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ISO MPEG Layer-3 Compression Technology

Layer 3 is part of the MPEG audio coding standard defined by the ISO/IEC WG11 committee. MPEG audio comprises three coding techniques: Layer-1, Layer-2 and Layer-3. These layers provide increasingly better audio quality at equal compression ratios (or increasingly higher compression ratios at equal audio quality). With the advent of the MPEG2 Layer-3 audio coding standard, the range of possible compression ratios was extended. Today Layer-3 achieves compression ratios of

  • 1:12 for CD quality (i.e. no perceptible difference to the original signal in a consumer type listening environment)
  • 1:24 similar to FM stereo quality,
  • 1:48 at better-than shortwave quality,
  • 1:96 for very low bitrate connections,
  • Because of these high compression ratios, Layer-3 is the supreme choice for all internet audio transmissions. But there is more! Check out the details.

    Technical Info Links

        MPEGLayer3Player Version 1.4 beta 2 now available !
        Here we are for MACs ! - ( Brandnew version to be tested )

    Download your FREE and UNSUPPORTED BETA version of the new MPEG Layer-3 Players with graphical human interface ! Report your experiences to us.

    Registered and Supported Versions of WinPlay3 are available at OPTICOM !

    WIN16: WinPlay3 Version V2.3 beta5 released 23.05.1997
    WIN32: WinPlay3 Version V2.3 beta5 released 23.05.1997

    Power Macintosh: MPEGLayer3Player Version V1.4 beta2 released 27.05.1997

    See also our ISO MPEG Layer-3 Page with sound examples and more downloadable SW also for other operating systems and our FAQ about ISO MPEG Layer-3 by Fraunhofer Institute IIS. And if you would like to have a little clip accompanying the fine MPEG Layer-3 sound, have a look to our VIDEO-Page !

    Where to buy ISO MPEG Layer-3 Software Encoders?

    AUDIOACTIVE                             OPTICOM

    About us

    Homepage of our institute - Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (Fraunhofer-IIS)
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    Company Links (Addresses)

    Some companies engaged in ISO MPEG Layer-3 and cooperating with our institute (FhG-IIS). Those companies do market their products themselves.


    Internet Radio

    Bertelsmann Publishing

    CD-ROM encyclopedia

    Broadcast Electronics Inc.

    Telephone codecs

    CCS Europe GmbH

    ISDN and telephone codecs

    Cerberus Sound & Vision


    Dialog 4

    ISDN codecs, PC boards


    Contract research, consulting

    ITT Intermetall GmbH

    Decoder chips


    Shockwave audio streaming

    Meister Electronics

    Announcement Systems

    Microsoft's new NetShow      

    Multimedia client / server




    Software codecs

    Proton Data

    Hardware & software solutions

    Siemens AG

    Multimedia chip card

    Sygna A/S



    Auido on Demand

    Telos Systems

    ISDN codecs (e.g. ZEPHYR)


    Digital satellite broadcasting

    and more ....



    AES, Munich, 102nd. Convention
    FhG IIS booth 4G13: MPEG Layer-3 Player / Encoder
    FhG IIS booth 4G13: ClipPlayer,"VideoClips on Demand"


    NAB97, Las Vegas
    MICROSOFT booth: Layer-3 Player, internet-based
    WORLDSPACE booth: Layer-3 Player, satellite-based


    Ghana Teleteaching Conference
    WORLDSPACE booth: Layer-3 Player, ClipPlayer, satellite-based


    Research Days, Erlangen


    MPEG, Stockholm


    IFA, Berlin


    IBC, Amsterdam
    WORLDSPACE booth: Layer-3 Player, ClipPlayer, satellite-based


    NAB, New Orleans
    WORLDSPACE booth: Layer-3 Player, satellite-based


    AES, New York, 103nd. Convention
    FhG IIS: MPEG Layer-3 Player / Encoder
    FhG IIS: ClipPlayer,"VideoClips on Demand"


    Microsoft: Fraunhofer IIS, a technology partner for NetShow

    Mar. 10, 1997: Microsoft:
    "The new Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e.V. (FhG) codec included with NetShow 2.0 offers stereo sound at Internet bandwidths and CD-quality sound at higher intranet bandwidths to thousands of listeners."
    whatsnew: Improved Quality of Content
    benefits: Broad Variety of Audio and Video Compression

    Dec. 10, 1996: Microsoft: Fraunhofer's MPEG Layer-3 for Microsoft's NetShow

    Okt. 31, 1996: PC Magazin Online: WinPlay Music From Your Desktop

    Sep. 26, 1996: Worldspace: Successful demonstration of satellite direct audio


    Fraunhofer Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen-A
    Am Weichselgarten 3; D-91058 Erlangen; Germany
    Tel.: +49 (0) 9131/776-301; Fax: +49 (0) 9131/776-399
    EMAIL: layer3@iis.fhg.de; http://www.iis.fhg.de/audio/



    Copyright ©1997 Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft IIS-A