MP3 is an abbreviation for MPEG-3, which stands for Motion Picture Experts Group, Layer 3. MPEG-3 is the organization responsible for setting international standards for digital audio and video standards. The Frauenhofer Institute in Germany developed MP3 technology.
MP3 is a file compression technology. Standard MP3 compression is performed at a 10:1 ratio, which equals to about four megabytes per each three-minute track. Using this rate of compression, a 60 megabyte file can be compressed into a six megabyte MP3 file. Ripping involves using software to convert WAV files from CDs to MP3 files, making them more portable. MP3 players can hold tens of thousands of audio files on a device half the size of a CD jewel case.