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Note about Mp3s

You can play them in Windows Media player, which comes as standard with Windows.

There is widespread confusion about mp3s, and some people are hesitant about downloading and playing them at all as a result. So I want to make it clear that these are all ones I am copyright holder for.

It's absolutely fine to play mp3s of original pieces uploaded by composers, or improvisations, or original performances of pieces that are out of copyright (that would apply to the C.P.E. Bach here - I did the midi accompaniment for it myself in NWC, + am using JdLs adaptive re-tuning of it with his permission).

Mp3s are a very efficient file format for storing sound files, much as gifs and jpegs are for pictures, or indeed, zips are for many types of file.

Zips are seldom used for sound, as sounds compress by very little if at all. So the only solution is to reduce the amount of information - lossy rather than lossless compression. I.e. there is no equivalent of the gif format for sound, only the jpeg.

Real Audio is pretty good for relatively low fi recordings, but mp3s are the preferred medium if one wants higher fidelity.

It would be understandable if one were a little unclear about it, so to help to make things clear for everyone:

It is okay to convert your own compositions or improvisations etc. to mp3s and add them to a web page.

In fact, that is the way that many modern composers publish their work for everyone to hear. The site is one of several devoted to legal mp3s. If you sell mp3s, then you (or your distributor) need to pay royalties to Thomsons.

It is okay to listen to mp3s music that others have put on the web, if the publishers of it are the original performers / composers, or have their permission..

It is okay to convert a CD to mp3s if you have bought it through legitimate channels. By buying the CD, you also buy the right to listen to it in any way you choose. So, CD rippers are also fine, no problem using those.

The thing that is not okay is to make a copy of a CD as mp3s and then give them to a friend to use as a substitute for buying the CD, unless you have permission of the copyright holder for the CD.

It is especially not okay to make a copy of the music on a CD, and then distribute it for free on a web site _without_ the author's permission. There are many web sites entirely devoted to illegal mp3s, and this is what all the media attention is about.

So it is really all a matter of copyright rather than the format as such, except for the point about royalties to Thomsons, which only applies to artists who are selling their mp3s rather than providing them for free.

For more about mp3s, see