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Error in header format image[edit]


There seems to be a slight error in the header format image. According to the standard, the sync word is 11 bits and the version ID 2 bits. In the image, the sync word is 12 bits and version ID 1 bit.

-Kristian — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:15, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Network effects vs DRM[edit]

The “Licensing and patent issues” section lists among the possible causes of the network effects causing perpetuation of the format the lack of DRM. Is that still relevant nowdays, when Ogg Vorbis and FLAC have no DRM? Is it about AAC or WMA not replacing MP3 as the most popular non-free format? --AVRS (talk) 21:30, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

DRM is optional in WMA and AAC. There is no license fee associated with Vorbis. MP3 is not the best format from either a technical or business perspective. I propose that the network effect itself explains the continuing popularity of MP3. MP3 was the first compressed format to be widely adopted. Its ongoing success is the result of that early success. -—Kvng 15:14, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
My point is that it is not clear how the lack of DRM contributed (or keeps contributing, which I think is implied by the text) to the network effect. Maybe it should be removed from the list? --AVRS (talk) 09:34, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I may not understand the term "network effect", but isn't the main reason for the popularity of mp3 (apart from hardware and operating system support) simply that it was there a long time before WMA, AAC and Vorbis? --Regression Tester (talk) 01:15, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I think MP3’s network effect consists in the following (which I guess could happen even with a good free codec or format, except for differences in possible lobbying and propaganda, like patents, brands, DRM, price, freedom, quality, compatibility):
  • Many people know the name.
    • Thus, at least in the past, when the alternatives were much less known, they would search for “blabla mp3 download”, so it was prudent to mention MP3 when publishing music — and some would also publish in MP3.
    • Also, if people only know “MP3”, then when they want to distribute audio, they will search not for how to encode audio, but for how to make an MP3.
  • Some hardware players, especially old ones, support only MP3. Thus those targeting owners of those players would publish audio in MP3.
  • There is a large quantity of music in MP3 (which cannot be salvaged from MP3 efficiently). In the past, it seemed OK to buy a player which only supported MP3.
So, where does DRM go here? Maybe some users chose MP3 because they had read somewhere that it has no DRM (e.g., in the beginning, the few known alternatives like WMA and RealAudio may have been associated with DRM or vendor lock-in), or because they have tried encoding audio into another format and accidentally created a useless DRMed file. There is no explanation in the article, nor mention of a time range.
--AVRS (talk) 10:01, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Error in "File structure" figure?[edit]

The illustration of mp3 file structure,, indicates that MP3 sync word is twelve bits, all 1. However, some other sources I've consulted indicate that the sync word is only 11 bits:

Please advise. Aldebrn (talk) 15:46, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

576 samples[edit]

The "Encoding audio" section states, "During encoding, 576 time-domain samples are taken and are transformed to 576 frequency-domain samples. If there is a transient, 192 samples are taken instead of 576." This needs more context. 576 samples per what? I assume "per frame", but this needs to be explained in the article by someone more familiar with the technology. - dcljr (talk) 02:47, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Patent situation in 2016?[edit]

The article only lists a few patents that are still active. I've collected a list from various web articles that discuss MP3 licensing. I can't verify if this list is exact, exhaustive, or if these are related to MP3 or just MPEG-? layer ? formats in general.

Some sources:

At least the last source is too optimistic. As an example, it claims that patent 5924060 expired in 2011. You can see from that they paid the fee (year 12) a bit late in 2011 so it should be valid at least until 2014-2015. Google claims they haven't paid the latest year (16) fee yet so the current situation is not clear, but I can't see why it wouldn't be enforceable until 2017. If you infringe the patent in 2017, you can still be sued until 2019.

2001:2003:F638:A000:BE5F:F4FF:FE76:8CA0 (talk) 02:33, 18 January 2016 (UTC)