File type: Audio
MP3 files are compressed audio files. The MP3 audio compression algorithm was developed by Moving Pictures Expert Group and it uses 'Layer 3' for its audio compression.
MP3 codec is usually used to store music files as well as audio books on a hard disk drive since it occupies much lesser space than traditional audio files that weren't compressed. The MP3 format files provide a very good quality and almost near-CD sound quality which is stereo 16-bit sound, in a file that is 1/10 the size of an equivalent .AIF or .WAV file.
Category: Data File.
File format: Proprietary
Open with Windows: Roxio Easy Media Creator, Apple iTunes, Nullsoft Winamp, Microsoft Windows Media Player, VideoLAN VLC media player.
Open with Linux: Amarok, VideoLAN VLC media player, XMMS.
The quality of the sound in an MP3 file however depends largely on bit rates used for compression.
The common bit rates used for standard MP3 files of reasonable quality are 128 kbps, 192 kbps or 160 kbps. Higher bit rates are also possible but usually require much more disk space for storage.
MP3 files are supported by virtually all audio players that are available in the market such as winamp, apple iPod, Microsoft Zune, etc. MP3 files can also be played in several mobile devices using software such as UltraMP3 player.