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  A Few Definitions... dadiOH's dandies
Glossary

One of the problems we face when learning something new is the specialized vocabulary. In fact, that is the major hurdle for many. Combine that with the penchant of computer types to use acronyms and the problem is compounded. My purpose in this glossary is to give you only a cursory explanation of some of the most commonly used terms, especially those used in this file. An explanation which may not be technically precise...an explanation in context with the theme of digital music.
For more detailed information, search at Google. For brief definitions for things I probably have overlooked, try Atomica (data entry box at the top right). Finally, for an explanation of a host of computer acronyms, see whatis.com.

analog
From Atomica...

"Traditionally, audio and video recording has been analog. Sound, which is continuously varying air vibrations, is converted into analogous electrical vibrations. Video cameras scan their viewing area a line at a time and convert the infinitely varying intensities of light into analogous electrical signals.
The ability to capture the subtle nature of the real world is the single advantage of analog techniques. However, once captured, modern electronic equipment, no matter how advanced, cannot copy analog signals perfectly. Third and fourth generations of audio and video recordings show marked deterioration.
By converting analog signals into digital, the original audio or video data can be preserved indefinitely and copied over and over without deterioration. Once continuously varying analog signals are measured and converted into digital form, they can be stored and transmitted without loss of integrity due to the accuracy of digital methods.
The key to conversion is the amount of digital data that is created from the analog signal. The shorter the time interval between samples and the more data recorded from that sample, the more the digital encoding reflects the original signal."

APE
An audio file type resulting from non-lossy compression of audio data

ASPI
An acronym for "advanced SCSI programming interface". They are low level programs used by other programs when digitally extracting or writing.

binary
Referring to numbers to the base 2

binary group
A news group where non-text files are posted. Files such as sound, visual and programs

bit rate
The number of bits occuring per time unit, usually per second.

burn
To write digital data to a CD

clipping
See here

CODEC
An acronym for COderDECoder.. The low level program used for changing one format to another

context menu
A pop up window giving various options. It is "context" because the options offered vary according to other conditions such as the application, when or from where the menu is called, etc.

CPU
An acronym for "central processing unit". That part of the computer that does the work as opposed to thaose parts used for temporary or permanent storage.

decode
To convert the data in an MP3 (or other compressed audio file type) to wave data

digital
Data represented with binary numbers

dll
A file type. An acronym for "dynamically linked library". A file, generally non-executable, containing routines or drivers for use by other programs.

DNS
An acronym for "domain name server". When one types an internet address, a domain name server is queried to convert the text that you typed to numbers. Computers only understand numbers.

driver
A low level program, generally available for use by other programs. As an example, a program to start a drive and position the head would be a driver.

encode
To convert a wave file to MP3 or other compressed audio format

FLAC
An audio file type resulting from non-lossy compression of audio data

LPAC
An audio file type resulting from non-lossy compression of audio data

MP3
An audio file type resulting from the lossy compression of audio data

MP3Pro
An encoder/encoding system designed to improve the sound of MP3s when encoded at a low bit rate

normalize
Make a series of sound files have a similar volume level

ogg vorbis
An audio file type resulting from the lossy compression of audio data

parameter
Any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance

record
To digitize analog sound

rip
To digitally extract the data on an audio CD

sample rate
The rate at which sound is sampled when digitizing it

SHN
An audio file type resulting from non-lossy compression of audio data

tag
A small amount of data added to a file to give information about it

transcode
Remaking an MP3 by changing the bit rate. Also called re-encoding

URL
An acronym for "universal resource locator". An internet address

Wave or WAV
An audio file type. The usual result of ripping or recording with a computer.

Winkey
A special key on some keyboards. It normally has a Windows logo on it. There are normally two such keys in the bottom row...one to the left of the space bar, the other to the right.

WMA
An audio file type, proprietary to Microsoft, resulting from the lossy compression of audio data

zip
A file type resulting from non-lossy compression; a method of compressing files without loss of data

 

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