MP3 (Digital Encoding Process) Granted US Patent – 5,579,430

November 26, 1996

A United States Patent 5,579,430 is granted to the Fraunhofer Institut in Germany for a “digital encoding process”, the technology used in MEPG Audio Layer III, more commonly known as MP3.

MP3 is a digital music format for creating high-quality sound files. It has transformed the way people buy and listen to music. The great attraction of the MP3 format is its ability to compress files, making it a convenient, versatile, and very popular way of storing music on the relatively small data storage devices of the time.

Standards set by the Industry Standards Organization (ISO), were launched in 1992 with the MPEG-1. MPEG-1 is a video compression standard with low bandwidth. The high bandwidth audio and video compression standard of MPEG-2 followed and was of adequate quality for use with DVD technology. MPEG Layer III or MP3 involves audio compression only.