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How to Play MP3's
      All you need to play MP3's is a sound card and software. You can download the software from winamp.com or mp3.com, they vary mostly in appearance, controls and play list options.

How to Make MP3's
      When starting from a CD you would use software known as rippers or grabbers they log the disc and you select and rename the tracks. (I use WinDaC-32) It then reads the CDA track at high speed (depends on CD-ROM speed mine run's at 7X) and saves it to the hard drive as a .WAV file. Stereo wave files sampled @44.100Khz take up lots of room, about 9-10 megs per minute. You can download WinDaC-32 from   mp3.com.

Edit .WAV File
      Now that you have the wave file it may be necessary to edit some dead time off the beginning or end. If so you must do it now, once encoded it cannot be edited. This gives you a faster transition between songs. You can use any wave editor you like, generic editors usually come with your sound card software.

Encoding the .WAV
      Converting the .WAV file to .MP3 is called Encoding and can be done at various bit-rates. The lower the bit-rate the smaller the MP3 file will be but quality drops off as well. For music I use 128-Kbps this gives over ten to one compression and near CD quality sound! All MP3 encoders are not alike the most important factors are Speed and ease of use. I use a registered version of Sound Limit 2.0. When the encoder is finished you will find the MP3 file in the same directory as the wav. Give a test listen, if all is well you can delete the wav. You just made your first rip.