MP3 is the most popular audio compression algorithm developed by Audio MPEG Inc.

History and technology

Despite the fact that the MP3 format was defined in 1992, it is still the most popular today and its performances are not far from those of other more recent formats (Vorbis, WMA, AAC, etc.).

Its success exploded in 1995, when the first Internet users could download MP3 files without recognizing the rights of the record companies. At that time the market met the needs of these users who wanted to be able to read these files even away from the PC, so the first portable MP3 players appeared.

Subsequently, the first official MP3 stores appeared on the Internet, where record rights were finally recognized.

MP3 is a lossy format, i.e. with lossy data compression (for example, the Zip is lossless), where the audio file once compressed and decompressed will never be the same as the original.

In any case, the loss is almost imperceptible to human hearing, especially if decompression occurs at 128Kbit/s and is completely imperceptible at 256Kbit/s.

Obligations for MPEG Players (MP2, MP3, MP4 etc)

In the case of production or import (if the manufacturer has not provided) of MPEG players, you must first enter into a contract with Audio MPEG Inc, then for each player imported or produced you will have to pay an amount that will be multiplied by the number of channels of the player.

By MPEG player we mean any device that has inside a software for decoding or writing MPEG formats (MP2, MP3, MP4 etc), but also the only software (for PC, smartphone etc.) that has the ability to read or write an MPEG format, it seems however that are excluded open source software that by definition should remain free.

Failure to comply will result in the usurpation of patent rights with consequences of a judicial nature.

SISVEL of None (Turin) exclusively manages the rights on behalf of Audio MPEG Inc.

Therefore, before purchasing or importing a device or software that reads or writes an MPEG format, it is important to verify that the manufacturer or importer has regularized the rights. The link to the list of companies that have carried out the regularization can be found at the bottom of this page among the related items.