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Microsoft's Netshow contains a new audio codec (that stands for COmpressor/DECompressor) that uses the MPEG Layer-3 compression. If you're familiar with MP3-format files, you know that they are much smaller than normal WAV-format files, but capable of digital sound reproduction with no appreciable quality loss.

Thanks to this new audio codec, WAV-format files can be created that use MPEG Layer-3 compression and still retain their original quality - but taking up only a fraction of the storage space. And they are truly WAV-format files - you can still use them as system event sounds, if you like. The audio codec, however, will only work with a WAV player that is native to your operating system; if you use Windows 95, it must be a 32-bit WAV player; if you use Windows 3.1, it must be a 16-bit WAV player. And they must be capable of playing ACM Waveform format WAV files. Media Player and Sound Recorder come with all versions of Windows and have this capability.

Now the bad news: you'll need to download and install extra software in order to benefit from the new compression technology.

If you are a Windows 3.1 or Windows NT 3.51 user and you have a problem installing or running Windows with Netshow installed, go to Microsoft's Netshow web page and seek technical support there.

Excerpts taken from SoundAmerica.com

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