MP3 - The New Standard for Sound

1 - What is MP3?

MP3 is a file format which stores music files on a computer in such
a way that the file size is relatively small, but the song sounds near
perfect. You can identify MP3 files because they will end in .mp3.
The size of an MP3 file is typically 1 MB per minute of music.

2 - Is MP3 legal?

Yes. MP3 is simply a file format. However, it can be used either
legally or illegally. Using an MP3 is legal if the song's copyright
holder has granted permission to download and play the song.
Also, it is legal to make copies from CD for personal use. However,
it is illegal to encode MP3s from CD and trade them with others
unless you have the permission of the copyright holder.

What do I need to get started?

Just about any computer can play MP3s, although we recommend a Pentium or comparable processor. Also, you will need a sound card and speakers. You can buy a generic SoundBlaster-compatible sound card for less than SR:100 at your local computer store. Adequate speakers with a subwoofer can be obtained for around SR:200.

What software is used to play MP3 music files?

An "MP3 player" software program plays MP3 files. Windows users may have a built-in default player, Microsoft Media Player. Click here to see if your computer already plays MP3s. If it does, you can skip the rest of this section and go to Step 3, "Finding an MP3 song".

There are many players available for free or as shareware. For Windows, we recommend WinAmp, and for Mac try MacAmp. Unix users should check out Xaudio.

To install a new player, download it and run the installer or setup file. If you have problems installing the player, contact the author of the software. You should set your new MP3 player as your computer's default player. This tells the computer to automatically load the MP3 player whenever you try to play an MP3 file.

Change your default player (recommended): Windows Internet Explorer users, Windows Netscape Navigator users, Mac users.

Next is the fun part: finding and listening to great music!