MPEG-1 Layer 3

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MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3) a digital encoding algorithm which reduces file sizes. It was a spin-off from the European EUREKA 147 [DAB] digital radio project.

MP3 bit rates may be 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256 and 320 kbps, with sampling frequencies of 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz. The CD rate of 44.1 kHz is almost always used.

Thomson serves as the licensing representative of MP3 patents and software of the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany (co-inventors of MP3), Coding Technologies from Sweden (coinventors of MP3 PRO) and Agere Systems (co-inventors of MP3 SURROUND). Since launching its MP3 licensing program in 1995, Thomson has played an instrumental role in making MP3 the de facto standard in digital audio:

Licensing agreements are in place with more than 300 companies
Over 300 million licensed MP3 players exist worldwide
Virtually every song in the world has been encoded into MP3
Licensed MP3 software programs are installed on virtually every computer in the world
File extension .mp3