What mp3 ?
When began the massive computing era, back in the 1990s, the available hard disk space was meager. Also the data transmission capacity was very limited, we all remember those old connections operating at very low speeds. The most modern modemos in 1995 ran at 28.8 Kbps, and we felt that broke the sound barrier.
This originated it was very difficult to manage an audio file in the standard format that was the wav, because of its size.
A wav file extracted from a CD, is high quality sound, but that is why, occupy much disk space, and as we remember lines above, nothing over us disk space … and on the other hand, try to give someone or download one of these wavs take hours to get into the 90s.
Then there arose the mp3. A format that "lost" some information, say discard certain information, which is not audible and allows us to greatly reduce (about 10 times) the size of a music file in wav format.
Sure, there are a lot of settings that can be changed on an mp3, which helps reduce ua more, but often generates quality is lost.
So if, at the end of the day, we have hundreds or thousands of mp3s that have been encoded with very different settings, we MP3s that sound different, even with a different volume well and that's a problem.
But back to talk about and remember as mp3 this revolutionized everything, because the moment was possible to extract music from CDs and have it on your computer, including programs emerged that allowed the exchange of these mp3s such as Napster, which the time people could grow their MP3 collection significantly.
In short, we say that the mp3 is one that allows encode music from a larger file size and significantly reduce its size with a minimal loss of data, making almost imperceptible the "lost". This refers to well-encoded files
Eventually emerged other formats and even try to create different mp3s, but none had the strength he had had the mp3.
By now it is also used massively mp4, but this is not an improvement of mp3, it is a file that additionally contains video, contains not only audio, however, the mp3 is a format containing only audio.