The main usefulness of MP3 is that you can get a lot of music in
a little space, and retain a relatively high level of fidelity. For
a small reduction in quality it is possible to store a large number
Beck's "Devil's Haircut" from his album Odelay is 3 minutes
14 seconds long and takes 32.6 MB of space as an AIFF file.
At the usual bit rate of 160 kbps, an MP3 of "Devil's Haircut" takes up 3.8 MB
(encoded with iTunes 4.6). That means you save 8.6 times the space!
The following chart compares different encoding rates and file sizes
for this song:
||4.2 to 1
||5.4 to 1
||7.3 to 1
||8.6 to 1
||10.9 to 1
||21.7 to 1
MP3 offers particularly good results with popular
music and spoken text, but may not always achieve great results
with Art Music (or
music that has a broad frequency range).
What is MP3 NOT Good For?