Bitrate - The number of bits per second used to store encoded
information. Bitrates are measured in kilobits per second (kbps). Higher
bitrates indicate larger files and higher MP3 quality (better sounding). A
bitrate of 128kbps is generally considered to be "near CD-quality" sound.
BURN-Proof - It is an abbreviation for "Buffer Underrun Proof". This
technology will prevent the "beer coaster" syndrome (when CDs are ruined)
as it makes sure that the computer will be able to keep up with the speed
of the CD
Buffer - A chunk of MP3 data stored in memory prior to the moment
of playback, for the purpose of alleviating skips caused by network
latency or slow/flaky storage devices (such as some CD-ROM drives.)
Buffers can also be helpful for slow machines or systems that have to do a
lot of processor-intensive tasks simultaneously. Buffer size can typically
be adjusted by the user.
Burning - In the computer CD creation dictionary, this term is the
same as saying that you are "writing", "recording", or "creating" a
Codec - Is a contraction of the two words "Compression"
A codec is an
algorithm capable of compressing or decompressing a bitstream, such as an
MP3. The complex but efficient MP3 codec is built into both encoders and
.CDA - Short for "CD
Audio". This format is the type of file
burnt onto a standard audio CD which can be extracted to your hard drive
by using a CD ripper into WAV (Windows) or AIFF (Macintosh) files.
CDDB - "Compact
Base", online lookup tool for retrieving
album, artist, and track information, especially helpful for completing
MP3 ID3 tags
CD-R - An abbreviation for "CD Recordable" which is a
type of disc that allows you to
record audio or data files but does not allow erasing as it is a "write-once"
disk. When you want to make an audio CD, this is the type of disc
used to make sure it will be compatible with car and home stereos.
CD-RW - An abbreviation for "CD Rewriteable" that allows
users to write, erase, and rewrite audio or data 1000s of times.
Although this sounds great, the majority of car and home
stereos do not support this disc media type.
CD Text - The latest extension of the standard Audio CD that
contains additional information besides the audio tracks. This
information can be the title of the CD, the name of the artist, song, etc.
Constant Bit Rate (CBR) - A uniform transmission rate (the bit rate
remains the same throughout the audio file). To be compared with
variable bit rate (VBR).
Converter - A piece of software that allows users to change
between file formats. (ie. MP3 to Wave, or WMA to MP3, OGG to Wave, etc).
Decoder - Software that converts coded data back into its original,
uncompressed form. MP3 players "decode" MP3 by being able to play
the data format as audio. However, the term usually refers to the process
of converting MP3 to WAV
Disc-At-Once (DAO) - Records all of the data/audio on a CD-R disc
at one time. The lead-in, all the tracks and lead-out are written, the
session is closed, and the disc is closed. This format does not add
2 second gaps between tracks as the track-at-once (TAO) recording does.
Encoder - The process of converting any audio format to MP3.
ID3 - Stands for "Tag Embedded In MPEG I Layer 3". It
describes the audio; typically artist, album, track and release
KBPS - It is an abbreviation for "kilobytes
second" which is
one thousand bits per second.
MP3 - It is a compressed digital recording which stands for "MPEG 1 Audio Layer 3".
The MP3 file format has become popular because it can store audio with a
compression of about 1/10th the size of the original (uncompressed) file.
Normalization - Making audio files have a constant volume
throughout the file (so you won't have to manually turn up the volume
OGG Vorbis/OGG - A competing file format that is open source.
OGG is competing with the MP3 file format. Open source simply means
that users of the file format do not have to "pay" royalties to the
Real Audio/RA - It is a file type from
Real Networks that is usually produced by any of Real Networks'
proprietary software and is often streamed via the internet.
Ripping - The process of converting your songs from an audio CD to
a computer audio file. To be able to put a CD song on your computer, you
need a program able to 'extract' the audio and store it as data
information. The result is an audio format called a WAVE file (extension
.wav) on your computer. This is also called digital audio extraction (DAE).
Real Media (RM) - A file type developed by Real Networks. It
is often used for streaming audio.
Track-at-Once (TAO) - This burning process writes tracks/audio
separately, with a maximum of 99 total sounds/songs. This format automatically places 2 second
gaps between tracks.
Variable Bit Rate (VBR) - This format offers a much better way to
stream or download music because of increased efficiency when the file was
encoded. Variable bitrate files yield the best sound quality all the
time rather than just setting a maximum.
WAV/Wave - It is an uncompressed audio format developed by IBM and
Microsoft. It is the standard audio file used for computers.
Windows Media Audio/WMA - It is
Microsoft's audio codec designed to compete directly with the MP3 file
format. It offers a much better compression ratio yet still
maintaining the sound quality.