While MP3s have been getting all the press lately, the rumors of WAV’s death have been greatly exaggerated. These two formats are comparable to the old and new models of the VW bug — dependable versus flashy. Both have their merits, but MP3 seems more likely to be in it for the long haul. visit:-lagump3downloads.net
An older music format, WAV was designed by Microsoft to play short snippets of sound on any audio-enabled computer. Since Windows 3.1, WAV has been the native format for sound within the Windows environment. As a result, WAV files abound on the Web, and almost every browser has built-in WAV playback support. Check out the WAV Archives in Yahoo!’s directory for some examples.
The WAV file format is very basic. Unlike MP3 and other compressed formats, WAVs are just digitized sound samples. They’re bulky, but simple; any computer can play them, and they sound fine.
MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. The MPEG process compresses a sound sequence into a very small file, while retaining its original quality. How? By being very selective and eliminating certain sound frequencies that can’t be heard by the human ear. The format compresses the file to approximately 1/12 the size of the original file, making it quicker to download or share with a friend.
Though they both sound fine, the differences between the two file formats are quite profound. WAVs are much bulkier than MP3s, but require no additional software to play. MP3s require special players such as Napster or WinAmp. MP3s are better suited for swapping songs over the Web, while WAVs work better for audio-enhanced web sites. The choice is yours.
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As described, MP3 files encoded with a lower bit rate will generally play back at a lower quality. With too low a bit rate, “compression artifacts” (i.e., sounds that were not present in the original recording) may be audible in the reproduction. Some audio is hard to compress because of its randomness and sharp attacks. When this type of audio is compressed, artifacts such as ringing or pre-echo are usually heard. A sample of applause compressed with a relatively nominal bitrate provides a good example of compression.