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Fraunhofer l3enc was the first public software able to encode PCM (.wav) files to the MP3 format. The first public version was released on July 13, 1994.[1] This commandline tool was shareware and limited to 112 kbit/s. It was available for MS-DOS, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, NeXTstep and IRIX.[2] A licence that allowed full use (encoding up to 320 kbit/s) cost 350 Deutsche Mark, or about 250 US$.

Since the release (9 September 1995) of Fraunhofer WinPlay3, the first real-time MP3 software player, people were able to store and play back MP3 files on PCs. For full playback quality (stereo) one would have needed to meet the minimum requirements of a 486DX2/66 processor.

By the end of 1997 l3enc stopped being developed in favour of the development of MP3enc, which is the successor to l3enc.[2] It was often referred to as the “gold standard of encoders”.[3] It was available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, IRIX and Alpha.[4] Development of MP3enc stopped in late 1998 to favour development of a parallel branch FhG had been developing for some time, called Fastenc.[5] None of these programs are still marketed.

An mp3 Surround encoder and mp3HD codec and Software Tools are now promoted on the Fraunhofer MP3 website.[6]

MP3 source code leak[edit]

It is speculated that a hacker named SoloH got access to the source code of the "dist10" MPEG reference implementation shortly after the release from the servers of the University of Erlangen. He developed a higher quality version and spread it on the internet. This leak started the widespread CD ripping and digital music distribution as MP3 over the internet.[7][8][9][10]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

  • LAME – free software codec used to encode/compress .mp3 audio


  1. ^ "MP3 Todays Technology". Lots of Informative Information about Music. Lots of Informative Information about Music. 2005. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "FhG l3enc MP3 Encoder on Really Rare Wares". 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  3. ^ "LAME MP3 Encoder :: Related Links". LAME Team. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  4. ^ Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (1999). "MP3 Encoder". Archived from the original on 2000-05-11. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  5. ^ "FhG MP3enc MP3 encoder on Really Rare Wares". 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  6. ^ "mp3 - Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits". Fraunhofer IIS. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  7. ^ The heavenly jukebox on The Atlantic "To show industries how to use the codec, MPEG cobbled together a free sample program that converted music into MP3 files. The demonstration software created poor-quality sound, and Fraunhofer did not intend that it be used. The software's "source code"—its underlying instructions—was stored on an easily accessible computer at the University of Erlangen, from which it was downloaded by one SoloH, a hacker in the Netherlands (and, one assumes, a Star Wars fan). SoloH revamped the source code to produce software that converted compact-disc tracks into music files of acceptable quality." (2000)
  8. ^ Pop Idols and Pirates: Mechanisms of Consumption and the Global Circulation ... by Dr Charles Fairchild
  9. ^ Technologies of Piracy? - Exploring the Interplay Between Commercialism and Idealism in the Development of MP3 and DivX by HENDRIK STORSTEIN SPILKER, SVEIN HÖIER, page 2072
  10. ^ www.euronet.nl/~soloh/mpegEnc/ (Archive.org)