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If you are the one who loves music and also own a computer then Mp3 has transformed the way you listen music. If you are new to PC audio and you are wondering about the whole hype then you should know what exactly MP3 is and why it is so popular.

To save music to a computer without compression requires huge amount of memory, one minute of uncompressed CD audio occupies about 10 megabytes of hard drive space. MP3 was designed to save a space while retaining the sound quality and it does the job very well and compresses music to one tenth or less of the original file size and offers near CD quality sound. To do this, Mp3 discards some parts of the audio signal that it finds that listeners won’t miss. For many people, a slight degradation results in the reasonable trade off for the hard drive space that they gain. After the invention of MP3, a computer user can store lots of songs in one place and listen to them in any of the order they wish.

Mp3 gets into the competition 
Today, Mp3 is no longer the only game in the town and when it comes to compressing audio for storage on your computer there are many codec s available such as AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and WMA (Windows Media Audio).

Both of these new alternatives are perceptual coding schemes like the MP3 and they discard the audio information that they consider is least important to the sound quality. Many people even claim that these newer codec’s are superior to the Mp3.

The market today is full of portable MP3 players almost all of which are compatible with MP3. Most of them can also play WMA, some can handle AAC files. These players also decode and play back all files directly from their original file format but some other come with other software that transcodes files into a separate format. But in any of the case, the quality of sound that reaches your ears depends upon various other things and the most important one is the codec you used to save the music to your hard drive in the first place.