MP3 how to? General information on MP3


Basic Information:

MP3 is a popular compressed digital music format that allows consumers to store many songs on a very small device called the mp3 player (or digital audio players). This compressed music can be purchased over the Internet or created by the consumer using common computer software with their personal CD collection. In General, consumers need to use a computer program to convert a CD to mp3 format, and then move the converted files to the mp3 players for listening.

Consumers can also purchase music over the Internet. This will require a computer, an Internet connection and an account with Internet music provider in order to purchase the music. Once the desired music is purchased it will be transmitted through the Internet connection and stored on the computer hard drive. Every song you purchase comes with a unique ID/key. Without this ID the song cannot be played.
This ID/Key is transmitted to your computer via the Internet when you first play the song on the computer. This ID/Key is stored on your hard drive automatically.

The Mp3 file can also store the song title, the artist, type of music, etc. This information can be displayed on the screen of the mp3 player. Mp3 players on the market today their memory capacity, range from 128Megabyte to 80Gigabyte. In computer science a byte is a unit of measurement of information storage, most often consisting of eight bits.

1 Megabyte=1,024 kilobyte where  1 kilobyte = 1,024 byte, and 1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabyte.
Typically a 4-minutes song takes up 4-Megabyte of memory space on the mp3 player based on a common compression ratio of 128kbps (kilobits per second). 1byte = 8 bits.

About mp3 and music formats:

What is MP3?

MPEG-1* Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a popular digital audio encoding format. It uses a compression method that is designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent the audio recording, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners.
Music is ripped from a CD into WAV files then a process converts these files into MP3 files which are 1/10 of the size of the WAV files.

*MPEG-1 defines a group of Audio and Video (AV) coding and compression standards agreed upon by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group).
**WAV is a standard file format for digital audio

Mp3 vs. WMA vs. WAV

When music tracks are ripped* from CD they are converted to WAV file first; usually for a 3 minute song it is about 30 Mega-byte. The MP3 Codec (Coding/compressing – Decoding/Decompressing engine) converts the WAV file to MP3 format and it offers near CD quality sound at one-tenth of the file size. It is not common for listeners to be able to distinguish the difference in sound quality. MP3 file or WAV file can be converted to WMA (Windows Media Audio) file where it is almost half of the mp3 file size, but has a lower audio quality.

*Ripping (also referred to as digital audio extraction) is the process of copying the audio data from one media form, such as CD, to a computer hard disk drive. To conserve storage space, the copied data is usually encoded in a compressed format such as MP3, WMA for audio.

What is the different between ripping music from your own CD vs. music purchased form internet?
Several obvious advantage of ripping your own CDs

  1. If your computer’s hard drive failed you can rip it again, since you have the original CD.
  2. When you rip your CD to mp3, the mp3 files are not “Locked” with a copyright key.
  3. You can transfer the music you rip from your own CD to any mp3 player as many time as you like.
  4. Compatible to all mp3 players on the market

Music purchased from Internet.

  1. They are usually wma files that have copyright protection/digital rights management (DRM) in the file.
  2. If your computer hard drive is damaged you may have to purchase the music again.
  3. There is usually a limit to how many mp3 players you can transfer to.
  4. You can put the song you just purchased/downloaded on a CD in addition to storing it on your computer hard drive.
  5. You have a limit that is governed by the DRM of how many times you can put the song on a CD
  6. Not all mp3 players can play back songs that have DRM content.
  7. Songs (wma files) purchased from Internet usually have near CD quality

What is ID3 tag?
ID3 tags store information about MP3/WMA files. Common information used in ID3 tags are: Artist, album, genre, year, track number, track title, etc.

ID3v2 tags have additional fields to accommodate Web site information, lyrics, equalizer presets, pictures/album arts, etc. For both ID3 tag versions all fields are stored within the music files.

These ID3 tags can be edited. ID3 tag information is not normally stored on the CD content so you might have to get this information from the internet. This can be done using the “Find Album info” from the Windows Media Player 10 (WMP 10) or manually by typing in this information from the album cover of the CD.  Right click on the mouse to show the selection within WMP10.

Where can I get music for my mp3 player?

  1. Rip it from the CDs you own.
  2. Buy music online. (Apple has its own format called AAC. Only Apple iPod can support their own format that they sell online)

Using your mp3 players
How to get the music to my mp3 player?

  1. You need to have music in mp3 format already stored on the computer before you can transfer it to your mp3 player.
  2. If you do not have mp3 music already stored on your computer, then you need to rip music from your CD.
  3. Some mp3 players require the use of music management software such as Windows Media Player (WMP) to transfer the music file to your mp3 player and some mp3 players you can use the basic Windows drag and drop operation to transfer music to the player.

How do I rip music from my CD?

You must have a program that can rip music from your CD loaded on your computer such as Windows Media Player (WMP). It is likely that your computer would have the WMP 10 loaded already, since it is part of the Windows Operating System bundle. If not, you can go to the Microsoft Windows website to get free download, then follow the on screen instruction to have it installed on your computer.

  1. Launch WMP10 from your computer by clicking the Windows Media Player icon. 
  2. Put a CD in your CD drive.
  3. Click on the “Rip” Tab on WMP10 
  4. Check/uncheck on tick boxes for the song you want or do not want to rip.
  5. Click on “Rip Music”
  6. Once the music is ripped and stored on you computer you can find it in your Library. 
  7. When needed, you can also find the ripped music in the location shown at the bottom of your WMP window.

How do I transfer the music that I just ripped to my mp3 player?

  1. Go to Library tab to find your mp3 music.
  2. Click on ALL Music if you do not see the title you just ripped on the Library screen.
  3. Select Sync List in the drop down menu and drag the music title you desire from center pane to the sync list on the right.  

Transferring music files to mp3 player

  1. Connect your mp3 player via the USB cable to the computer
  2. Pick your selection below and click “Finish” 
  3. Click on the Sync Tab  
  4. Click on “Start Sync.” Music will now transfer to the mp3 player. 

How to delete music transferred to my mp3 player?

  1. Click on the title to highlight the song and click on the Red “X” to delete the title. Highlight the album and click the Red “X” to delete the album; highlight the artist and click the Red “X” to delete the artist. 

How can I transfer the playlist from WMP to my mp3 player?

  1. The playlist can only be transfer via the “Automatic Sync” mode. On the Sync tab click on “Set up Sync”  
  2. Choose Synchronize this device with this library permanently then click “Next”  
  3. Select Automatic
  4. Check the customize the playlists that will be synchronized box 
  5. Make sure to check mark the box on Synchronize device automatically 
  6. Check the desired playlist boxes on the left or
  7. Create new playlist by clicking on the “New” button.
  8. Create a name for your new playlist
  9. Right click on the mouse to add desired content to the playlist 
  10. Click OK when done 

  11. Check the desired playlist box/boxes you created on the left to sync with your mp3 player. WMP will synchronize with your mp3 player immediately after you click OK. 
  12. Since the Automatic option is chosen for the synchronize operation that means every song on the playlist folder you have chosen will be transferred to the mp3 player. Each time when the unit is connected to the computer it will look for changes and this operation will keep the device and the playlist on computer synchronized. This means if you decided not to have the song synchronized to your player anymore you have to delete the song from playlist in WMP.

Was this document helpful?

Yes No Need to try first

Give us your feedback on this FAQ. What could we have done to answer your question better?