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An .mp3 file is an audio file, such as a song, podcast, or voice recording. It stores audio data compressed with lossy "Layer 3" audio compression in the MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 standards (MPEG Layer III).

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) developed the MP3 format, releasing it in 1993. Its significant compression (roughly ten times smaller than an uncompressed .wav file) greatly reduces audio file sizes while maintaining CD-quality audio, making the format a standard for storing and transferring music.

The MP3 format's popularity peaked in the 1990s and 2000s as digital music sites and portable media players emerged, but other audio formats, such as MPEG-4 Audio (.m4a files), have since surpassed MP3. However, you may still encounter .mp3 files when downloading music, audiobooks, and other types of audio.

Converting to MP3

Most media players support .mp3 files, making the MP3 format a common choice for converting other audio formats. For example, users may convert uncompressed audio files from the WAVE format (.wav file) to the MP3 format to reduce their size when storing or transferring them.

About File Helper

File Helper is a free web-based file utility that can open MP3 Audio files and over 150 other file formats directly in your web browser. It displays file properties, including metadata, and image EXIF data, along with information about the corresponding file type. File Helper can also view and convert images to several common formats. Have an unknown file or a file without an extension? No problem — File Helper can identify over 15,000 file types.

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