Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between MPEG and MP3


MPEG and MP3 are two formats that are very familiar to most people. These two are used in media players as they are formats used for encoding them. The main difference between MPEG and MP3 is the type of media that they are used with. MPEG is a standard that deals with both audio and video and how they are compressed or manipulated in order to obtain a desirable balance between size and quality. In comparison, an MP3 only deals with audio; more specifically, lossy audio files that became very popular at the beginning of portable music players which were commonly referred to as MP3 players.

Actually, an MP3 is just a part of the bigger first version of MPEG known as MPEG-1. MP3 is just a shortened version of MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, the actual component of MPEG-1 that deals with the compression of the audio component. It was the first digital format that gained widespread acceptance in portable music players as it provided files that were less than a tenth of the size of a CD recording with little or no discernable sound quality. Given the memory capacities of old music players, which are measured in megabytes and not gigabytes, it provided a very compact alternative to CD players that don’t skip or run out of batteries quickly.

Since MPEG-1 was initially designed for VCD (Video Compact Discs), it has since been replaced by successive formats like MPEG-2 which is used in DVDs, and MPEG-4 for Blu-ray. So too is the fate of MP3 having been replaced by newer and superior audio compression formats like AAC. Still, an MP3 is still very popular given that almost all hardware players support this format while support for AAC and other formats are limited to mostly the newer models.

Right now, the most popular version of MPEG is the MP4 format used to store compressed video files into portable devices like smartphones and tablets. It no longer uses the MP3 compression for audio. Although most portable devices nowadays still support MP3, most people use other formats like AAC, WMA, FLAC, and others. This is largely because of the explosion in memory capacity making it unnecessary to have very small file sizes.


1.MPEG deals with audio and video while MP3 only deals with audio.
2.MP3 is just a portion of the bigger MPEG standard.
3.MPEG is still in widespread use while MP3 has been superseded.

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