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Downloading MP3's Made Easy
 by: Keith Kingston

The MP3 movement started out with a huge audience of music enthusiasts on the internet. The MP3 digital music format has had, and will continue to have, a huge impart on how people, gather, listen to and share music.

The MP3 format is a compression system for digital music that helps reduce the size of a digitized song without disturbing the sound quality. Digital music is converted to MP3 format and made available for use, usually via the web. MP3 files can be downloaded onto your computer from the internet and special software, either commercial or freeware. Using your computer and software you can convert digital music from a CD into MP3 format.

MP3 files can be played in three different ways:

  • They can be played directly onto your computer.
  • They can be decompressed and recorded onto a CD.
  • These files can be played on a portable MP3 player.

The advantage of MP3 players is that they are small, lightweight and rugged. They are a great way to carry your MP3 files with you!

With a portable MP3 player, a personal computer, and the appropriate software, you can do the following:

  • Obtain free or low-cost music from the web.
  • Create your own mix of music by downloading MP3 files from the web and converting the tracks from CDs.
  • Listen to near-CD quality music wherever you go.
  • Listen to more music (up to 10 hours' worth).

If you want to convert your songs from your CDs into MP3 files, you can use ripper and encoder software. A ripper copies a song's file from the CD onto your hard disk. The encoder compresses the song into the MP3 format. By encoding songs, you can play them on your computer or take them with you on your MP3 player. The ripper and encoder software may come with your MP3 player.

The specific instructions will vary with the individual software programs, but the following steps will definitely take place:

  • Place the CD from which you want to convert songs into your drive.
  • Select the track(s) that you want to convert to MP3 format.
  • Convert the selected track(s).
  • Copy the new MP3 files on to your computer's hard disk.

Now you are ready to download these MP3 files into your portable MP3 player.

Once you have MP3 files on your computer, you can use the software that came with your MP3 player to download the files into your MP3 player. Again, the specific instructions will vary depending upon your software program and player, but you will:

  • Create a playlist from your MP3 files.
  • Plug the player into your computer's parallel of USB port.
  • Transfer the MP3 files according to the instructions.

Once you have downloaded the MP3 files into your portable MP3 player, you are ready to take your music anywhere. Most MP3 players are small, lightweight, and solid-state. Because most players are solid-state, there are no moving parts to break down or skip, so the sound quality is uninterrupted regardless of your physical activity. MP3 players are equipped with various types of headphones or earpieces.

Portable MP3 players can play music longer than a portable CD player. The length of play for a CD player is about 74 minutes, the length of one CD. However, the length of play for an MP3 player depends upon its memory capacity, which can be upgraded on some models. A standard MP3 player can play for about half an hour (32 MB) to a few weeks (40 GB)! Some models can be upgraded with additional memory devices.

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