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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 47 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition

When you create a playlist in audio playback software such as Winamp, the playlist file contains the extension M3U. Clicking an M3U file will bring up all of the songs in the playlist in your default audio player.


MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol that allows electronic musical instruments to talk to each other and to computers. Because MIDI files contain only a series of commands (such as note on, note off), they are very small and efficient. On the other hand, they have no sound of their own, and must be used in conjunction with a wavetable, a synthesizer, or a drum machine.


One channel of audio. When you listen to something in mono, the exact same sound comes out of the left and right speakers or headphones. Since mono tracks contain half the information of an equivalent stereo file, they are half the size.


See a file with the .mov extension, and you'll know one thing: you need QuickTime multimedia technology to run it. MOV files can be movie clips, such as Video for Windows' AVI files, or still images, such as GIFs.


A sound file that has been compressed through MP3 encoding, making the files smaller and easier to send across the Internet.

MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group)

MPEG is a standard for compressing sound and movie files into an attractive format for downloading or even streaming across the Internet. The MPEG-1 standard streams video and sound data at 150 kilobytes per second the same rate as a single speed CD-ROM drive which it manages by taking key frames of video and filling only the areas that change between the frames.

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