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MP3 Player Glossary

MP3 Player Glossary

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In digital multimedia, bitrate is a commonly used term. It describes how much information (number of bits) is used per unit of time to represent the original audio/video footage. Bits per second (bit/s, bps) and some derivative such as Kbps and Mbps are used to quantify bitrate.


In digital multimedia, CBR or constant bitrate means that the bitrate of the multimedia (audio and/or video) stream is constant. No matter how content complexity changes, the same amount of bits are transferred in a given time.

VBR or variable bitrate is a different story; the VBR file's bitrate varies according to the complexity of the content – a higher bitrate for more complex segments of audio and/or video stream and a lower bitrate for simpler segments. VBR files can deliver almost the same quality contents using less space than CBR.

MP3, WMA, Vorbis, and AAC files can all be encoded in either CBR or VBR.


In digital multimedia, DRM or Digital Right Management refers to technologies used to protect and securely deliver content for playback on computers, portable devices and network devices. It is often implemented by enforcing pre-defined policies for controlling access to the content (such as music and movies). Protected content can only be played by DRM compatible devices.


EL is the abbreviation of electroluminescence, which refers to an electrical and optical phenomenon - certain material will emit light when there is a strong electric field present or when an electric current passes through it. EL materials are widely used in LCD backlights, and do not generate much heat.

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Liquid Crystal Display is a display solution based on a matrix of liquid crystal pixel elements. There are 3 sub-pixels and an RGB color filter in each pixel element (for color LCD display only). By applying backlighting and different voltages to each sub-pixel, the pixel displays different colors. Monochromatic LCDs, do not utilize sub-pixels.


Light-emitting diode, refers to a kind of semiconductor component that emits light when electrically biased in the forward direction. Depending on the chemical composition of the diode material used, the wave length of the emitted light can be different, resulting in various colors of visible light and even invisible infrared or near-ultraviolet light. LED can be regarded as a kind of EL or electroluminescence application.


MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 is widely known as MP3, which is the most popular digital audio encoding and lossy compression format in use today. The MP3 format can greatly reduce the audio file data size and still deliver faithful reproduction of the original audio.

Other lossy audio file formats are commonly used as well, such as AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), ATRAC3 (and ATRAC3 plus), Ogg (Ogg Vorbis) and WMA (Windows Media Audio). There are lossless audio formats that are able to deliver exactly the same quality as uncompressed audio contents, including PCM WAV(uncompressed audio), FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), Apple lossless and WMA lossless.


OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. It is essentially a type of LED with an organic compound emissive layer as opposed to traditional inorganic LEDs. OLED can be used as a display device as well as a lighting device. Many MP3 players and other mobile devices use OLEDs for displays. OLED displays are often brighter and more energy efficient than traditional backlit LCDs.


The Signal to Noise Ratio refers to the ratio between an informative signal (such as music) and the useless noise (such as the background noise) in an audio signal. The higher this value is, the better the signal quality and the greater the clarity of the sound you will hear.

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