Difference Between MPEG and MP3 (With Table)

Media has played an important role in every individual’s life. They store and manage memories in the form of files that can be used in future. The media has been extensively used to capture instances and to freeze memories only to relive them later. A form of media that is popularly used is in the form of audios and videos.

Audios and videos are quite large files when one wants to store them permanently with ease of access to them. This was possible only by compressing and managing the files in CDs or media players. MPEG and MP3 are the two famous formats that are used for compressing these files.

MPEG vs MP3

The difference between MPEG and MP3 is that MPEG is used for the compression of audio and video files whereas MP3 is used only for the compression of audio files and does not support video files.

MPEG or Moving Pictures Experts Group was made to deal with compression and transmission of audio and video type media files. They reduce the size in such a manner that the quality of the file does not waver. The files thus converted are stored in CDs.

MP3 is a component of the larger format MPEG and is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. This component of MPEG is used for compression of audio files alone. The compressed audio files are stored in suitable media players that could store data in megabytes instead of gigabytes.

Comparison Table between MPEG and MP3

Parameters of ComparisonMPEGMP3
Abbreviation forMPEG stands for Moving Pictures Experts GroupMP3 is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3
Deals withThe MPEG was made to deal with both, audio and videoMP3 is the version of MPEG that was made for dealing with audio files alone
AimTheir main aim was to set a standard for audio and video compression and transmission into easier and exportable files.MP3 is aimed as the patented encoding format for transmission and compression of audio files alone.
Main usageMPEG is used for compressing and managing audio and video files such that they reach a desirable balance in quality and size of the file.MP3 was used for compressing lossy audio files that became popular during the period of portable music players.
PopularityThe use of MPEG is still widespread even though there are many better and advanced technologies available to replace them.As the later versions of MPEG-1 Audio Layers were released, the MP3 was suspended from use.

What is MPEG?

MPEG stands for Moving Pictures Experts Group and was started in 1988. Initially, it was a group with only 500 members but later expanded as the popularity of MPEG also grew. Their main aim was compressing and transmission of audio and video type media files.

MPEG was used to compress audio-video files into smaller sizes that are portable in storage devices. But the compression of the file size also does not hinder in the quality of the file. It remains intact. These compressed files are seen to be stored in CDs and VCDs.

There are various versions of MPEG and these are dependent on the storage devices that are compatible with these formats. MPEG-1 was made that formatted the file for storing in VCDs. Then the successive format MPEG-2 was designed for CDs and DVDs whereas MPEG-4 was designed for Blu-ray.

Now, the popularly used format is mp4 that is formatted for transmissions to smartphones and similar devices.

What is MP3?

MP3 is a smaller component of the large format MPEG. It is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. The main aim through the introduction of MP3 was to compress audio files alone. This is the component of MPEG-1 that deals with audio type media files separately.

MP3 is used for compressing and managing lossy audio files to be stored in media players. This was the only format of compressed files that could be stored in the portable media players that were famous during the time of introduction of MP3.

MP3 was the first format that allowed compression of files to megabytes and not gigabytes. So they were easier to store into smaller files rather than to store them in CDs. Most media players still use MP3 as their standard format.

Though they are popularly in use, they have been suspended since the later versions of MP3 i.e., mp4 have been in use because of their ease in accessing. They have also been replaced with other formats like AAC and WMA.

Main Difference Between MPEG and MP3

  1. MPEG stands for Moving Pictures Experts Group. MP3 is a component of the larger MPEG and it stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.
  2. Both MPEG and MP3 deals with audio files. The difference between the two arises since MPEG also deals with video files while that is not possible for MP3.
  3. The main aim of MPEG was to set a standard for audio and video compression for ease in the portability of these files through VCDs and DVDs. The file size was reduced such that they could fit in file size of CDs. On the other hand, MP3 was aimed at patented encoding format of transmission and compression of audio files.
  4. MPEG was wide-spreadly used for compression and managing the media file in such a way that they reach a desirable size but also not compromising on the quality of the media file. Whereas MP3 was used for compressing lossy audio files that become famous during the period of portable music players.
  5. MPEG is still has a widespread use even if there have been many advanced compressions to take over the job. MPEG is still popular for compression of media files. But MP3 has been replaced by their later versions like MP4 and have been suspended from further use.

Conclusion

Media file formats like MPEG and MP3 have been in use for a long time. They have been quite popular since they were the only one of their kind when it was first introduced.

MPEG is the format that aimed compression of audio-video files.

MP3 was a component of MPEG, specifically MPEG-1 that was aimed for compression of audio files only.

Another notable difference between MPEG and MP3 is that the files compressed with MPEG format can be stored in CDs whereas the one compressed with MP3 format have to be stored by compatible media players.

References

  1. The MP3 revolution – IEEE Journals & Magazine
  2. A simulation tool for introducing MPEG – audio (MP3) concepts in a DSP course – IEEE Conference Publication
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