Audio Engineering Society

Chicago Section

Meeting Review, January 2001

other meeting reports

1/31/01 Meeting Highlights
by Bob Zurek

MP3 and Internet Audio

On January 31st Bruce Fries of Teamcom and author of the "MP3 & Internet Audio Handbook" gave a presentation on the MP3 format and internet audio to a group of 50 AES Chicago Section members and guests. Mr. Fries briefly compared the .WMA and MP3 formats, and some of the implications of the two standards being proprietary or non-proprietary. Mr. Fries then gave a brief description of the MP3 format released by the Motion Picture Experts Group in 1992. He discussed levels of MP3 compression and the file size versus quality trade offs. He also discussed some of the data that can be stored in the MP3 format such as title, musician, and style. Mr. Fries then demonstrated some of the existing hardware available on the market for playback of MP3 files, as well as off the shelf software for converting other audio formats to the MP3 format. This demonstration included the use of software that allowed material to be archived from vinyl to the either CD or MP3 digital format, while cleaning up pops and clicks in the process. Mr. Fries then went on to discuss his views regarding the distribution of music via the MP3 format. A question and answer session followed Mr. Fries presentation along with a heated debate over issues such as Napster and the download of songs verses their purchase.