Glossary of audio file format and related terms

MP3: A sound file that has been compressed through MP3 encoding, making the files smaller and easier to send across the Internet.
WAV: An uncompressed Windows audio file. WAV files occupy an incredible amount of disk space, thus the need for compressed formats, such as MP3.
WMA: The Windows Media Player format, which (according to independent testing) sounds as good as MP3 at half the bit rate (and therefore half the file size).

A compression algorithm developed by Yamaha that is similar to MP3 yet occupies less hard drive space. Find out more at

AIFF: An uncompressed Macintosh audio file. WAV files occupy an incredible amount of disk space, thus the need for compressed formats, such as MP3s.
codec: A codec is an algorithm for compressing and decompressing audio and video files without losing a significant amount of information. Once a file has been compressed by a codec like MP3 or RealAudio, it is smaller and easier to transmit across the Web, and still sounds fairly true to the original.
(Moving Pictures Experts Group) :
MPEG is a standard for compressing sound and movie files into an attractive format for downloading--or even streaming--across the Internet. The MPEG-1 standard streams video and sound data at 150 kilobytes per second--the same rate as a single-speed CD-ROM drive--which it manages by taking key frames of video and filling only the areas that change between the frames.
Firmware: The operating system and software installed on a portable device. Some MP3 players have upgradable firmware, meaning that their operating systems can be updated to support future audio codecs or make small performance tweaks such as improved power efficiency.
S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface): A standard format used for transferring data between two digital audio devices over (more commonly) a standard RCA cable or (less commonly) an optical cable.
jukebox: A multipurpose audio program that usually incorporates an audio player, a ripper, an encoder, and a file organizer.
MIDI: MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol that allows electronic musical instruments to talk to each other and to computers. Because MIDI files contain only a series of commands (such as note on, note off), they are very small and efficient. On the other hand, they have no sound of their own, and must be used in conjunction with a wavetable, a synthesizer, or a drum machine.
Flash memory: Small, flat, solid-state type of memory used in MP3 players, digital cameras, and PDAs. It comprises CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, pendrive, and microdrive; it is an expensive form of storage.
Watermark: A unique inaudible code, which is inserted into an audio file in order to identify the first person who legally purchased the file. If you buy a watermarked MP3 and then distribute it over the Internet, the RIAA will be able to tell that you are the person who originally broke copyright law and distributed the file. Watermarks have yet to be deployed by the SDMI.
Ripper: Software that digitally yanks tunes from your CDs and turns them into files on your computer (WAV files in Windows, AIFF files on a Mac).


Links to other site with nice information about MP3:

1. C/Net glossary of portable audio

2. MP3 softwares

3. MP3 player

MP3 player list:

MP3 player with FM radio;      CD player with TV & FM;       WMA MP3 player with FM;      U30 WMA MP3 player;
SVA portable DVD player;      Arrgo portable DVD player;    MP3 player with music recorder


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