
if you want to.
Click the box next to each track you want to convert to an MP3 file.
When you've finished choosing the tracks, click the record button.
Wait a few minutes while the track is encoded into the MP3 format.
Step 3. Play your new MP3 files.
Now that you've made an MP3 of your track, you can listen to it. The
tracks you've recorded will be stored and listed in a directory, typically
called a music library or database. (You can change the directory
where files are stored, usually under preferences or options.) In
the library or database, you can enter additional information about
each track. To play the tracks, you usually double-click a track,
or drag it into a playlist window and click the play button.
| What are MP3s?
|MP3s are digital audio files that have been shrunken down while still maintaining their original sound quality. Before there
were MP3s, digital audio files took hours to download. But on a 56K modem, most MP3s can download in just a few minutes. MP3s
are widely recognized as the most popular format for storing and listening to music on the World Wide Web.
| How do I get started with this MP3 thing?
|In order to start playing MP3s, you need an audio player. Our Get a Player section has step-by-step instructions that will
guide you through installing a free audio player. If you already have a player, you can start exploring by clicking on your
favorite style of music on our homepage.
| What else can I do with MP3s?
|Maybe the better question to ask us is what can't you do with MP3s. Remember, the real beauty of the file format is its
versatility! With this technology you can...
.Convert your CDs to MP3s with rippers and encoders.
.Listen to your CD collection from any Internet device with My.MP3.
.Cross-fade MP3s to create a continuous mix DJ-style with musicians' software.
.Take your MP3s to go with personal digital assistants and teeny portables.
.Play more than 100 songs on a single CD with MP3/CD players.
.Store hundreds of songs in your car with car players.
.Promote your music to the world by joining the MP3.com artist community.
| Why are they called MP3s?
|MP3 is short for MPEG Audio Layer 3. MPEG refers to the Moving Pictures Experts Group, an organization that sets
international standards for digital formats for audio and video. The file-shrinking technology itself was developed by the
Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.
| Will I go to jail for listening to MP3s?
|MP3 is simply a file format. Just like a regular CD, they can be pirated or used illegally. All MP3s that are available on
MP3.com have the legal permission of the copyright holder (artist, record label, etc.).