There are three steps to creating MP3 files for Internet distribution:
Your first step will often be to save your audio stream into AIFF or WAV format. This typically starts with a compact disc, in which case the raw bits on the CD need to be turned into a computer-recognizable audio format. The process of extracting audio CD data is called ripping. However, you can also encode live audio streams to a raw format, which is typically not ripping but rather recording.
The next step is to encode your raw audio stream into the MP3 format. Fortunately, most modern encoding tools handle ripping and encoding all in one step, even if they work in two steps behind the scenes.
Optionally, and assuming the user holds the legal copyright to the music in question, you may want to upload your MP3 files to the Internet.
To work with and create MP3 audio, you need:
An MP3 ripping/encoding tool
An MP3 player so you can audition your MP3s for quality control before adding them to your permanent archive
A digital audio file, compact disc, or live audio stream to encode
You’ll find an abundance of free MP3 players and encoders online (see Section 8.8 later in this chapter for more information).
Since most encoding is done directly from compact discs, we’ll look at that process most closely, but keep in mind that most of these steps apply equally to audio streams coming from pre-existing WAV or AIFF audio files and to live streams. The single most important thing you’ll need ...