What is an MP3?

MP3, or Mpeg audio layer 3, is a popular compressed file format for audio recordings. MP3s are indicated by the file extension .mp3.

How does an MP3 work?

MP3 is a form of lossy compression, meaning it sacrifices some of the original quality to save space. An MP3 can reduce the size of a digital audio recording by a factor of 10 to 1 without most listeners noticing the difference.

MP3s are often used by streaming music services like Spotify due to the low bandwidth required to play them without buffering, and because individual frames of sound can be lost in transmission without affecting the successfully delivered frames.

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