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What is an MP3?
An MP3 is a digital audio file that is encoded using the MPEG 3 compression standard. Because its file size is smaller than many other file types, MP3's are great for use in portable audio devices.

MP3 audio is termed as a "lossy" format. This means parts of the audio spectrum (the range of sounds from lowest to highest) are lost in the compression process. The amount of loss depends on how much compression is used. The more compression, the worse the audio will sound. In most cases, the lost frequencies are outside of most people's range of hearing, but more compression means more lost frequencies.

A music file that contains a wide range of audio frequencies won't compress as much as a more simple audio file, such as human speech. Therefore, you could use more compression on audio from a radio talk show than with classical music. Luckily, MP3 audio offers a large number of compression options, so it's not hard to find a good compromise between audio quality and file size.

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