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Inside the MP3 Codec

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MP3 Encoder Downloads

Below is a list of downloadable MP3 encoders.  To open a zip file, make sure you have downloaded and installed the free WinZip program.  To open an .exe file or .msi file, just click on the file after downloading.  

LAME Encoder Included

  MP3 to WAVE Converter PLUS  (Win 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP - exe - 1.94MB)
Easy CD Ripper (Win 98/NT/ME/2000/XP - exe - 3.37MB)
MP3 WAV Converter (Win 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP - exe - 2.75MB)
Easy CD-DA Extractor (Win 95/98/2000/NT/XP - exe -  2.29MB)
AltoMP3 Maker (Win 95/98/2000/NT/ME - exe - 1.41MB)
Advanced Audio CD Ripper (Win 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP - exe - 5.94MB)
X2CD Music CD Burner and Converter (Win 98/2000/ME/XP - exe - 2.90MB)
Adv. Encode Decode Tools (Win 95/98/NT/2000/ME - zip - 6.21MB)
CD to MP3 Maker (Win 95/98/NT/ME/2000 - exe - 5.75MB)
Visual MP3 (Win 98/ME/200/XP - zip - 3.68MB)
YAMP (Win 95/98/2000/NT - zip - 1.54MB)  [review]
Jukebox Tools (Win 95/98/NT/2000 - exe - 3.35MB)
Audio Companion (Win 95/98/2000/NT - zip - 341KB)
Rob Fantastic MP3 Encoder (Win 95/98/2000/NT - exe - 977KB)
CDex (Win 95/98/NT - exe - 1.26MB)
dbPoweramp (Win 95/98/NT4/ME/2000 - exe -1.3MB)
FreeRip MP3 (Win 95/98/NT4/ME/2000 - exe - 857KB)

Fraunhofer Encoder Included

 Virtuosa Gold (Win 98/2000/ME/NT/XP - exe - 11.1MB)
AudioWriter (Win 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP - exe - 6.92MB)
AudioActive Production Studio (Win 95/98/NT - exe - 2.9MB

Xing Encoder Included

Audio Catalyst (Win 95/98/NT - exe - 2.85MB)

BladeEnc Encoder Included

Audio Companion (Win 95/98/2000/NT - zip file - 341KB)
Rob Fantastic MP3 Encoder (Win 95/98/2000/NT - exe file - 977KB)


Blaze Media Pro (Win 95/98/NT/2000/ME - exe - 14MB)
AudioConvert (Win 95/98/2000/NT/ME - exe - 5.94MB)
TsunamiPro (Win 95/98/NT - exe - 5.19MB)

About MP3 Encoder Downloads

April 2011 Update - During the MP3 revolution of the late 1990s, MP3 was the primary audio format for compressing CD music for delivery over the Internet. The music industry was furious and did all they could do suppress MP3 but to no avail. Instead of embracing the format and figuring out ways to profit from it, the RIAA's (Recording Industry Association of America) opposition ended up being their downfall. MP3 was here to stay and the digital audio revolution had just begun.

Although MP3 had been the most popular audio format, it wasn't the only one. Due to licensing issues and a desire to improve on what MP3 started, other audio encoding systems started to be developed. MP3Pro achieved file sizes roughly half of MP3 but never really caught on. Ogg Vorbis was an Open Source encoding system that was developed with very good compression to sound quality ratios but the strange sounding format never really caught on either. It wasn't until Apple's iTunes debuted with the AAC format (Advanced Audio Codec) that a true competitor to MP3 was born.

Today MP3 is still a very popular file format. Variable bit rate encoding has helped produced good sound quality and small files. Although it might not be the best audio format in existence, it is certainly the most popular and it isn't going away any time soon. Its lack of DRM (digital rights management) makes it an incredibly versatile format, playable on any computer and portable audio device.