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Chapter 6. Using MP3 > MP3 Stream Attributes

MP3 Stream Attributes

Every MP3 on-demand file or live stream contains a number of “attributes” that not only describe the content but also include instructions for the server and player. These attributes are separate from the actual encoded audio and the specific codec. Filling out this information might seem time consuming, but it’s good to do. It’s frustrating to hear good music and have no idea who is performing it.

MP3 includes these attributes using a standard format called ID3 tags (www.id3.org). Many versions of the ID3 tagging format are available, and older MP3 players might not be able to read the later incarnations. The new version (ID3v2 and later) places this information at the beginning of the stream; the older version (ID3v1 or earlier) placed the information at the end. For this reason, ID3v2 is far more useful for providing information for live streams. As you will see, ID3 tags are geared primarily toward audio files. They originated to add information about downloadable and traded music. ID3v2 will be used in this book wherever possible as all common MP3 players have updated to support it.


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