MP3 format: description, conversion programs

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2018-03-17 15:05:38

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Today the majority of audio recordings that one hears almost every day, presented in the form of universal MP3 files, as they are the most common and in demand in terms of the format of storage of audio information. Now will be considered the nature of this type of data, the history of the codec and the principles of coding. Will also be given practical advice on how to convert a MP3 file to a different format or create MP3 files of a different type than mentioned. It is quite simple, really, assuming the use of special programs.

What is an MP3 format?

Today, few people think about what constitutes a sound in this format. In principle, if not to go into the jungle of the principles of audio coding, it is sufficient to say that this is audio information in a compressed form.

mp3

Previously, the basic format in which is stored the music files were WAV. Such information takes too much space on the hard disk, and over time this type of data has become quite uncomfortable. In particular, this affected the time when music began to accommodate on the Internet. It was then and there is a need audio compression to reduce the volume of the source material. Indeed, if we convert the format from WAV to MP3, saving space becomes visible immediately (the track is 10 times less space, besides the structure of the new format was such that the description can be entered even some information about the track, for example, the name of the artist, the track, album, year, and place some basic technical specifications audio).

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convert to mp3

For it in the file structure to answer a special text field called ID3 tags, after filling in which all information can be displayed in the player window.

History

In the modern world there are many disagreements about who created the data type. Although it is considered that the MP3 format is, so to speak, a kind of more General concepts of MPEG that you created a Corporation for Moving Pictures Experts Group, the true developer of technologies of encoding MP3 has become the group of the Fraunhofer Institute, which first proposed the use of codec Lame MP3 Encoder. It was the first standard in this area.

from wav to mp3

It Happened in the mid-90s, however, when such audio (MP3 files) can be reproduced solely with the software players, so what about the widespread introduction of new technology until it was. Only after was released the first home players and portable players, this standard began to be used as a single. However, today there is a lot of competitors. It is connected only with the basic principles of encoding by which you can reduce the amount of source material.

Guidelines for coding and audio compression

The Most important thing in the process, when the source material is required to transfer to the MP3 format is cutting all that at the household level, the human ear is not perceived. Roughly speaking, the track will have a bitrate of 320 kbit/s 128 kbit/s at a standard sampling frequency of 44 100 Hz to see the difference in sound is difficult. Therefore, in the compression process decreases certain characteristics of the audio.

To Perceive this difference can only people with very fine ear, or a sound engineer who use specialized programs. De facto compressed MP3 format in the Studio, virtually no one works. He is involved only at the stage of final mastering and post-production, when all the tracks you want to align by volume, to produce normalization, and then to release a full album. To this a little later.

Basic sound characteristics

As you know, any audio material has several basic parameters, which define the quality of its sound. And MP3 format here is not an exception. The main characteristics of the considered sampling frequency (the most common standard 44.1 kHz), bitrate (primary standard is set to 128 kbps) and sound mode (mono, stereo, surround 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1). In General, the latter option is not always taken into account, and the emphasis in determining the quality of any track is reduced to the first two characteristics.

The Most common formats of music, other sound files and the relationship between them

As for direct competitors to the universal MP3 format, today they can count quite a lot. As is clear, in go its insolvency in terms of household storage WAV format as the target is no longer used. But for professional sound studios, he remains, so to speak, the base case for the job. Especially when recording vocals or live instruments. Translates written material from WAV to MP3 only at the final stage.

music formats

However, music can be represented in some other formats popular today. For example, very often (especially online) are used such data types like OGG, AIFF, AMR and many others. But the real competitor to MP3 is the newest and better type audio FLAC. Of course, MP3 can to bring all indicators to the maximum values, however, the quality of FLAC playback is much higher. In addition, it is a single file, and the separation tracks is directly due to software or domestic player. In other words, each track separately, the listener does not see, but can switch between tracks in the player. For MP3 format, it would seem, too, can create a single file, bringing together the multiple tracks. But fast switching between tracks of this option will be possible (will have to use the normal fast-forward, nothing more).

However, not all bad. The fact that all known formats of music or audio books can be easily converted into each other, even preserving the initial parameters of the audio material. Based on this almost all programs for processing and converting audio called audio editors and converters. Any program of this type (MP3 editor or Converter) detects both the source and target type of a sound file, and also, as is clear, can produce both direct and inverse transformation. Explain this with a concrete example.

Wave representation of the MP3 files in audio editors

For audio processing now used several types of software. Let's begin on a focused application called audio editors. Among them the most prominent representatives can be called such giants as Sony Sound Forge, Sintrillium Cool Edit Pro later bought by Adobe Corporation and changed its name to Audition, Acoustica Mixcraft, ACID Pro, and many others.

mp3 editor

The working Principle of them is that for convenience any program MP3 audio is in a classical wave, as it was originally used for. WAV files. This approach determines the appearance of broad features to edit audio material of any type as a conventional. WAV format. Except that here it is possible to perform the simplest operations of copy, cut, paste, etc., totally simple it becomes to change the frequency characteristics, and bitrates, not to mention the use of a huge number of additional effects that are connected to the Studio via a bridge universal DirectX or VST host.

In the simplest option to transfer the format to MP3 using the standard file menu that have the string “Save as…” (Save As…) and there is the export function. Thus, the whole process is only to choose the target format (in our example MP3) and activate the save mode. In this case the conversion will be done automatically to save the current settings of parameters and frequency characteristics. Don't like the initial option? Nothing is easier to change the format to MP3, pre-specifying the higher parameters. However, it is worth to consider one thing: if the quality of the source material too bad, to achieve his special improvement even professional tools will not work. There will have to use special tools for audio restoration, utilising different kinds of filters, etc. the person uninitiated it will cause a lot of difficulties.

As is clear, there is absolutely no difference that in front of us – audiobooks in MP3 format, the music or recorded speech or noise. By the way, tacitly accepted that audio books have a much lower sound quality. This is understandable, because the file must occupy a minimum of space, and the characteristics of the sound during speech perception, in General, is not so important. In the end, it's not a professional recording of some album of the famous band?

However, if you use some of the standard operations even without specific knowledge, to achieve a good result is still possible, especially in any application of this type has built-in templates...






Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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