Playing Your MP3s

 
Photo of an MP3 Player with earbudsVirtually all modern computers have built-in audio players that will automatically play your MP3 file. On many computers, all you need to do is double-click the file. Alternatively, you may have to choose the file and then “right-click” to reveal a drop-down menu that includes a “play” option. On my Mac, all I need to do is choose the file with my mouse and then hit my space bar to play that file. In addition, there are countless third-party software players (some free, some purchased) that are MP3-friendly, allowing you to organize your collection for optimal use.

Perhaps the most popular way to play MP3s is using a compact portable device such an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or a dedicated MP3 player. Importing your MP3s into your device (from your computer) is usually very straightforward. To learn how, you will need to consult the instructions for your particular device. We are not responsible for helping you accomplish such imports, but we do recommend that you make sure that your MP3 files are not being “de-compressed and then re-compressed” at a different bitrate. Most devices will accept your MP3 files without modifying them in any way. For instance, with Apple iTunes, all you need to do is drag your folder full of MP3s from your Finder into the iTunes window and they will be instantly imported without modification.

Another option is to use your computer’s “CD burning software” to make an audio compact disc. Usually, it is as simple as dropping a folder full of MP3s into the software interface and then hitting the burn button. Within a minute or so, your CD should be ready for playing. Go here for more information about making CDs.

Of course, you are always free to convert your MP3s into other formats or reduce their size by using lower bitrates. Audiophiles might prefer to convert to un-compressed wave files. More likely, a person may use their own software to de-compress their 256 kbps MP3s and then re-compress them to a lower bitrate such as 128 kbps. While there may be some audible quality loss, the file size will be reduced by a half and the quality might very well be acceptable. Our recommendation, though, is not to modify your MP3s in any way, so as to maintain their pristine quality.