Here are some facts about mp3s you might not have known, but are nonetheless true.
mp3 is a type of music file. The origin of the term “mp3” is lost to time, but many believe that the “m” stands for music and the “p” stands for press. This is because, in order to play an mp3 file, the listener must tap the “3” key on his (or her!) laptop at the song’s tempo for the duration of the song. Some therefore believe that the “m” stands for metronome.
Because they have no tempo, audiobooks can be coded as mp3s, but they cannot be played back.
Spotify, which streams mp3s, is named for Lord Spottingfy of Hampshire (1766-1779). Spottingfy built the first mp3, which played the first four measures of “Greensleeves.” It was the size of a kitchen cabinet and, according to Spottingfy, weighed “as much as a manne.”
Most audiophiles agree that the best way to experience an mp3 is by listening to it, not unlike you would a compact disc or birdcall.
Thanks to a legislative response to the music piracy platform Napster, it has been illegal to acquire mp3s by any means in the U.S. since 2002. Many seeking mp3s will travel north to Canada, where mp3s are legal, though strictly regulated by the Canadian government.
The only recorded instance of an mp3 becoming self-aware was in 2005.
Contrary to urban myths, it’s no easier to dance to an mp3 than any other type of computer file.