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mp3PRO is an audio compression algorithm (or codec) that combines the MP3 audio format with spectral band replication (SBR) compression methods. It claims to achieve transparency at lower bitrates than MP3, resulting in a file nearly half the size of standard MP3. RCA was the only company to offer portable players compatible with mp3PRO, but they have dropped support for the format.
mp3PRO can be used with the following bit rates:
- 18, 20, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56 kbit/s for mono or LC-stereo
- 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96 kbit/s for stereo
Any mp3 player can play mp3PRO files, but they will ignore the higher frequency data that is stored (This does not affect the encoded bitrate). To play mp3PRO files in Microsoft Windows, users are required to install additional software. This additional software can be a player such as Musicmatch Jukebox, jetAudio, Thomson Demo mp3PRO Player, or a plug-in for an existing audio player. Optical disc authoring software such as Nero Burning ROM includes mp3PRO support as well. For Macintosh computers, the now-discontinued Audion shareware supports both real-time mp3PRO encoding and decoding.
mp3PRO playback in Linux may be possible under Wine using Thomson Demo mp3PRO Player or Winamp with the mp3PRO plug-in. There is also an mp3PRO plug-in for Linux XMMS-Player. The absence of an mp3PRO player for Linux is largely due to RCA not releasing the mp3PRO source code, even after discontinuing its support of the format. Methods for playing mp3PRO files under Linux (including using the XMMS plugin from within MPlayer) are detailed here.
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