General FAQ    Playing MP3s    Making MP3s    Troubleshooting

General FAQ

Q: What is MP3?
A: MP3 stands for MPEG 1 layer 3, which is a way to store music files on a computer disk. It is a great way to listen music from a CD when you are deciding whether or not you wish to buy it. It is also the best way to put entire songs onto your computer, provided that you make your own MP3's. One of the reasons that MP3's are becoming so widespread so fast is their size. A typical 4 minute song in .wav format take up about 40 megs. With the new m-peg layer 3 format, the same song takes up 1/12 of the space, with only 4 megs. MP3's take about 1 meg per minute, without losing any quality, in fact, you will find that MP3 songs will sound even better than the .wav files they were made from. You can identify MP3 files because they will end in .MP3.

Q: Are MP3s legal?
A: Yes and no, its legal if you encode MP3s from you own CDs and keep them to yourself. But it's illegal to encode MP3s and trade them with others unless you have the permission of the copyright holder of the music. To put it another way, MP3 is simply a file format that can be used either legally or illegally.

Playing MP3s

MP3 is a music format with great CD quality sound. You can download songs from the net (or make your own) and play them right on your computer and they sound fantastic. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Download a player
For Windows, I recommend WinAmp, and for Mac try MacAmp-look in the utility section. There are many other players but i have heard that winAmp is by far the best

Step 2: Run the installer to install the player.
Next uncompress the file you downloaded and run the installer or setup (some players don't need to be installed, just run the program)

Step 3: Now you'll need some songs to play. My site has a ton, and there are thousands of mp3 sites out there that you can download for free, and if it sounds horrible (like its underwater) download Uncook to fix it. During a download if it suddenly seems to have stoped use Get it right and the download will continue.

Q: Is there a player that will run on a 486 66Mhz or lower?
A: As far as I know, you must have at least a 486DX4 100Mhz for playing full stereo mp3 files.

Q: I have downloaded some Winamp plugins. How can I use those?
A: Copy the .dll files into your winamp directory then start winamp, go to the prefs then to plugins, there you can select the plugin you like.

Making MP3s

Step 1: Where to start?
The first step is to copy a song from an audio CD. This is called "ripping". Not all CD rip programs work with all CD-ROM drives, and not all cdrom drives can rip audio. I use GoldWav but it may not work for you...if it doesn't check out MP3.comthey seem to know what they are doing

Step 2: Choose a Encoder
Now download a compressor MP3 professional that compress wav into mp3 format.

Q: Is there a way to convert MP3s into WAVs?
A: Yes mp3 players that can decode MP3s into WAVs. Winamp is one of them. Go to the "prefs", then "output" and select "WAV file output".

Q: Is there a way to convert MP3s into audio CD?
A: Yes when you have a WAV file you can record that on a audio CD with a CD recorder program, like Easy CD Creator.

Q: Can i encode a MP3 straight from the CD?
A: Yes, if you have mp3 compressor or mp3 producer installed, you can with windac32 copy a track into a mp3, go to the menu 'DAC' then to 'select wave format' and choose Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec (professional).

Q: I have tried all the CD rippers, but none of them are working!
A: You must have a CD-ROM player that can read RAW, not all the CD-ROM players are able to do that. Just one thing to do buy a new CD-ROM player that can.

Troubleshooting

Q: I downloaded a mp3 file with Netscape, but now the sound is very bad.
A: Fix that bad sound with uncook.

Q: I have MP3s on my page but if I click them I only see ascII text!
A: You have to add or change the MIME settings for MP3, ask your sys admin to set them to : audio/mpeg mpga mp2 mp3, or just right click on the link and select "save as"

You may also need CuteFTP for logging on to FTP sites